Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Scott 24hr ... false start

I had some extra incentive to motivate for the Scott 24hr from the w/e; seeing a number of aussies including local lads Jeff Toohey and Andy Fellows crank out a big one in the World 24hr solo champs in Canmore. These two came 4th elite and 1st 25-29 age group respectively. The aussies clean-sweeped mens elite with top 4 places.

The Scott 24hr is a qualifying event for the Worlds, and I’m keen to be a part of the action next year. 73 days and counting to get fit again, but I’m off to a false start … Andrew Handyside and I headed up to Beerburum for another Glasshouse trail run on the w/e. Andy had a great race and came fourth, AGAIN, much to his own disgust;) One day you’ll crack it for a placing Andy! Keep up the good work.

It was only a 10.5km race, albeit through very boggy fire-trails. Both Andy and I were running with the lead 5 up to the half way point. My legs felt very tight following Hells Bells. I hadn’t been stretching during the week, instead watching the TdF. I knew something wasn’t quite right and decided to walk back. My race was over. Sadly I must have done some minor damage which didn’t really become evident until after a social ride up Mt. Nebo the next day; I have a small tear in my left hami:-( I’ll be icing tonight and getting a massage tomorrow. Hopefully by the end of the week I can ease back into training. The situation sucks because I have "re-motivated" now, but that’s life.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hmmmm, I wonder ....

Well I've enjoyed a lazy 3 weeks with no real training (only limited racing). I live in hope that virtual training counts for something (that would be watching the tour), but somehow I don't think so. GO Cadel!!!!

I'm entertaining thoughts of entering the Scott 24hr in Canberra:


A bloody long way to go for a 24hr race, but this is the biggest event of its kind in the world. Yep, we aussies love our sport! Organisers are expecting 3000 (solo and teams) for the October 2008 event.

It follows only 1 week after the punishing 580km Simpson Desert Bike Challenge. Hmmmmm, I wonder .... Time to turn some pedals before I commit:)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Noosa MTB Enduro

The night before: spinning shit with friends "hubcap", Gary & Karen.

The Noosa Enduro is a favourite course of mine. Excellent course; technicallay challenging and lots of great climbs and hairy descents. Beautiful rainforest with lots of creek crossings, and magnificent views of the whole hinterland from the high-point of the ride. This year there would be some changes to route to meet some QNP&WS requirements for use of trails. This was the third year the race was held, and I have done all three.

This year I toed the line with the elites to get a clean break before the hordes converged on the trails and single-track. The elites get a 3 min head-start for this clear run. Well, unbeknowns to us we were lead on a wild goose chase around town and find out just as we enter the singletrack that most of the open riders are already in front of us. WTF? Evidently they were escorted the correct way through town:-(

It takes quite a while to weave through all the traffic. The trails were very water logged. Lots of creek crossings, mud, slippery rocky climbs, but how can one not enjoy riding through such a beautiful forest. The mud and long grass get into everything on our bikes. I'm cringing at the wear and tear on my drive-train. Already I couldn't use the two highest gears on my cluster.

About 30km in, I'm bombing a hill and continue the climb on the other side. I didn't see the well camoflauged trail marker on the side of the track, and there was nothing else to highlight a direction change, not to me, and not to about 30 others that took the same diversion (some also ahead of me). We were spewing, it was an extra 10km round trip in a 100km ride.

When we get back on track, again we had to negotiate through the traffic, but at least now it is well spread. 10km later I lost touch with a pace-line I had joined. At the half-way point, I needed to find a stick to clear my cluster.

Since I've had a lazy training week thanks to watching the TdF, I wasn't planning an all-out race today. Instead I though I'd challenge myself to ride the "Mother". This is one very, very steep pinch climb, possibly 200m in length. Out of all the elite riders and Word champ reps we have in Qld MTB, only 5 (I believe) have done this climb without putting a foot down in the 2 previous years the event has been held. My climbing has improved heaps, so I would give it a crack!'

When I arrived at the foot of the Mother after 5km of climbing shallower slopes, I could see I had no chance. The surface was a soft clay. NO CHANCE. No-one climbed the Mother this year.

The rain set in. Oh no. For the rest of the ride, the course surface turned to what could best be described as grease. It was very tough going. I felt bad for the intermediate 50 riders. They were all diverted from the flat 50km to the hilly 50km because it was supposed to be dry. Elite riders needed to walk many of these pinch climbs. There was no traction in so many places. Some people doing the intermediate 50 must have walked a large proportion of this course, and were still coming in 6hrs later.

16th/26 in elite finishers. Not a great result but diversions and mechanicals didn;t help the cause. Regardless any rider should feel proud of finishing either course today. I saw more than one of these:

.... [Dances backwards in the hope the next race will be dry] ....

Monday, July 7, 2008

Anduramba 8hr Rogaine

Darn my legs are sore:-(

Trevour Pitt and I teamed up for this 8hr rogaine. I’ve only ever done one rogaine before. It was ages ago, but I remembered it being fun. Rogaines are like orienteering, but points are allocated to each checkpoint based on distance and nav. difficulty required to find them. Teams choose their own course based on how far they THINK they can travel in the allotted time. The team with most points, minus penalties i.e. for returning late, is the winner.

It was a good turn-out for Saturday’s event and I had several friends along in several teams so it was a good social catch-up too. Thor Egerton is off to the World MTB Orienteering Champs soon, and showing why she’s such a good navigator with a classy performance taking out the womens pairs with Claire. Good luck for the Worlds in a few weeks Thor.

Trev and I got off to a quick start, but within the first couple of hours had already made a couple of simple nav. fopars and lost some valuable time. Time to slow down and concentrate a little more on the basics of navigation! This plan worked out well, and we improved on our accuracy. So far the navigation hadn’t been too difficult anyways. The course was on farmland. Fortunately grass not too long, and not too rocky underfoot. I chuckled at the comparison to escaping from a war-camp with all the barbed wire fences we had to climb under, over and through:-) It started to drizzle early on in the race and continued for the remainder of the event.

My lack of time on foot recently began to tell. I haven’t done any running since catching the flu. I wasn’t able to run much for the last half of the rogaine, but Trev was also struggling a little with sore knees. It suited us both to slow down. Our focus for this event was nav. training anyway, so the plan was to soldier on and still get as many points as possible. Into the night we struggled with C.P. 32 in particular, and as a consequence ran out of time to pick up our last two intended controls. We were both limping home, laughing at ourselves for feeling like two geriatrics, and arrived back at the Hash House 15 mins after cut-off. We lost 150 points for late return, but still managed 6th in men’s open. We’re happy with that, but know we both have plenty of room for improvement.

The after event feed was great. Pumpkin soup (YUM) warms the cold bod! The QRA does a really great job of catering for these events. They are a real friendly bunch, so I can highly recommend anyone to go try one of these events.

I think I should have lost more points for also taking a wrong turn on the drive home(DOH!)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tour de Bellthorpe

Sunday 29th June:

The MTB Dirt crew organised another social ride at Bellthorpe last weekend. It's been a while since I've been on any of these rides unfortunately, so today was my chance to catch up with the crew. Bellthorpe is about an hours' drive north of Brisbane, but who can afford petrol these days? I figured a ride to and from this area was in order. 70km warm-up, 45km social ride, and another 70km home.

Our start was very chilly, but the conversation and hills soon warmed the spirit and the bod.

The fog lingered today, but this only added to the rainforest experience

Troy milking this descent for all its worth

Warren has done the hard work, now for the reward

The three amigos, just trying to sneak in one more photo for the "spot the Noosa Enduro cycling jersey" photo competition.

These MTB Dirt rides are always good fun and well organised. Check them out here: http://www.mtbdirt.com.au/home/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=26&board=38.0/