Friday, April 30, 2010 back for 2010!

OzRiders is back for 2010 and they're bringing a brand new website full of new and exciting things, take a few seconds to check it out!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Looks like it pretty quiet out there in Blogger world, everyone seems to be still recovering from the Marathon champs?

Thought I'd do a quick run throught on the Virtue, being it pretty good fun in the conditions presented... We've had Virtues for probably 4-5 seasons now, and Equilink equipped bikes for longer than that, and I can say that I did indeed scratch my head when Felt announced months ago that they were scrapping the system for their lighter, shorter travel bikes.. I reckon its damn good personally, so much so that I think I left the ProPedal off on the shock for about 60km to help with keeping traction on the rocky ground at Avoca.

IMO, this Virtue is the best on that I've used for a number of reasons. Firstly, they seem to have sorted out the pivots to a reliable, smooth action without bolts coming loose. Secondly the artwork is great, and a good looking bike goes easily 10% faster. The frame is a measurable amount stiffer than previous efforts, and I'd go so far as to say it feels better engineered than the Compulsion of last year. Power, steering and response all seem to be tapered to a more accurate point, and the bike is able to be pushed harder.

The parts spec is solid and reliable, which is really where these bikes are aimed at. Quite easily could someone drop some weight on it, through a bit of carbon here and there, wheels and groupset, but it would be chasing grams... The new Carbon bars I put on for the weekend are a bit narrower than I was used to (closer to standard than Kabush ) but they did the job admirably, and are extremely light with the carbon nano-tube technology. And the Fulcrum wheels, whilst I was nervous running untested equipment for a 90km heartbreaker, they were awesome!! So stiff, light and super super fast!! I couldn't believe how quick they where, getting in a tuck on a rolling fireroad and I was GONE from whoever I rode with. Can't say enough good things about them, and hopefully I can hang onto them for a while!! 2 big thumbs up from me!! And Avid Elixers with 180mm front rotor -haven't ridden anything better, ever. Power, modulation, ease of use, and did I mention the power...!!!!

All in all, I loved the bike for the day, and love to ride it at every chance I get! Its the most fun bike I've had the pleasure of using on a regular basis, and isn't that why we ride?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Felt Edict

Brand new Felt full suspension with a sub 4lb frame weight - check it out

Avoca Nemesis Marathon

Just about enough pain has subsided to give the Marathon a bit of thought, although I'm fully expecting to mee my mate DOMS in this next few days... Its was a long hard day out there, felt by both the front and the rear of the field I'm sure, and in no small part by our bodies!

We headed up to Avoca in the blogger-mobile, with Mr T, Big Mak and the Epix bus. A weary morning after a bucks turn wasn't ideal, but we all got out there and met up with Rohin, who was going at 10/10ths to bring the race to the people. We grabbed some signs and rode out on course to do a bit of work and string up a little bit of bunting, but more to get an idea of what was in store.Rocking a Felt Six hardtail, Jason was absolutly confident in the right choice being made, whilst I was absolutly loving the Virtue as I hopped, railed and jumped my way up and down everything! We both were on some new equipment for the day, and I hope to run through that a bit more in some coming posts, but this is about the race so lets head back there...

A very amusing night was had Saturday night at the local golf club, with MC Tim doing some sort of double act with the local publican for the most honest chook raffle ever (paraphrased - you city folk look rich, I'm going to take a lot of all your money and give you only a little bit back, and it'll problably be something useless anyway - GOLD!) Rohin laid out the day for us, and everyone basically bailed to go and sleep at the first opportunity as they had become acutly aware they were going to need it!

Race morning saw a 3am phone call to Rohin from the toilet truck people, stating they had dropped two wheels and it was too dark to actually find them, so there was a bit of a flap about that. The situation was bandaged, and away we went, albeit with a few toilets to a lot of people, but hell nobody is putting their hand up as a magician - its Sunday morning people!!! 600 odd riders descended on the place, and a race was about to take place...

SS - are you kidding me!?!?

The gun went, and we all followed suit up the road. 5km of 'flat' fireroad led to the 8km climb, and somewhere near the middle of that, every rider had a vision of how their day would go...

Up...I saw Jason for a while, hell I saw Elvis for a while, but in the wash up it was just survival out there so the pace was dictated by the distance. I settled in for a long day out there, and just waited to enjoy every downhill. Grover was doing a roaring trade at CP1 ("What do you want?" *yelled from the distance* - *replied very close, and quietly* "to go home...") and still seemed to have the love 5 hours later.

If I'm honest, it all became a bit of a blur for the next few hours, but I do have some stand out memories. Any of the singletrack descents were awesome, and just got better as my day went on, and whilst the Heritage trail was very fresh and not particularly rideable later in my day, the descents sure were great fun! All the fireroad climbs were taken at default pace, and most of the singletrack climbs were either walked or granny-ed, such was the toughness of this race. The departure from the Peerick Winery stands out as a tough climb, and I said a few cusswords out there, but no excuses - I knew what was out there!!

By somewhere near the halfway point, the groups of people that I saw became reasonably regular, and I think we all kinda helped each other along. One poor bloke I cajoled into continuing proceeded to try and go past me like a train on one of the climbs, but was so frazzled that the downhill's eluded him, so that amused some poor corner of my soul. I spent most of the day see-sawing with Troy who did a great job up the climbs whilst I rested my chin on my stem, and then I managed to flick the switch on the Virtue and rail any descent! AWESOME, as Randall would say

The haze kinda just blurred the edges and kept me focussed on getting home, but starting at one end of every feed station table and eating everything to the other end certainly helped get me through! A lovely feature for sure! Full leg cramps hit as I rolled though 4 km to go, and it was all over for me there. At least 10 bottles on course kept me going, and with a lovely warm day, it was definatly needed.At any rate, I knew what was coming, I didn't 'enjoy' the race, but I certainly felt it was a great run event, and used the area exceptionally well for what was available. A few years of work, racing and trail building would make an awesome race course one day, but for now it was a truely Epic day!

Some photos don't need an explanation.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wheels have arrived!

With the good graces of the team at Southcott, I've got the priveldge to slip in a set of Fulcrum Red Metal wheels into the Virtue One.

"These are still at the top of the metal alloy wheels range in the Fulcrum® Red Metal Zero series: they are specific for the use of disc brakes. They provide the ideal choice for cross-country races because of the use of the 23.5 millimetre rims machined with triple milling. The maximum lightness has been obtained as a result without weakening the sides. The result is the best compromise for indulging your passion on impervious tracks and steep descents.

Compatibility with UST tubeless systems. Aluminium spokes with an aerodynamic profile and stainless steel nipples are used for assembly. The Two-To-One™ configuration has been chosen for both wheels with 16 spokes on one side and 8 on the other. Doubling is on the disc brake side of the front wheel and on the freehub side of the rear one. The oversize hubs feature a 20 millimetre axle running on high-precision bearings.

There there is also a Red/Black version having a red rim, black spokes, and red hub.

Average weight*:
front: 720 g
rear: 880 g"

Sounds good to me! All that needs to happen is whack the discs on them, stretch a pair of Panaracer Rampages over and fill them with Spex and I'm out there riding up the hills!! :)

Last night I whipped out to the Yarra trails to have a fang around, and kinda tried to do the old 'racing daylight' thing... Lets say I was rueing the perfectly good set of Nightlightning iblaasts that I left at home.. Still, it was awesome out here, damp tacky trail and I even saw some 'Dickies' out there - for you filthmongers, I'm refering to the Dickies that are involved with this arrangement

Nemesis National Marathon Champs this weekend - Epix will be there, and I believe it may just be truely Epic!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Easters Activity's

Sunrise looking out over Lake Eildon at Mt Buller.

Our Easter weekend adventure took us to the Lake Eildon at the Delitite Arm section of the lake.
If we were rating our top ten rides and single tracks on being rewarded with magical views this ride would be number one. I will post some pics from the top tomorrow.

Friday, April 9, 2010

I reckon it might be Chrismas in April for us today....

Rumour has it that there is some very cool stuff waiting for me at work today, all designed to make the Nemesis Marathon in a few weeks, just that little bit more EPIC :)

There is even rumour that a full carbon race bike might be under our chamois - interesting! Stand by for a full and complete review of that one, as well as some other little trick bits. We know there are plenty of Virtue owners out there so maybe some of these bits are going to pique your interest ;)

And the latest from Ascend also awaits us, so best I 'd get the hell out of here and get to work to find out what its all about.

Over the weekend, there should even be some interesting behind the scenes posts about the world behind Felt Bicycles in Australia. Stand by....

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Entrys Close Today

Have you taken a deep breath and entered??????

Don't be scared... be terrified. The word on the street is that this is going to raise the bar for all MTB races in Australia.

Remember, its a marathon not some willy nilly club run in a park ;)

Go on, get out there and take the challenge!

Wikipedia's View

- Marathon (XCM) is perhaps the toughest form of mountain biking because riders often have to cover more than 80 km in one race on mountaineous terrain. The distances usually vary from 60 km to 100 km. Races often exceed 100 km, but are then termed Ultra-Marathons. Recently UCI has inaugurated the Marathon World Cup. Basically it equals point-to-point (PP) discipline and that means that riders have a mass start from point "A" and they finish at point "B".

See you there.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The next US cycling superstar may be coming your way...

Sheriff Joe Arpaio makes Maricopa County inmates pedal to watch TV

A US county sheriff has started a program he calls "Pedal Vision", in which inmates pedal stationary bikes to generate electricity for television sets.

The bikes are customised to turn on connected TV sets once inmates at Phoenix's Tent City Jail pedal enough to generate 12-volts of electricity. An hour of pedalling equals an hour of television.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said inmates only will be able to watch television if they choose to pedal.

He said he started the program with female inmates because they seemed more receptive.

Sheriff Arpaio said the only exercise female inmates have been getting is speed-walking around the tent yard.

Photo dump in reverse order...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Don't fall down...

That whole topsy turvy things was playing again this morning... Hell ride this morning and the bunch was a reasonable size but not mental. Mental however was the pace... Holy hell someone (*cough*) had some HP's this morning and seemed more often than not to be on the front. The pace was pretty high, and there wasn't much scope to be moving up so everyone was pretty much line astern in the dark.

No worries by me, not too much sillyness with more attention paid to the taste of the stem. Somewhere adjacent to Seaford, it all went wrong... Once again, the median strips that come out for no real apparent reason bit back and someone either got squeezed or just didn't see it. A big lockup of brakes was the first I knew of anything and then bunch just exploded all over the road at somewhere close to 50km/h. With bikes, people and carnage sliding all over the road, we all headed for the beach and away from the carnage. Somewhere people leant on each other enough to stay upright as we all veered away as fast as possible, and people filtered back together as they rolled down the road. As the front 10 or so didn't see it, people were suddenly faced with a choice - chase, or stick around...

Most chased, but about 5 of us went back to see if everyone was alright. And they weren't... I kept looking over my shoulder at a guy lying in the middle of the road, not moving. I was waiting for him to move, as that would have meant everyone was moving, but he was still...

I rolled back up and someone had already gotten to him. The guy in the middle of the road was making a gutteral fluttering sound, and whilst his face was facing away from me, it sounded like he'd been cheese grated. Someone summonded Ambo's, a motorist stopped to help, and the second person to stop/pass turned out to be a doctor. I busied myself with stopping the traffic of Nepean Highway from making more of a mess, and everyone got on with their shit. We positioned cars and people to make some sort of 'safe' environment, and had a look about.

Total Rush's Tony (second from right) had apparently managed to plow through a traffic arrow with his body and then end up 4-5m under the back of a parked car. I saw him literally crawling out from under it! The gentleman having a bit of a laydown obviously wasn't having a great day, and the next time I turned around, those working on him had started rapid chest compressions (!), and he was mid siezure, so his shit was going from bad to worse...!

By the time the Ambo's arrived, (sans cops, but it is near Franganistan so thats fair...) the guy had regained some sort of consciousness, and thankfully didn't wig out at lying in the middle of Nepean highway whilst being 16shades of f#$ked up. Ambo's strapped him up, and bussed him the hell out of there, and from there it all wound down to a quiet roar...

Tony's bike was a write off, holes in the carbon fibre etc. And I don't even know what happened to the other guys' bike. But thats not really that important now is it... That guy is very lucky to have the care that was available to him, and luck is about all you could call it, because he probably feels right now like he should have stayed in bed...

So I rolled back up the road towards home, and thankfully the bunch turned up so I was able to get a very quick lift home and get on with my day, thankful that I was still attached to my skin and mental faculties...!

Stay safe kiddies...!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pre-running the Nemesis Marathon champs

I love it when a good ride gets a little bit epic :)

This morning in the well-darks, the Hoff and I headed to Avoca to meet up with the BigHillEvents guys to pre-run the Nemesis Marathon Champs to be held up there in just a couple of weeks. 90km on the mountain bike is a big day in anyones, but to add to that 3500vertical, well thats a whole lot more than we've got in our legs at this point in time!

So a fairly large crew were present and we all rolled out in the cool dry morning. And straight up a 8km fireroad climb. Now whilst it was a friendly pre-ride, legs attached to the bodies of the Merida Flight Centre team, and riders like Murray Spink, Phil Orr et al, meant that what was considered a casual pace at the front, was nothing short of deathly at the rear, and quite soon (and sadly) the Hoff was ejected rearwards.

We drummed up a plan of attack and the Hoff bailed when he could to get the wheels, and meet us at the halfway point of the course. I continued on with the bunch and we rocked on along some great trails. The first half, I can catagorically say, is excellent! Great decents, reasonable climbs but nothing like the opener, and some sweet singletrack.

Amusingly, the second half is where it gets fun... And uphill! The first 42k covered about 1100m of up, but the second half covers the remaining 2000+m in roughly the same distance. Apparently the bunch went a little bit sullen and quiet later in the day, something about being 'pretty hard' - hell, they don't give you a national jersey for nothing....!! I think Rohin may be prescribing to the 'suck it up, Princess' school of thought! Good on 'im!!!

So, in summary. Its long, and bloody hard. So I hear...

How about some pictures? (to come, blogger is playing funny buggers)