Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Christchurch CX Race at Steamscene July 14 2013

Took Friday off work to drive up to CHCH.
1hour 10 to Omarama, looking forward to coffee at the Mobil station; the disappointment lasted all the way to Twizel as it was thermo nuclear.
Lunch at Farm Barn cafe near Fairlie = yum everytime.
Finally found the elusive Thompsons track which basically follows the old train line from Geraldine to Rakaia.
Then the new motorway leads round to Woolston way nicely without any of that snarl up through Hornby etc.

My host for the weekend; Marc Sharman said meet me at the Brewery
Pizza, beer and a friend of his; Ali who physco analysed me all night.
I was easy - she's a child physcologist.

Saturday we managed to achieve very little - at the market, a visit to Eastgate Mall which had Mr Sharman climbing the walls to escape the Zombie Apocolypse, coffee here and there and we didn't even get into the CBD.
Oh, I forgot Ewen chased and faced the headtube on my dualie 29er while Marc ogled the Cup Cake girls.

No pub before race and due to a lack of geographical awareness no coffee enroute to the race either.
Lucky we smashed one down in St Martins early in the morning.

Scott, Jeremy and the gang ( I guess we could mention Timo here and his nodding Mercedes dog) put on another sensational course with a spiral of doom, hail and rain at the start a new section out the back with actual sand, noted that it wasn't liquifaction !

Anyone in fancy dress or a skinsuit got a headstart on the Le Mons running start through the spiral of doom. Have to say that running in cycling shoes in ever decreasing circles is pretty dicey.

Somebody won, probably Logan or Dayle.
Results and more pictures here
I finished in front of the first Lady home and Marc and Peter Page so that's my bragging done.
Um, Darron Burns pasted me in pure straight line speed in his first CX race but did have to crash a few times in the corners. Top effort.

Then we went to the pub for Collector Card number 2 release party.
Special thanks to Ewen for bringing his stunt double along without a translator.
A good turn out, with Shark Marmon co-ordinating his floozies nicely throughout the night so there was never any down time.
For a Sunday night we once again behaved like small children who like drinking. Awesome.

Monday was low key, pack up have coffee with Marc & Scott then back track home with a stop at the museum in Fairlie for chow which was excellent and highly recommended.

Cycleworld Dunedin CX Race 4 - Kaikorai Valley

OMG, the courses just get better and better.
This one through a garden centre and surrounds which used to be a firewood and car wreckers yard.
I thought it much like Kosovo mid conflict.

Puddles over your shoes and you have no idea what's lurking beneath.

A fast pace on a long course meant this week I pretty much sucked.
Mind you I didn't crash or puncture.

Craig Bates came back with a vengeance after I pasted him the week before at Forester Park.
Kashi Leuchs pasted most everyone and finished second behind Tristan.
Speaking of Kashi - I've never raced with him previously - no surprises there, but man can he ride - he flows like water. Very Impressive.
Timo & Dayle and Dayle's hot Mrs made the trip from Christchurch and weren't disappointed.
Neither was I.

This race also marked the unveiling of the Richard Woodward Collector card series.

Thanks to Matt & Trudi for the accomodation and my family for braving the cold weather on the day.

Brendan Ward Photgraphy was there again which contributed the next card in the series, but more on that later.

Results and more race details here

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cycleworld Dunedin CX Series Race 3

Like one glass of red is never enough, I was back for more.
Keighley had worked Saturday, I was 50/50 on making the 600 km round trip for another hour of mud and splash.
The weather was also in question after Wellington's south coast had been slammed by weather not seen since the Wahini disaster.
Wanaka and Central Otago had snow too.

Within 15 mins of Keighley arriving home, I was back out the door wishing the Tardis had been first cab off the rank on Jumpstarter....
So I drove the 3 hours with snow chains at the ready, but alas they stayed inside the truck.

Matt & Trudy were once again gracious hosts with excellent coffee, muesli, toast, cheese toasty sandwiches and muesli bars all on tap before the leisurely start of 2.30pm.

A different location this week around the Forester Park - just up the valley from the steepest street in the Wooooooooooooooooooorld.

Great course: tar seal, muddy walking track, bark garden, uphill walk/carry, culverts to cross, plywood covering the same culvert down the hill (slidey slidey), singletrack in the Spooky Forest, tight turns and the BMX track......

Not surprisingly Scott Lyttle again lapped me - but only once this time.
Maybe he was toying with me like a cat does a mouse, maybe I had him strung out and he was on the ropes ?
Guess we'll find out in Race 3.

Mechanicals played havoc with a couple of locals before the start with punctures, mud ate most everyone's traditional brake pads away during the race.

My prediction is that next year disc brakes will be the norm, not the exception.

Wellington & Christchurch hosted their first races the same day and had good turnouts - no mention of Fight Club though.

Round 3 is ooking good with the import controls being relaxed to allow a couple of Cantabs in da house.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cycleworld Dunedin CX Series Race 2

The local Cyclocross season was already one race ahead of me and my enthusiasm was low.
Enter Big Gav, also from Wanaka, who said he would collect me on Saturday and “be ready”
Luckily he hadn’t prepared a playlist in the style of “As Good As It Gets” and we arrived in Dunners 3 hours later.
I had quietly observed him devour a packet of Jet Planes single handedly and wondered what else he was on?
So much potential for crass blokey humour as this point.

I stayed in Mosgiel. The rain was horizontal.

Gav was in the North end of Dunedin where the street lights were still on mid morning.
Perfect biking weather.
Tomahawk is on the East Coast and comparatively sheltered.

Cycleworld had set up a brilliant course around the sports grounds with a road section to join it back together – after we’d splashed through the estuary.

31 riders started, 30 finished. One hit the road and then tried to hit the rider that he hit.

Around 50 mins later Scott Lyttle passed me for the second time, timing couldn’t have been better as that meant just one more lap.
I was pretty cooked so that was a blessing – except the timing lady insisted it wasn’t the bell lap….my new friend Nick and I discussed the ramifications of this and trundled around for one more and maybe one more.
Gav and Tristan Lawrence passed us just short of the finish line for 2nd & 3rd.

Nick and I thought we were owed an extra lap so we used that as a warm down and swapped stories; he’d watched the first race of the series the week before and stepped up this week for a ride.
Post race smack talk had rumours circulating of an altercation during the race.
 It turned out it was just like Days of Thunder : “rubbings racing boy” except it had escalated to Fight Club.
Good times.
Our trip home was looking low key, just 3 hours, until we hit Clyde. Rather big rocks had hit the road and closed it prior to our arrival and wasn’t reopening till the next morning.

Two options, no three presented themselves.
1)      Find beer and consider next move.
2)      Ring Bluebird Malcolm and invite ourselves round for the night.
“Gidday it’s Malcolm here, super busy right now, please leave a message”
3)      Go cross country up and over the hill to Bannockburn was what we tried. Last time up that hill was for downhill shuttles in a big 4WD – we were in a Subaru Outback with a river running down the track towards us.

Up the top things got progressively worse; the puddles bigger and deeper. We turned back when the water was over Gav’s gummies.
Another call and a few beers later had us, well me, snoring my way thru a forest all night long.
Driving home next day you couldn’t see any sign of the rock fall.

Oh well, no matter. Happy Birthday Gavin.

16 June 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tarras - Roubix 2nd June 2013

Paris - Roubaix; a race steeped in history.
Tarras - Roubaix; a ride steeped in filth and a little cow shit.

So a wet and windy day greeted the Gentlemen this morning at the Tarras Coffee Shop. We supped coffee while waiting for one late entrant to arrive.

Scotty Rainsford - local Outside Sports bike shop guy and carbon cop out.

Myself - informal Club Captain for the day.
Matt Corbett - a visitor from Dunedin with most unsuitable bike of the day rolling tubular tires and no spare, until I lent him a couple.

David Drake - obviously riding with me last weekend didn't scare him off for today.

Marty Rowan - the smiling assassin. Turned up with a Titanium bike and 23mm tires and rode strong all day. 

Gavin Mason - Didn't need knee warmers. Everyone else did. Certainly had a spring in his step.
Sarah Goodwin - another visitor from Dunedin, actually a 28 year old dentist with excellent oral habits; no doubt.
Seat height difference - you do the math...............

Dan Van Asch - the elder statesman and our late arrival sporting a fancy new bike to ease his old bones.

 A 10am departure led us north towards the Lindis Pass, about 10km on the road. 

A real mixed bag of cross winds through the trees, getting blown up Cluden Hill and hanging on for dear life on the way down: I mean really hanging on not knowing which way the wind would try and whip your bars.
Down on the flat Scotty had obviously forgotten the gentle part of the ride and bought his heart rate up to cruising speed, of course Marty and David couldn't leave him alone.
I felt like the little that engine that couldn't.
A couple of times I felt helpless in a 39 x 24 headwind haze.

A quick regroup and photo, then off up the gravel hill to home.

Yes, I was last up the hill -  I was in no hurry.
Actually I was trying as hard as I could and still went backwards compared to the others.
That's ok, I didn't have to wait at the top in the rain.

 The descent was long and fast - remember this is gravel and had turned into an impromptu Enduro, as is the go these days.
Taking a few right handers mighty fast the wind catches you like bringing a boat into the wind and slows things down sufficiently.
Some of that poo on the road might not have come from cows ya know ?
Some tailwind action brings the speed right round till you're all out of gears - holy shit, I'm spinning out the dog - yee ha.
16km of gravel bought us back around to the cars and another coffee.
The ladies thought we were nuts before we went riding and cussed us in the kitchen for dripping all over the floors afterwards.

Scotty is hatching his own version in a few weeks, but it shouldn't clash with any CX action.

A good couple of hours in atrocious weather.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hawea Epic 95km 2013

How hard can it be riding a farm track around a lake - water is flat right ??

"much to learn in 6 hours and 40 minutes you have"

 - Look Yoda, its a cold southerly, dark and drizzling - what would you know.

Apparently he knows lots, cause I did learn many things that day, just a week ago.

4.45am is really early to wake up, have coffee and try to keep breakfast down

5.30am is not any more civil, but the lift to the start with Zeph & Sarah was.

"Here, let me put your bike on, have another coffee"
Love that shit.

Note to self, take a head torch next time, trying to wipe your bum in a DOC toilet in pitch black is pure guess work.

Ok, 5 mins to start. We are in the first 3 rows. It is dark still and then we ride through a tree canopy which is darker.

Some muppet tries to lock handle bars with me, but he ends up in the water ditch. A few folks have lights - they are my friends.

A 2 km climb early on has many many people removing jackets. I unzip mine and sweat it out.

I pass many slower riders on the downhills.

They pass me right back when I get a flat.
I pump my shit arse little pump like maybe one hundred times, the tire self seals and we're off again. I catch Sarah crossing the river at the top off the lake.
As soon as I turned into the headwind it was much much colder - funny that.

Gloves saturated from rain and river crossing. Can't move ankle/shin interface, so stomp on pedals like a Russian.

The first 4 guys in the 125km race pass me soon after - they are like a team pursuit on the track.
Didn't look like fun so left them to it.

Saw my personal photographer, Stefan and mechanic Nick at Green Bush hut. Refill camelback, eat food, put on knee warmers and jacket.

Happier now.

Riders with grim faces on hard tails pass me, they are hating life right now. Glad I stayed up late the night before and made a few quick mods to dual suspension 29er:

Install new used brake pads.

Tighten headset.

Changed wheels.

And cassette.

Oiled chain.

Forks had the new cartridge installed mid week.

New bearings installed after facing bottom bracket shell.

Swap out pedals - hate mine to fall off, huh.

Otherwise I just pumped up the tires

The scenery is stunning - the near valleys are topped with snow - it really is picturesque.

I feel like I'm stuck on the slow lane and the only people I pass are broken down. This is hard work.

Trying to eat and drink is a chore. Every time you think It's food time, an up or down arrives that requires either two hands on the bars or an empty mouth to breath.

Drink some water - sure thing. Take a leak - it's really cold.

Repeat all day.

I caught Sarah who had a puncture.

I took over while she ate.

We laughed at some guy who was laughing at us, until he realised he had a puncture too. He was n't happy and his mother would not of approved of his potty mouth.

We were gone before he even had a tube in.

Steve Gurney nearly takes me out as I veer left to go around a big hole/puddle. He's coming up the inside, but not fast enough. I can see his bars beside me so I do the nice thing and go through the hole. I laughed and said a few words.

I also said "you're lucky I'm not a train Steve"

He laughed and commented that my jacket was the same colour.

Ho ho ho.

Dingle Station was serving tea and scones.

The ride thus far was serving up pain and suffering.

It was fun fun fun and then it wasn't anymore.

I thought Keighley might not like to do this next year.

No matter, the last 30 kms was on gravel road that was damp and not fast.

Oh, unless your name is Gavin Mason and the big diesel was finally getting would up after too much steamed pudding the night before. Freak.

I walked up the hill out of Timaru Creek so I could eat and stretch everything.

Melissa Newell passed me looking very wobbly.

Squeaking chain - hey lady, can I oil that for ya ?

"sure, got any water and food ? I'm frozen"

She finished 9th women home in the long one.

Hannah Thorn caught me at the top while I was taking another leak. Her chain was barking too. She passed Melissa before the finish.

Sarah and I rode and rode and rode. I'm sure the distance signs were up the shit.

No matter, we crossed the line to rapturous applause from the locals and then were besieged by the local CRT real estate agent and his mate the cop.

"how was it, would you do it again? do you like my new bike?'

"Hard, no, that's nice."

I felt pretty broken, my eyes were full of crap - glasses got rain on both sides early on, so sat atop my helmet the whole way. Might go pursuit helmet with visor next time.

My back was so sore I nearly asked Keighley to undo my shoes.

Yes, I fell asleep on the couch mid afternoon and had an early night.

I have no idea why I rode to work on the Monday, but I did.

It was a big day out or me, but hey, a few guys did it twice in one day last year and while I rode for just over 6 hours, in Rotorua the 24 hr champs were on - many people were riding solo, much of it in the rain and dark.

Spare a thought for those suckers.

That's truely a big day out.

How about next year the 24 hr champs bring themselves to Hawea and we see you solo's bust out 4 laps ??

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Naseby 12 hour MTB Race, 2013

Entering this race is prestigious in itself.
45 mins after they open, the entries are full.
Luckily for me, we sponsor it, so staying up past midnight was not required.

Our usual compliment of men folk were up for it:
Marc Sharman - now residing in Christchurch, working for KRD who are an importer of wonderful MTB goods such as WTB, Raceface, Lezyne and more, I'm sure.
Matt Boulcott - recently married to the lovely Emily and more recently residing in Palmerston North where he deposits over 1/2 his paycheck from flying helicopters, directly into the bike shop called Crank It.
Myself - still in Wanaka - no recent life changing events to report other than given up the devils drink since January, this is actually in question as to whether it is making me faster or slower.

Two new additions to the team for this year.

Simone Maier - superstar of the Ironman and Adventure racing circuit. Recent awesomeness include smashing the Motutapu race record by 8 minutes, but due to a technical bumble you won't see her name on the winners board.
Moving on she won the Goldrush a couple of weeks back by like an hour.
And finished 4th in the Challenge Wanaka Ironman in January.

Melissa Newell - Tall, Blond and with dodgy hips, I can say no more at this stage.

Mr Corbett had entered Solo, withdrawn, faltered, withdrawn his withdrawl, then turned up to ride Solo as if nothing had happened. And he did the most laps with a sneaky beer in between. Confusing I know.

Zero degrees and frozen windscreens greeted us in Ranfurly.
Dropping our gear out of a chopper would have been slower than our dump and run with our 3 cars and 6 people at the pits.

Cam McHardy had the helm at our campsite this year; his dad Jeff who is our regular camp mother had St Johns duty this year. We share with 4 other teams, so there is always plenty of action going on.

The only thing I forgot this year was arm warmers, but Mops (Melissa) had some new kit from one of her long line of sponsors, I borrowed them and they were great - so good, that if I was in a position to do so, I'd be buying a new home from

As you can see from the live timing system that Emily was in charge of, there was no delay in disappointment (in my case), much chest beating (from Marc Sharman), who the hell messed with my suspension ? (Matt Boulcott), well I'm still awesome (Simone), and take that you pussy boys - fastest lap hell yeah (Mops)

Early on we were in 6th place in the Mixed Teams, we liked that spot so much we stayed there right to the end.

It was truely a great day out - a constant stream of riders passing by from the kids, solo's, singlespeeders, fast whippets, not so fast older folk, fancy dress - you name it, there it was.

Having done this event I think 4 years now, you get to recognise many faces and meet a few new ones and a few faraway voices over the phone.

For myself, it's especially a big day out.
Organising a team, the tent, timing, food, 2 bikes and riding laps too.
Then there's the other stuff, like been first into the showers, yelling at unsuspecting souls from the sidelines with the only saving grace being: there is little chance of anyone turning around to discuss matters further.

If I had one request to make it better - top the trees so the sun can reach us all day long in sponsors row.
Sure does look pretty at nigh though:

Next year is the tenth anniversary.
Feel free to submit your application to be on my team, you're welcome.