Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rumours abound

Rumour mill is grinding along!

With the departure of Felt Racing manager Jarrod, who will be stepping up to the plate to run the oldest enduro race team in Australia? Seems like the person has already been anointed, we'll see when its announced?!

What does Nightlightning have in store for us with some new brackets, lights and associated goodies??

I also believe that OzRiders will be launching a new website soon, which will offer much more news and interaction, so stay tuned for that! The grips are currently going awesome on the Compulsions, a set of alloy bar plugs saving mine from doom in a recent stack, yet still they thrive!

Was it Winny who rode the lead bunch of Tour of Gila, givn' it heaps in the front bunch till he sadly blew? I think so, doing it for the MTB'ers!

Castlemaine appears to be turning up the weather, so I've a feeling we'll get another good ride in there on the Compulsions!!

And have you seen such a look of concentration on Jason before? :)

Just a little more..

We didn't go out with the intention of capturing much footage on this ride, but we did drag home a few seconds, so I've bolted it together and here it is, albeit brief...

We're heading to Castlemaine this weekend, so we hope to be able to get a bit more footage and bring you something a bit longer for a change. Sadly the Elmo is in the 'shop' at the moment, something to do with a circuit board failing, but it will be back for some serious use really soon!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Follow the Dog

This is a short clip of the Follow the Dog trail section at Forrest, from Norm @

We'll be back with the Elmo to offer our take on the trail, but until then this will give you an idea of how good it really is!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Otways Epix Part 1

Well we called it. It was going to be an Epix and true enough it lived up to the expectation.

Norm from was kind enough to make an amazingly detailed route covering everything in the Forrest area, and some more amazing trails further afield (thanks mate). And we can truly say we got our asses handed to us..! It was a huge day, and we only made it back through a combination of good sense and a huge helping of luck!

In the lead up, you might have seen the weather reports, they were pretty dire. So we geared up to get wet. With family's in tow, the plan to stay at Lake Elizabeth was shelved in preference to renting a holiday house at Apollo Bay and a commute up the hill to Forrest in the morning. Stuck at work until stumps on Friday dumped up straight into gridlock, and it was many hours later that we arrived at Apollo Bay, after a 'tippy-toe' drive down from Forrest on greasy roads.

(I should explained this photo- late friday night as we prepped our gear, Jason reached for his bag, only to find that much of the contents of his hydration pack had drained itself into his tub, drowning radios and all sorts of gear. Thankfully no cameras were harmed, but it was pretty annoying none the less...)

Gearing up at Lake Elizabeth, we had everything for a blind mission, not knowing what to expect. With the first part of the ride taking in all the best trails that Yaugher and Forrest have to offer, we did a quick scribble of the track order, to save getting maps out. Umm, that didn't last too long when we started to sweat... Bugger.

Heading up along the Red Carpet, it was a great way to start the ride, with the weather surprisingly playing ball.

We rode the amazing Forrest trails first, and absolutely loved it. The 'follow the dog' trail is going almost to the top of our 'Top Ten Trails' list, its killer!! :) With a play in there, and then a bit to eat at the trail head, we headed over the Yaugher section of trails, a short ride away.

At the Yaugher section, we were a little disappointed, if we're honest. In hindsight, we actually had more fun at the Forrest trails, but don't let that sway you. There is a HUGE network of trails, for every ability, and more log rides than one knows what to do with. The varying amount of flow in Yaugher was probably what tired us out a fair bit, its quite tight and twisty and its hard work to keep pushing through, but there certainly is some highlights like Foxtail, some parts of Mariners and J2 is also pretty good.

There was a healthy number of cars at the trail head too, signifying plenty of users out and about, which is an excellent sign! We wedged a bit more food down out necks, chomped on some more Ascend bars, and headed off into the unknown!

With the directions from the guys at in hand, we headed along the Oddessy course, and had a series of flashbacks along the way. The slick, moto rutted descent was our first port of call, and we were aware the day was getting away from us. With the ever present threat of rain, and the obvious amount they have had previously, the trail was a slick muddy mess. We (I, really) crashed and slid our way to the bottom and were greeted by a group of moto riders, valve bouncing their bikes trying to come up that trail.

Apparently we met the creator of the trail who had no trouble deepening the rut at wide open 2nd gear on his way up, to the pleasure of his companions still to come up. They were a bit tired and emotional after having ridden the trail we were heading along, which bode well for us...

And sure enough, they'd trashed it. It was just mud, clay and puddles, mixed with trees across the track and all the goodness. Skulldragging bikes with wheels that won't turn, slip sliding along flat ground and avoiding the still smoldering trees from a 'fuel reduction burn' was all part of the experience. After that little gem, we headed up a firebreak that had just been bulldozed, so it was chewed to hell, on top of slick clay.

AT the top of this area, we chatted and came to the conclusion that we should look to turn back. Mt Sabine and some secret trails would have to wait till another ride, as we were plumb running out of daylight, and then the heavens opened. Making our best guess, we headed towards home. Running into about 40 moto riders (!) we queried them on our progress. They agreed in our decision to head this way, and said we'd be home in about an hour, as it took them about 20min. Fair we thought and headed onwards.

Up the track we met a ranger, Toby. Toby was out checking the aftermath of the controlled burn, and was very helpful. Turned out, the moto boys had given us a bum steer, and it would have been 2-3 hours before we got home... (and that would have been well into darkness) Toby was a gentlemen enough to take us back down the track and direct us to a private property for us to cross ("don't worry guys, the bloke is in New Zealand...") which we did and were able to join back up with the road back to Forrest.

I'm glad he was, as the look of his 'shack' was conducive to shotguns and moonshine, but in true country fashion, the keys were in the front door. Gold. We had a quick snack whilst looking at the assorted rusted implements on his veranda (eeek!) and headed to Forrest.

With rain still teeming down, it was a cold, bonked ride back into town, knowing we still had a 5km climb back to Lake Elizabeth to contend with, and a choice singletrack descent to bring it all home.

Feeling our way through the trail under the almost fully enclosed canopy was a cool experience, and we were pretty happy to see the truck still there, whilst it poured with rain. Still, it was truely an Epix, and a great adventure at the same time. We got some ace photos, rode some of the best trail we're ever ridden, and had a ball on a very wild weekend!

There'll be more photos and such during the week, so keep checking back for more.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The best laid plan of mice and men...

I thought I was being all tricky and clever.. 2 weeks off the bike, looking down the barrel of an extremely long ride, and I'm after every trick I can get my hands on! So last night, I procured a second hand cluster, with a 34 on it. Much better than a 32, every day of the week!

Then I went and rode it tonight, and one of the middle cogs is worn out...


Back to struggletown...

And packing rain coats...!!

Well it looks like this is degenerating into a true Epix, as we know you all love reading them the worse they are!

The wettest place in the state will be playing host to us this weekend, and the route that has been mapped out by the legends at looks like its going to kick our ass! The weather is doing its best to play 'not so nice', so I know I'll get to play with some new toys in the form of a new rain cape/shell.

Last night saw us tinkering with the compulsion, and solving a ghost shifting issue with the rear end by extending the housing about 15mm. So that's an easy fix :) With the shock out to test the full spectrum of travel, its amazing just how fluid the suspension real is! The grease ports on the equilink are a welcome addition also! So with a bit of love, a quick wash tonight, and we're ready to rock for the weekend.

Sadly the elmo will be 'in the shop' as its got a technical issue, but with a new camera on board, and the usual tricks, we'll be bringing you this ride in as much detail as we can!

Get out there!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The ride takes shape.

My local riding partner BIG Mak has just passed on some of his resent trail knowledge for this weekends Epix. The loop we are planning is going too be huge.

Lets just hope the weather is on our side. If not we may just have to suck it up and push through it, EPIX style!!

PS. Can someone please give me a tip on what product works best to clean out a very old hydration pack bladder???

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It bends my mind to watch this...!!! Trials meets street 2009

The time has come...

This weekend we get the chance to finally test out our Felt Compulsions in the Otway region. We have been very lucky in receiving some very helpful local knowledge. We are planning to ride the best trails that the area can throw at us in one gigantic day on the bikes.

Time to get the beast ready for the task ahead. Now where is my new camera…?

Stay tunned for the full spread of pictures and videos to follow.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Watch minute 3.40 to be sickened...

What an absolute prick, and the commissaires did nothing! They deemed it a 'fair sprint' and explained it as bumping and pushing. Looks to me like his hand was on the front of his shoulder and then he pulled... What do you think??

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Once again the bar has been lifted.

See a penny...

Imagine how I laughed when midway through a ride in the Dandenongs, my companion yells out, stops and picks up $2 on the middle of a climb.

I guess that by doing that a few times, one can afford the nicer things in life eh...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ascend Domestiques.

As Ash mentioned it was an early rise to get down to Torquay for the 7:30 am start of the145km loop around the Great Ocean and Otway region.

Fellow Ascend ambassador John Claxton joined me for the road trip.

The holding yard at the start was very casual and everyone was reminded of all the road rules by the friendly local Policeman. With all the formal requirements out of the way, they let the riders roll away in small packs to keep the roads safe for all.

As Clacker and I were dressed for the good weather to follow in the day and too stubborn to carry a vest and arm warmers around, we decided we needed to get warm and heat things up alittle. With the pace car ahead and our jaws locked by the cold snap, we descended into a gully full of fog whilst rolling some solid turns. All was going well and the pace was kept high right until Clacker informed me that his choice of gloves had left his little pinkies out in the weather and he wished he had full fingered gloves on like me, ohhrrrr…

As the weather heated up and the fog was no were to be seen the conversations in the bunch started and the ride took shape. We had around 60 riders in this group from all walks of life.
With around 70kms behind us we reached Deans Marsh and the first Ascend feed zone to let all the participating riders fill up with the new Ascend recovery drink.

Manning the drink station was Ascend/Murray Goulburns very own General Manager, Peter Hobman and International Sales and Marketing Manager Stewart Davey. The boys were in their element!! Out in the country side on a magical morning showing off their new products they most dearly love.

This is what I love about the Ascend Company and products! This is a company that don’t want to sit behind a desk and read about what happened and what people think of their products, they want to shake your hand look you in the eye and ask you what YOU think of the product and then, which is most important, they listen.

With a new group of riders coming though we pushed on and mingled as we climbed our way to the top of the only real climb of the day. And by george was it worth it. For the next 10km we descended our way through the Otway Ranges at mach 3. This descent is one to put on your wish list for future rides, fast, flowing and no death defying blind hair pin corners to be found when its all too late.

As we pointed the bikes home, the Great Ocean Road showed us just what a special place this country side is to ride. We were exceptionally lucky as Mother Nature blessed this ride and there was not a breath of wind to be found from Lorne to Torquay.
Check out just how many people came out to watch us ride past… I think not!

The loop set out by the Super Sprint Team worked well. Marshalls at every corner, on motor bikes and in support vehicles. With the amount of signage along the roadside you were left with a sense of security on the road.Smiles all round, we made it!
Check here for the next ride and please don’t think you can enter just before the closing entry date or on the day as they fill fast and many will miss out.

See you there, Jason