Sunday, August 29, 2010

It wasnt that bad!

Crusties 2 race report.
What a bunch of nutters. 170 riders turned out for the 1st round of the PNP MTB series today in Makara, despite the pounding rain. I went for the singlespeed because I figgered it would be less expensive in the wear and tear department. It was a mild uphill start geared perfectly for my 32-18 Wellington gear, but Rob Kilvington's last minute warm-up technique had him executing a u-turn on the start line that Russell Coutts would have been proud of, except he did it right in front of me! I regained my momentum but my shot at stardom (winning the hole-shot) was gone as Angry Clive and a couple of sqids shot up the road. I knew Jonny Waghorn was still behind me as I approached the start of the Rimu track and was just about to look behind and let him through, when he shot past like a rocket!

That was pretty much the last I saw of Jonny. At the very bottom of the hill I must have grabbed a handful of brakes, as I nearly missed the first right turn. I remember noticing that it seemed quite hard pedaling as I made my way through the senior womens class. I got balked by a group and stopped to push the bike. WHAT! The wheels were reluctant to turn. My new uber weight weener brakes I had just borrowed off Marco had locked them selves on....

I ignored it for a while until I could pull over and have a look, sure enuff, the system had come undone, and the left pad was jammed onto the rim. I was pretty gutted. All the chickies passed me back again... Oh crap. Theres just no  passing lanes out there when the blow-torch is on the y-fronts. I stopped again and then decided not to bother with it after that, eventually the pads would wear down and it would get easier. There was a new clunking coming from the front tho, that was a bit worrying, after another 10 mins and the leaping lizard descent I recognised it as a loose front QR!

Jonny back in the day when he was a cool kid
on a Yeti with Manitou bumper forks.

That was the last stop I did until the end. I was glad to have two long sleeve tops on, and a jacket in my back pack. If you had to stop to fix a flat you could easily have ended up with hypothermia. When I finished I noticed my seat post had slid down 5 cms, which probably accounted for me feeling pretty good on the final descent!

Apparently Jonny Waghorn won the crusties class, (on his singlespeed) after Angry Clive added on a bit extra and included the t3 track into his race! What a legend ride by Jonny.

Al and Ash did a great job as MCs and watching Hiskeys little boy try to negotiate the choice of spot-prizes to include lollies was a laugh. The little guy also did an awesome job of hawking his chocolate bars on the door.

Bring on round 2.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Random stuff.

Some cool stuff for the week. Ex Olympian and NZ Yet importer, Kashi Leuchs has unveiled his mount for the singlespeed Worlds in Roto-vegas in october. Its a Big-top 29er. See the photo here by Derek Morrison. He reckons he will have some more in the country for sale soon.

Some more info on the Big-top 29er.

To see what others are riding at the Singlespeed worlds, go here:

Kashi puts the bike through its paces down south.

Found this link in CAN's mail-out.
- Cycling is an evil United Nations plot, says US politician

PNP MTB champs round one this weekend. 90 pre-entries already!

But check out this for a wicked adventure ride the following weekend! 170kms adventure ride for you and 3 of your lucky buddies. Ride to Erehwon,

 VEGAN Bacon! Hmmmmmmmm

Friday, August 20, 2010

Roto-vegas and placebo braking

A break in the weather
My second single-speed road-trip took place last weekend when we hit the road for Rotorua via Taupo. It pretty much rained continuously the whole weekend. Not Wellington styled horizontal rain, but gentle, not-so-cold vertical rain.

This time it was Sepp and his buddy Kevin, myself, Peter "Magneto" Reynolds and his nephew Dan, who came down from Auckland. Once again the digs were pretty swish, but Peter and Sepp still had to have an arm wrestle over who got the double bed, even though there were two spare.
Dans Jefson Rohloff, very tasty.
It was quite a show, and after about 5 mins it was called off in a draw. I think the effort that Sepp put into it reflected in his below par performance on the sunday, and Peter elected not to ride at all, altho he did get out with Dan on the saturday. Sepp and Kevin also got out on the saturday where after a 2 hour ride Sepp decided he would sit in a hot pool by the side of the track and test his cell phone's water proof capabilities. After a couple of hours in front of the fire the phone was back to its original working state. Quite impressive.

Normally when it rains in an MTB race, I am not a very happy person, but in Rotorua the mud is completely different than the rubbish we have down here in Wellington. Everyone was basically riding around on summer tires! People obviously thought I looked a bit strange riding with a medusa mud tire on AND a rear mudguard. Yes, very uncool.

I just thought I'd throw this in...
My choice of a fairly low gear ratio was a good one in my book as I made a good start up the first hill. After about 30 mins my old buddy Susie Wood had caught me in the single track and we rode together for another 30 mins until we hit the first hills. I had to let Susie go at that point as my gear was too tall. (Susie went on to win the womans class). My rear brakes had already mostly gone (vee-brakes) so I was trying to limit my rear braking. I adjusted them 3 times over the race, and then started on the front brakes which were also coming into the bars. At least I was able to adjust them with the big knob on the top of the cyclinder. I was amazed at the "placebo-effect" of rear wheel braking when you dont actually have any brakes. It was teaching me how to ride more adventureously which is always a good thing.

I'd have to say the course was 95% rideable, apart from the walking bits, that only the single-speeders walk.
Another great weekend in Roto-vegas.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

MCM hammer.. Singlespeed version 3

What a minter. In the early 2000's this was the frame to have. Its been hanging up in Franicis's laundry since about then. It did the 2002 Nationals XC season under Rob Scott in Vet 1. Rob was a hard core weight weener and the whole bike was a sub 20 pound hardtail with some very fruity but sometimes dodgy componentry. I remember catching Rob while he was riding this frame, in the first round of the 2002 nationals in Nelson. It was a muddy course and my shimano compatible gripshift stopped working on lap 1 giving me only the front 3 gears. Some how I managed to win the race, against Chris Faithful, but it was my only win of the series that year. My pedal sheared off while I was winning the Hawkesbay round and I was 2nd at the Karapoti and Rotorua Rounds.

Thanks to Francis at Jville Cycles for the loan of this frame. I better look after it. Its spotless.

I am not sure if that seat will stay, I cant believe I rode the Brevet on it. Ouch.
I'd like to thank my sponsors ; )

It really pulls the chicks

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A slow learner

I had a good Single Speed ride in the weekend. Rather than do another CX race I thought I would have a bit more fun and get more familiar with the SSer at Makara Peak with Austrian Pro Sepp Hribar. I was trialing a 32-18 ratio and it was pretty sweet anywhere we went.

By chance we were also both trialing rear mudguards, Sepp's was a Bontrager, and mine was an SKS X3 brand. Mine rocked, Sepps sucked. He reckoned thats it cos he is a big hitter. I reckoned it was cos his was naff and it couldnt be tightened enough on his Joplin seat post.
Sepp's only been riding off road for 1 year and hes already smacking me to bits on the downhills. Kind of annoying when you consider that for the 15 years before I started racing MTBs I was on motorbikes. He did do a Peter Reynolds skills course twice though, so maybe that was the secret.

It was a little bit muddy at Makara, but by the time I had ridden back out to the Hutt Valley the rain had washed most of the mud off my bike. When I was in at Jville Cycles the day before, Francis offered to loan me an old Carbon Giant MCM frame he had lying about for the SS worlds. It should be very light. Watch this space.

Franicis's workshop also appeared to be home to a bevy of classic motocross bikes that he races these days. I reckon I must have met Francis about 23 years ago, while trying to buy parts for my aging 1973 Yamaha RD 350. Francis and Al Heine were running a motor bike shop in Lower Hutt. I think Al is now the Intense, Foes and Fox importer for NZ, among other things. At least Franicis's years on two wheels manifest themselves in good riding skills. Maybe I am just a slow learner, and my best is yet to come : )

A moody shot of Single Speed Ver. 2 on the River Bank
while riding out to the Upper Hutt CX a few weeks ago.