Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Upper Murray Challenge

The race has been run and won. I had an overall enjoyable time but the run was brutal and took me 45 mins longer than I expected it to.

Check out the results at

A more detailed report is coming

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Paddling The Yarra

Rob and I took the boats out on Sunday at 1.10cm, which was the biggest we have paddled. I was on the surf ski for some flowing water practice for the Upper Murray Challenge.

It was a blast, here's hoping there is some rain this week so we can get out again this weekend.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mondays Philosophies

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, its the only thing that ever has"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mondays Philosophies

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

MTB Marathon Champs

Well its been over a month since my last post, which is a bit slack but I am now working a real job again so time has been taken up with work. But I thought it imperative to share my experience of the Avoca Marathon Champs.

As we made our way up in the family bus with Jason's camper in tow and Ash and Cam along for the pain we talked shit for 2 and a half hours. After what can only be described as a peaceful and good nights sleep, considering there was a very tall man who can be angry at times inside the camper with us.

The prep had been done the training was complete now it was time to ride. I say ride not race as I think this race was going to a race of survival. 93km and 3500 "high" meters was always going to be tough. So as we toed the line it was just tempo the start and don't blow up, so after a 5km "sprint" we hit the first climb 8km long not steep but constant. I was struggling with the dust and seemed to be having an onset of asthma which I have not had for about 10 years.

But I just kept a good tempo and towards the top of the fire road could still see Ash saw I thought that was good going. The next 30 km was just up down with some fast single track thrown in. As we popped out onto the bitumen I found myself in a bunch of 5 guys, none who wanted to drive but who all wanted to be off the front and dropping the others. So we hammered along for the 8 or so minutes it took to do this part of the course. I was feeling strong and rode along at my pace at the front for a few kilometers and found myself alone as we entered the winery. Probably should have kept that energy for the climbs that lay ahead.

There was some fast single track descents over the next 10 kilometers on a relatively flat part of the course. As we then started climbing again and again I finally arrived the next food station. There was a sign that said 38kms to go. So I figured I had come 52 and was still feeling good. It was this station I met up with Ash and Troy who seemed to have tried everything was available, I was in and out and left 30 seconds after them, on a fast descent.

The ride then started to get brutal the climbs were leg crushers and some of them calf crushers as you pushed your bike up the steep sections. I could feel that my legs were starting to get pangs of cramp no leg lockers but they were coming. Mentally the climbs were starting to wear a bit thin it was just relentless, I was riding just behind Ash when he stopped clipped out and started walking into the bush, I thought for a moment he had had enough and was walking out, but it was just a toilet stop.

As we finally hit the Endurance trail I thought we are on the home stretch, well it was the longest home stretch in the world. Steep descent was followed by impossibly steep climb and invariably a leg crunching switchback. What saved me in this section was a bit of banter, and Ash was up to the task. However he eventually started walking faster than me and pulled out of sight.

Finally we were back onto fire road and ticking off the kms when we headed back onto the endurance trail still with 22kms to go, the last 16km had taken about and hour and half how long was I going to be out here for.

I was getting a headache so I drank a quick full bottle and filled up again and took a water bottle with me to try and hydrate. As we left this transition we headed back onto the Endurance trail, and I had caught back up with Ash after his 3 course meal at the feed zone. However he was soon gone and I rode in silence with a few other guys all just willing the end to come. As I crossed a manned road the guy told me about 12 kms to go, that perched me up as I knew the last 5 were flat as we rode them the day before and there was still a massive water bar descent.

After another 20 minutes of riding I came to the last feed zone with a sign 15kms to go. I had just ridden for 20 minutes and gone backwards 3 kms, now that hurts. So I fuelled up again and went up and over the three sisters with the ugly claiming me! and then it was down and down fast.

I overtook 3 guys at the bottom of the descent and managed to keep them at bay over the final 5kms and finished in 6hrs 35 minutes.

So overall I did not crash had no mechanicals, the bike was on song, I did not lock cramp until I tried to get off the bike and Jas was still packing up when I finished, so all in all not bad.

When I think in the scheme of events I have done and how hard was this, it was hard, really hard physically but the last 30kms was mentally tough as you seemed to be making no progress at all and you were riding so slowly, well I was.

Like all hard things you finish and you say I am never doing that again but as time passes the pain fades but the glow of achievement remains. And to be honest if you finished the race KUDOS as no matter how long it took to finish was an achievement.

So I guess if you see me next Feb or March pushing my bike up steep hills you know what I am in training for!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hell Ride

Saturday saw Jase and I head off to meet Ash for a nice roll out along beach road with 10,000 of our fellow cyclists.

After a sleep in by my riding mate we had to smash it down to the beach to make it on time, a short cut was taken so we would not miss the bunch. So we made it and enjoyed the pace of the bunch humming along at 50kmph.

Bumped into Neil in the pack and we chatted as we slowly fell towards the tail of the bunch. It was then decided that we would head to the front so we rolled to the right and worked our way to the front of the bunch.

Now I have never rolled turns on this ride normally just struggling to keep in the bunch, so I wanted to give it a go. There were from what I could tell about 15-20 guys taking there turn on the front, this lasted about 15 minutes until we reached Frankston where no one rolled through, funny that. So as we hit the base of the climb I dropped back until someone decided they wanted my piece of road and I had to brake and came to a standstill.

As we crested the top of the climb most of the riders around me just rolled to the other side of the road to wait for the bunch on there return. I chased along with one other guy, we were only about 150 meters back which proved about 100 meters too many, as we kept them in sight but could not bridge the gap. Next time I will definitely ensure I climb that pinch faster so I don't have to chase back on.

So it was a long solo ride most of the way back to Black Rock, watching the hundreds of riders rolling out the other way.

I missed all the action of the sprint which sounded like a good thing for a change.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Yarra Glen Loop

In the past year or so we have a "regular" Sat morning loop which takes us around Sugar Loaf Dam. It is what we call a road ride on the MTB's.

As I have plenty of spare time at the moment I headed out on Thursday to do this loop and add a few extra bits. I had done this a few weeks before and found some single track out at Yarra Glen and was now trying to loop it all together.

So it was an early start at 6am and on the Virtue I knew I was in for a nice plush ride as we normally tackle this ride on the hardtails. The first part of the ride went well with me putting a nice loop together, it was when I was "searching" for a track I used to ride when I lived in Yarra Glen that things went south, or actually west.

This track was impossible to find as the fires had been through this area, so I rode down the side of a hill where I thought the track used to go to find the track in the valley. Yep not my best idea as the re growth in the valley was alot more than on the ridges where I had been riding. So it was hike a bike for about an hour over 3 ridges before I finally got to the fire road I was after, then smashed it down the fire road to St Andrews, and linked in the Smiths Gully tracks.

Bumped into my neighbour from Yarra Glen who now lives in Smiths Gully, such a small world, considering I was riding tracks he had showed me about 6 years ago.

So after the sweet trails of Smiths Gully it is a slog back home for food. I arrived home to a bit of a worried wife who had started the search for the lost mountain biker. I guess I need a mobile phone when I ride, but that's another story.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ride About Tour

So as I said before we came to the top of Coombs road and there were 4 girls sitting down having a snack. We asked where they were headed as they had trolleys and panniers etc.

They answered Cape York!

So a bit ataken back we aksed how many and the answer was 6 plus the baby. Yep a 7 month old baby was in tow.

So after more questioning we found out they were Kiwis, so it made a bit more sense now.

Anyway check out there tales at ride about tour for the interesting stories about there travels.

Ride About Tour

So as I said before we came to the top of Coombs road and there were 4 girls sitting down having a snack. We asked where they were headed as they had trolleys and panniers etc.

They answered Cape York!

So a bit ataken back we aksed how many and the answer was 6 plus the baby. Yep a 7 month old baby was in tow.

So after more questioning we found out they were Kiwis, so it made a bit more sense now.

Anyway check out there tales at for the interesting stories about there travels

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Wednesday Morning Ride

I had loosely arranged a ride with Steve who works 4 days a week and has Wednesdays off. The plan was meet at Kangaroo Ground at 8am and then head to Kinglake and see from there. I thought that would be turn around and roll back down, 2 hours and we would be done, so I rode out to Kangaroo Ground (about 20kms).

Well when we got to the top Steve said lets drop down into Whittelsea and do the climb Cadel Evans used to train on. Steve is reading the book, says its good, so why not.

So we headed over and down, then did a sharp left before we hit Whittlesea township and headed up Coombs road or the Humevale climb. The road was deserted and it was a steady gradient climb not unlike Chum Creek.

So after the climb we stopped at Pheasant Creek bakery, I had the BEST hot jam donut I have ever had the thing was the size of a football. It was then a furious ride back to Kangaroo Ground as Steve was running late for an appointment.

So as I rolled into my street I had clocked up 126km, not bad when I thought I was doing an 80km ride.

Now the highlight of the ride was the riders we bumped into at the top Coombs road, but more on that later.