Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Kellevie 24hr

I was really looking forward to my first interstate 24hr event, even moreso that it would be in beautiful Tassy. I'd heard reports the Kellevie track was rough and rocky. After just one warm-up lap, I knew I'd have my hands full on a HT. All the locals seemed to ride dually's.

There were a few fellow Queenslander and other interstate riders toeing the line. I didn't know many at all, but I did quickly migrate to the Qld camp;) Thanks for use of the chair Nick:) My pit arrangement would have been pretty primitive otherwise;)

Race start:

I felt really underdone with training of late, but I wasn't going to let that get in the way of having a good crack. The gun fired and, to my suprise, I was leading out the solos. About 4km in, I had a little gumby stack, and a few riders snuck past. I didn't know how many of these were solo or team riders. After a couple laps, I snuck past Sam Chancellor in transition, but he quickly jumped my wheel. I led the next 3 laps in solos. I tried to break Sam on the hills and on some fast flats, but he seemed to comfortably re-catch me on the rough desecents.

About 3hrs in, Sam slowly pulled away. Without any support crew, I had to stop at transitions and didn't have any much appreciated feedback about race positions. I maintained a strong pace up to the 12hr mark (just under 200km), but quickly started to peter off from here. Limited training was showing. Third place caught me at the 13hr mark, and I had a rare soft moment .... I decided I'd comfortably get my WC qualifier, so decided I could afford a sleep.

I felt guilty as crap after 5hrs sleep. How soft am I?!? The course had really taken its toll though. My callased hands had blisters all over, and my arse, well, I know you don't want to go there, but lets just say "baboon arse" thanks to all those rocks. I rode most of the final 6hrs standing up!

The course wasn't steep but included a testing rock garden, some great single track, rainforest sections. My compliments to the Kellevie track crew. There was brief rain several times during the night. It was threatening to pour down, but never did.

The back end of my race was a real let-down. I'd lost some motivation and just went through the motions to get my WC qualifier. Anyways, this race was a great mental learning experience for me: 3rd in category and 6th place overall. Hmmmm, now if work would just allow me some time to train .....

I rode the last few laps with Nick Westwood and was pleased to see Nick perservere and also get his WC qualifier. Top effort amigo!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Inspirational Biking Adventures

I always enjoy reading and following inspirational adventures. Here are a couple I have recently stumbled upon:

No.1. Mike Curiak's solo and unsupported Alaskan MTB touring.

Mike is presently attempting the first solo and unsupported ride of the 1100 mile Iditarod trail. I believe he may also be utilising a single wheel trailer. Mike started one day behind the ITI racers, and is making good progress considering he's carrying all his own supplies and not utilising any en-route assistance. His only benefit is in following the snowmobile formed trails like the ITI racers.

You can read all about the background and his motivation for attempting this route on his blog here. Mike has some pretty inspirational photos there of terrain he will be covering. This is one:

Mike started with 24 days food onboard for this adventure. He's 7 days in now and needs to maintain a steady schedule before his food and fuel supplies run out. My hat is off to ya Mike. Good luck.

No.2. Greg Kolodziejzyk's pedal the ocean expedition.

Greg is planning to pedal a high-tech, custom-designed, human–powered boat called WiTHiN 4500 kilometres from Vancouver to Hawaii! Check out details of the adventure here.

Check out footage of a trial on the inside passage here. This is a 10 min vid, but well worth the look.

Good luck Greg. Inspirational stuff!!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Iditarod Trail Invitational - Day 4

The first bikers have completed the 350 mile ITI. Peter Basinger took out the win just 33 mins ahead of equally experienced Jeff Oatley. This was Pete's 4th ITI win. Both riders were in a league of their own, approx a full day ahead of third place Jay Petervary who has yet to finish. Pete finished in 3days 9hrs 45mins. Given the length of this race, Jeff came very close to catching Pete given Pete had built up a 6hr lead going into Rainy Pass Lodge check-point 165 miles into the race.

All of the back of the pack has now passed the half way.

It'll be interesting to see how many continue the full 1100 mile trail to Nome, and also how conditions pan out further north.

Above photo was taken from a ITI flicker photo site; no credit listed.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Iditarod Trail Invitational

The 2010 race is underway, and the favourites (Pete Basinger, Jeff Oatley & Jay Petervary) are leading the way with a wealth of experience in these tough conditions. This year I'm watching from the luxury of my couch, but hopefully next year I can be on that startline myself. What an adventure[:-}

Here's a link to the latest news update.

Here's the current leaderboard:

Pete (race leader) has recently left Puntilla heading towards Rohn. Looks like tough territory even on the topo. I can only imagine what it will be like there next year ....