Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Scorching the trail

Seemed the time had come once again to get things moving in the dark. Sadly for most of us, the time to start thinking about some form of illumination has come around again. Even whilst I type this in the morning, its still dark, and most of our rides in the evening conclude in the dark. So out with the NightLightning lights it is!

Jason and I headed to the Dandenongs once again for some late night pedaling to do some testing on the latest NightLightning offerings, and get some images down. Running the iBlaast II's with Cree R2 LED's see's about 40% more light making it down the trail over the existing, and excellent, iBlaast. Up to 1000Lumens at full noise, thats a hell of a lot of light. Pair that up with a bar light, and it practically cheating!

You can see how much light is actually making it down on the trail, how does that compare to your existing brand of lights? Pretty impressive I'd say!

The photo above is actually both Jason and myself on the trail. Have a look at how clear the trail is from our lights. The flashwork from the camera only illuminates the riders to capture us, all the light on the trail is from our iBlaasts!

And finally you know you've got some lights going for you when you can brake slide through unknown corners at speed in the dark...! So whilst this post seems like an advertorial, and is in a fashion, it does serve to give you a valid comparison to you existing brand of lights. Next time your out riding around in the dark, have a look at how much light you're getting. And if you see us around, please ask us for a test ride. This year promises to bring some exciting developments at NightLightning we're told, so you'll see it all here first.

(and please, don't forget that my F1C is still for sale. 60cm, awesome condition, begging for a new life with you or someone you know.)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cup of coffee before me, I sit with hands atop the keyboard. What to post here? I've got a fair bit to talk about, but I don't know if its worthy of one post...!?

I guess I'll start and see how we go. I got out for Hell Ride this morning aboard my F1C (did I happen to mention its for sale - check it out!!) with a thankfully smaller crew due to a few spits of rain. Thinking I was running late, it was action stations, but it was a false alarm. Turned out that Bellie was there today, which was nice so we chatted our way along at the back for most of the ride, until Bellie decided he saw a carrot up the road and away we went chasing some random for no real reason...

Ripping into an Ascend bar whilst I was out there helped heaps. I find that unlike some, I have to keep eating something at least every hour. I'd love to be able to do a ride on 4 drops of sweat and no food, but I need to eat and drink to stay moving. Thankfully, I use Ascend bars and as well as tasting as good as anything that Cadbury has in the market, they give me all the fuel I need!!

On the topic of Ascend, we'd like to remind you that we have a deal that means that anyone who sees this blog is eligible for a special rate on all Ascend products. Its a simple code we can give anyone interested that will give you a special price when you shop online with Ascend. Contact us here for the code and we'll hook you up!!

What else? We've just received a bottle of the Squirts dry chain lube for an extended test, so mass drive train cleaning is in full effect before application and long term testing. We'll bring you what we find as we go!

And finally, we should have some pictures of a night photo shoot taken last week with carrying results. What we did find out is that there are definitely some sweet trails in the Dandenongs..!!

So thats it, looks like there might be some dirt action tomorrow, so we'll get all elmo on it should that pan out!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mid week escape.

Two bikes, two very different worlds!

After receiving the Felt Compulsion around four weeks ago my new F1 SL road bike has done nothing but collected dust which is very unfortunate. So with that in mind tonight’s ride sent me back out into the bush.
Tonight’s steed of choice was the RXC Team and the destination Warrandyte State Park.
Fortunately for me this section was burnt around one year ago, controlled burning I believe.
Fourth Hill has some awesome techo sections. You choose, A line straight ahead or B line around to the right?

The Yarra River just in the middle of Warrandyte.
Hurt cam while climbing out of Warrandyte along Warrandyte- Ringwood Rd. If you ever venture out this direction start from the corner of Croydon Rd and WarrandyteRingwood Rd next to the service station and head straight down to Warrandyte. Believe me you won’t be disappointed!
This pic is for Jack Lamshed or aka the Shrek. Who would have thought? Side walls wearing out before the centre tread, naaah I don’t believe it ;).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Discovering the Dandenong Ranges.

I don't know if my lack of knowledge with the Dandenong Ranges has been blurred over the years by always heading out on the road bike in this region. As a wise man once said,"better late than never"!!

On the edge on the outer suburbs of Melbourne we have some of the most spectacular forest/bushland I have ever ridden through.
With Mr T needing some time on the bike before heading down to race the Otway MTB race we decided to head into the hills.

After playing around on some fast flowing single track in the Doongalla Estate Reserve we started heading up, and up, and up... This was perfect training for next weekend.
We inspected the sign before heading in to see if cyclist are welcome. Good to go!

The area is full of gigantic trees towering over ferns and lush scrub. One would think it would be packed with walkers and riders, think again!

Just one of the tracks we sped down towards Belgrave.
Check out the view! At this point the backs of our heads were sore from smiling way too long.
Playing with the rocks and the Compulsion on the way to Lysterfield.

This pic of Lysterfield Lake is for all the wakeboaders out there. Hmmmm butter....

As we headed home along Churchill Park Drive we were reminded what has happened to our world over the past week.

For those of you who haven't venture into the Dandys yet, get out there and don't wait any longer.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I just got home from the Bushfire Relief Enduro at the You Yangs and figured it was time for a bit of an update, albeit a slow one after my finger lost a battle with a power planer a few days ago.. I managed to not get out for Jason's ride yesterday (story to come) with other commitments, but did have the opportunty to do Hell Ride. Its not getting any better... Bring back the cops I say, its going to end in tears. Too many people, too much disrespect to others (cars and bikes alike) and no joy to be had. Its a clusterf&^k thats waiting to happen. Practically riding the centre line for 90km is not the path for enlightenment...

So with that in the books, I headed today to the Bushfire Relief Enduro. Slightly disappointed to not see more of mountain bikes elite riders in attendance, there was certainly a great turnout none the less. The course was banging, and whilst I did a couple of laps in shorts and a t-shirt which may be slightly disrespectful in hindsight, I don't really care as it was so much damn fun. Sweating away on the Ozriders grips sans gloves was no drama, as we (Rob Eva and I) hooked into the spectacular course. Berms, short sharp climbs and awesome flowing singletrack was the recipe for the days amusement. Sadly, a puncture from some erant rim tape (must convert to tubeless and Spex soon!) was quicky solved from some unknowing generosity from Castlemaine Cycles and the Rocky Riders (thanks guys!) and we were away again!

So without photos to prove it, the course was sensational! Like I mentioned, berms, jumps and all the fruit made it a great place to play, although I'm not sure a 6 hour solo was totally the best idea I've ever had... So I did two laps and called it even :) LAst I saw, Johnny C was calling it a day, leaving Troy to battle it alone.

Oh, and we did get out to do the thursday night tour de burbs with Matt and Jason for the night. Apparently it was slow, but I didn't get that... There was some clown who was disgusted with missing a set of lights toward the end that meant he 'missed the sprint'. We politely informed him that he was still in with a shout, and really it wasn't about being first accross the fictitious line, but he turned a bit sulky and quiet.. We managed to bridge a fair way accross, but sadly it seemed he hadn't managed to come with us, so I guess he may not have really be in the running anyways!

If you look closely, you can see the Ivanhoe fire...

Matt and Jason comparing greasy drivetrains.

And finally, whilst we do spend a lot of time following people, what is going on with this arrangment??

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Helping out the Bush Relief Fund.

For obvious bush fire related reasons the HDATO (8hr enduro) @ Eildon has been cancelled.
However, a number of Victorian MTB Clubs have joined forces to run a 6hr enduro (10am to 4pm) this Sunday (15th) @ the You Yangs (Stockyards - Drysdale Rd).

All proceeds from the event will be going to the Fire Relief Fund.
Entries close this Friday the 13th @ http://entryzone.bighillevents.com.au/.

Any previous HDATO entries will automatically we 'swapped' over for the Bush Fire Relief You Yangs 6hr. If this change in venue doesn't suit and you would like a refund, please email


The format of race day:
0800 Registration opens
0930 Registration closes
0935 Kids 6 minute Enduro
0950 Race Brief
1000 Race Start
1600 Race completion

Check your Club, GMBC, FTF and MTBV websites for further details.

Thanks for your support

Felt F1C for Immediate sale!

With the arrival of the new AR series of Felt Road bikes in Australia, its time to move my bike on to a new home. So up for sale is the Felt F1C, model year 2007. This bike has been exceptional to me, with a smooth ride that has to be felt (awh....) to be believed. The shock absorbing nature of the specifically designed carbon frame takes so much road shock away, it leaves you fresh to spend more hours in the saddle. Combined with the amazingly light weight, and full Dura-ace components, this bike will take you where you want and return you feeling fresher than ever before. A bike like this will take your riding to the next level!

Frame- Felt F1C Torayca M30S High Modulus Carbon Fibre - 60cm (suit 6ft+)

Fork- Felt 1.3 Carbon forks

Group set- Full Shimano Dura Ace with Ceramic Bottom Bracket bearings

Wheel set- Mavic Ksyrium SL with Enduro ABEC 5 Bearings

Tyres- Hutchinson Equinox

Bars- FSA Full carbon

Stem- Felt 110 5deg

Seatpost- Felt full carbon SM1

Pedals- n/a

Seat- Felt lightweight saddle (replace with saddle of your choosing)

Accessories- Echowell wireless cadence and speed computer

Price - $4200

Contact me via email or the comments section for any queries or questions. The bike is prepped and ready for sale immediately.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Smelling the roses.

After turning 33 on the weekend one would think it would be time for me to slow down and start acting like most adults. WRONG!!!

No time for that I say. The Felt Compulsion 3 is the outlet every adult needs after a hard day at the office.
After venturing off the normal local route I came across this section of single track. It's around 3km long and looks like at some stage it was well maintained.
Trail building time, Compulsion style!

Felt MTBA Marathon Champs Info

Taken from BigHillEvents website -

As most people are aware, savage bush fires have swept through both the Wandong and King Lake areas as well as many other townships across Victoria. We hope that all friends and families of the mountain bike community are safe and have avoided this great disaster that has affected so many across the state.

From the information at hand, we believe that the course as planned has not been affected. We will confirm any impact that the fires have had on the course as soon as possible, however now is not the time to be driving around the area or asking questions of DSE.

Please check the Big Hill Events website at a later time for any course updates.
Please remember that on days of extreme fire danger riders should not venture off into bush land where exit may be difficult

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Top Gear Epix that never was...

*More pics to come*

What a weekend... From something that I was so excited about doing, the first Epix of 2009 and damn it was an adventure! The plan was Hotham to Dargo, racing 4wd's and that plan lasted right up until 10pm thursday night whilst we packed. Jason rang and pulled the pin on coming. Prior to that, Grover had also pulled the pin and then midday Friday, one of the 2 4wd's also bailed out.

By 2pm friday, the 4wd was back in the game, and we were racing out the door and heading for the hills with 1 bike, 3 trucks and a very flexible plan. Neither pigheaded nor determined to the point of danger, we'd developed a plan that was still achievable, and allowed for escape routes in a number of directions, so we proceeded as planned. One could not ignore the warnings that littered the state, however as I can still attest, the situation out on the ground is certainly different to the one reported in the mainstream media. We do live in a big state.

Friday arvo we cruised up to Hotham. A pub meal in Myrtleford was pleasant, however we're quite certain they were out back killing whatever meat was used, as it took simply AGES to get served. Regardless, we made it to Karnulurra Ski Lodge at about 11pm Friday night, on a warm, still, clear evening. So nice was it, we stopped on the ridge line leading to the mountain for a while to soak it all in!

Saturday dawned and with it a reasonable breeze, warm weather (25-28deg perhaps) and I geared up to ride. Following the XC ski trail down to Dinner Plain, the Compulsion was simply loving it. With a pack on, the bike was just loving it, manualling at will and just generally having a blast. The uphills were conquered simply by moving up the saddle and tapping along, and with a minimum of fuss, so its all happy days there!

This bike was just 'parked' on the side of the track - do you think it has a wheelie bar on the back?

We had grand plans to set the whole deal up as a race. Helmet cam, cameras in the trucks, sabotageing the trucks where they weren't watching, and hammering as fast as we could. As I guessed, there was no way that the trucks could follow down anything that you could call slightly rough, and so it was actually concievable that we would have a chance! But all that went down the toilet as the plan fell to pieces late in the week, and if I'm honest, I wasn't really that excited by the whole idea any more as the amount of effort for one person to make it happen was pretty unreasonable. So I reverted to my fallback, the reason I ride bikes - just have fun!

So much fun can be had on these contraptions called mountain bikes, and when you get one that is in its element, its even better!! After rolling along the undulating double track for 15km or so, past the huge open plains that dot the high country, I came out at Dinner Plain, and headed down Dinner Plain track.

Dinner Plain track is great, mostly downhill and a great mix of trails. Rocky as all get out in some bits, flat and fast in other, and steep to boot, its got some great sections. Bashing up the climbs was a nesseary evil as always, but each time the trail tipped over, there was no chance the trucks could catch me, and the bike was just eating it up.

The new black OzRiders grips, matched to a set of felt alloy bar end caps, made the perfect combination. No worries about acciently dropping the bike, and nice plush grips to hang onto meant that I was hanging 'er out all over the place!

Down dinner plain track was a great run, plenty to do and play with, but ultimately riding alone, I got bored. I was never going to do the whole descent, (crazy maybe, stupid no) and rode it for 15 or 20km until I'd had enough and pulled the pin. The ride would have been great if all the plans fell in place, but they didn't and thats part of the adventures we create.

And so we returned to the top of the hill, and whiled away the rest of the weekend atop the hill. STanding at the dam watching the Myrtleford/beachworth fires in the distance, the wind was roaring up the valley so hard it was possible to lean into it and be supported. The other horizon had the Dargo/waterford fire putting along in previously burnt timbers, so there was plenty to see!

On the way home, we got to witness plenty of carnage close to melbourne, and a lot of smoke in other areas, but didn't actually see any fires about. Appartnly the 20,000Ha in Beachowrth/Stanley/Myrtleford was a big one, but we certainly didn't see anything about. Kilmore, Wandong, Kinglake (amazing fire pics) and all that area are totally descimated. Whilst its the most trivial thing in the world at the moment for so many thousands of people, I wonder if its still going to be possible to run the National Marathon champs somewhere?

This Epix was, as planned, an adventure. It just just didn't quite go the way I wanted. Regardless, I got to ride part of a trail I always said I would, and I guess the trail isn't going anywhere soon so I'll be back one day.