Category Archives: Racing

Pedalling harder than the other guy

Kanangra Classic 2013 Cancelled

At the 2012 Kanangra Classic

At the 2012 Kanangra Classic

Last year, I rode my first 100km mountain bike race since getting back on the bike, at the 2012 Kanangra Classic. It’s a good introductory XCM, mainly on firetrails, with no excessively hard or technical riding, with a high potential average speed and scope for some tactical group riding, and I was very much looking forward to a return visit this year.

Sadly, due to the current bushfire threat, the 2013 race has been cancelled. At this late stage, with money committed and so much prep already done, there are no refunds. Any leftover funds are going to the Rural Fire Service, which is fine with me.

Personally, I’m a bit gutted. I was targeting a podium or category win in the vets classification, which I’m sure I could achieve on current fitness – but I completely understand why it’s been done. There’s a fire burning a few kms west of the trails themselves, and yesterday there was a report of an uncontrolled outbreak a mere 4km from the event centre, at the southern extremity of the actual race circuit. Mountain Sports have released an email outlining the cancellation and should be updating the event website soon.

Next race: the 2013 Camelbak Highland Fling in November

Singletrack Mind 2013 Round 3 : Awaba

Chocolate_Foot_Awaba_Sept_2013__0762September 29th saw Round three of Chocolate Foot’s SRAM Singletrack Mind series roll around. I hadn’t intended on racing this series at all this year, but I did round two at Coondoo as a pair with Steve Kick (under the moniker Velofix) and this whetted my appetite somewhat. So when round three rolled around, I signed up – this time for a seven hour solo.

Since getting back onto the bike in 2012, I’ve raced mainly 100km and four hour races, with a couple of shorter smashfests, so seven hours is a bit of a step up in endurance terms. Still, Awaba is probably the trail where I’ve got most track time. Continue Reading →

Bad habits

It’s been a pretty good year so far, riding and racing wise. But there are more gains to be made.

That’s why, for the last month or two, I’ve been actively looking at, and trying to work on, some bad habits of mine, on both the road bike and the mountain bike. I thought it might be useful to put a few of them down in a blog post, and maybe ask readers (I know there at least a couple of you out there) what their bad habits are, if they share any of my bad habits, and how they might get rid of them.

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The best overtaking move you’ve ever seen

And there’s a bonus second angle…

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Shimano MTB GP Round 4 : Mount Annan

This is a somewhat late post, because, well, there was a thing. I’m not sure if you noticed it. The Tour De France. It’s just a little bike race, but watching it kinda got in the way of some things, especially since I took a week off work and vanished to a hotel somewhere in a far-flung NSW wine region to watch the final epic week.

Both wheels off the ground as is right and proper

I really will get round to buying the proper images soon folks.

Anyway, round four of this year’s Shimano MTB GP took place a couple of weeks back at Mount Annan, home of the Australian Botanic Garden. Not the most obvious place for a mountain bike trail, an non-Sydneysider might think at first glance, but it’s one of the region’s better known and best managed trails. Rocky Trail as ever managed to put on a fantastic day of racing, the weather stayed resolutely cool and dry, and though I wasn’t plagued with the tyre issues of the previous round, not everything went according to plan.. Continue Reading →

The US, Liberia, Burma and Liggetsherwenistan

This week, like many of you, I’m watching the Tour De France, which is wonderful, though I’m trying not to blog much about it because saturation.

Still, I have to note that I’m feeling particularly exercised during this tour, because I’m watching the SBS coverage, sitting about three metres from a 155cm television, in a country that runs on metric, watching a bike race – a sport that runs on metric – in a country that runs on metric and I still have Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen attempting to explain stuff to me in miles.


I mean, what the fuck even is a “mile”? And why would anyone want to do an arbitrary number of them per hour? Continue Reading →

Shimano MTB GP Round 3: Ourimbah

The author, obscured by watermark. Will buy the real one soon, honest.

This past weekend saw the third round of the 2013 Rocky Trail Shimano MTB GP, out at one of my favourite circuits, Ourimbah Mountain Bike Park near Sydney. I rode in the 4hr Solo Male Elite category, and here’s how my race went.

There’s generally quite a civilised feel to the start of a morning at a Rocky Trail event. The 9am race start, when compared to the 7am sharp of something like Capital Punishment, for example, is positively luxurious, so I made good use of the time, registered early and went out on a lap to check the state of the course. This was a deliberate choice – Ourimbah has many A and B line options, and a few spots of rain earlier in the week would inevitably leave a mix of hero dirt and slippery mud, so line choice could be significant. I’d also recently modded my bike with narrower handlebars, which would make some lines less of a squeeze and change my options for riding them. Finally, I hadn’t ridden the Lost Forest in a long while, and was a little unsure of how it would go.

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Race Report – The 2013 Convict 100

Before I delve into my experience at this year’s Convict 100, a note on geology.

Elsewhere in the world, Geologists divide rocks, the lifeblood of their profession, into three broad categories. Igneous rocks, formed in the fires of volcanic fury. Sedimentary, laid down over eons in ancient seas and finally metamorphic, beginning as one type but being transformed into another through the immense pressures of geological processes.

Here in Australia, there are also three types of rock.

Rocks made from sand
And sand with rocks in.

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Whaddaya mean I’m racing the next day? Aaaaaaagh.

Race Report: Capital Punishment 2013

Last weekend, I made the trek to the nation’s capital for the annual Capital Punishment 100km MTB Marathon race.

Previous years’ XCM series status was not forthcoming this year, for various reasons, but the field was still packed,with over 700 finishers crossing the 100km finish line at Stromlo, first of whom were Andy Blair for the Elite Men and Jenny Fay for the Elite Women. A further 709 riders finished the 50km version of the race from the National Arboretum to Stromlo, led home by Bradley Morton and Kylie Webb respectively.

For my part, I rolled into Kowen Forest at around 6am, parked my car in the dark and saddled up for my 7am start window, stopping only for a coffee and a return to the car when I realised I’d sleepily headed for the start sans helmet and gloves. A good start, huh?

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