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Tue, 30 Nov 2010

Another AROC Sprint, or more fun on the water slides. - 10:01

Ian and Aaron running to the slides (fullsize)
Or maybe we should just combine the two. Tom and Al did on the weekend. The AROC Sprint race once more visited the water slides (the last time was around 2006 in the Friday night BC sprint race). The course was a lot of fun, and as always I had my camera with me so here are a bunch of photos.

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Wed, 24 Nov 2010

Fun ride into the alps - 17:30

The group ready to leave Ororral
Alex had the idea of riding an interesting looking off road route up to the top of Mt Kosciuszko over two days. With a few friends doing support to carry food and camping gear for camping somewhere overnight.

A bunch of us were keen to join in, so we set out to attempt this on Saturday November 20. We got up as far as 3 Mile dam for the over night camp near Cabramurra, however it took a while, the pace was much slower than expected on the alpine grass land based trails. We decided to turn around and ride home on Sunday rather than go deeper into the wilderness as we were not sure we would make it through to where a car would meet us in a reasonable time.

We all had a lot of fun and are keen to try at least the second day of riding if not the full thing again, maybe when the trails have dried out a bit so we can ride faster in the alpine areas. Photos from the weekend are online at my Canberra to Kosciuszko ride Nov 2010 page.

I have a GPS trace most of the way there and a few others have the full GPS trace of where we went (and a GPX file for the full planned route) which I can share if anyone wants to see it.

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Thu, 18 Nov 2010

Shopping/Touring/etc N+1 - 10:19

Diamond back Topanga ready to ride
As mentioned a few weeks ago, my sister has a new bike, as a side benefit of this I was able to take ownership of her old bike. This is a 1994 model Diamond Back Topanga frame, at this point everything except the headset and forks is newer though.

I have owned a Diamond Back Ascent previously (my first SS) and it is the model up from the Topanga, also I had another Ascent frame I had never built up so eventually sold it. Though this is the lower model it is a bike with history in the family and looks nice. I also hope it looks less appealing to bike thieves than some other bikes may.

After my cyclocross bike was stolen I no longer had a bike with a pannier rack mounted for shopping or similar (maybe the odd cycle tour). I have the black hardtail but it does not have rack mounts and I have never liked riding the aluminium hardtail that much. I have been thinking about selling the black hardtail for a while, however this bike should be a good keeper in my stable, I may still add mud guards to the bike, but it rides nicely, even with the silly long stem on it. I flattened the saddle after riding it this morning as it was initially did not feel quite right, everything else feels pretty good, though the narrow bars may also have to go eventually.

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Wed, 17 Nov 2010

How we all wish we could ride - 19:33
So most cyclists, and many others have seen the Danny MacAskill street trials video that hit youtube in April 2009. Since then there have been a few others, the last day or so a brand new one has come out that really is awesome.

Way Back Home is based around the idea of him riding areas from Edinburgh back to his home town on the Isle Of Skye. So the video is full of spectacular scenery as well as jaw droppingly incredible bike handling.

If you have not seen either video I strongly suggest watching them (even if you have no interest in cycling), the latest one also has a The Jezabels song on it which is a good bonus I reckon.

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Mon, 15 Nov 2010

Why I need to go back to Melrose and not be too stuffed to ride - 16:54
When I was in Melrose in SA earlier this year I was a little tired and worn out. Even with the rather interesting looking Fat Tyre Festival on I could not bring myself to get back on the bike and ride some more, instead I enjoyed the sunshine, beers and company in town.

However I found this video on the AMB Blog which has Chris and the AMB crew claiming Melrose is one of their favourite riding destinations. Have a watch of Melrose - The Film and you will see why a return trip appears to be necessary. Preferably not immediately after riding 360km the previous day.

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Sun, 14 Nov 2010

Another CX race in Canberra - 15:33
In July last year the vikings ran a cyclo cross race out at Stromlo. I was there racing and enjoyed it a lot. There was talk at the time of trying to run a series of them this year which would have been fun. Due to a whole host of reasons the series did not happen, however Simon and Simon managed to get another race happening this weekend.

I went along again and I think this was an even better set up for CX racing than last time. I no longer have a CX bike at the moment as mine was stolen earlier in the year. However they were allowing other bikes to enter. Though I could have ridden a mountain bike I decided I should have drop bars so rocked up to race on my commuter, the 1984 steel Apollo single speed road bike with mud guards. There was a smaller turnout this year, partly due to clashing events and things on, a less CX friendly time of year, less promotion the week before the event (Canberrans have a bad habit of deciding what to do the day before it happens) and a few other reasons.

I feel sorry for everyone who missed out as this was one of the most fun races I have done in ages. The course was set up around the Narrabundah Velodrome (Simon N got the idea when he saw a velodrome used in a similar manner at a CX event in Illawarra earlier in the year) and it worked really well. Jump boards to do your running dismounts over littered around the course, using the oval in the middle of the velodrome, the track itself and the hilly surface around the back of it to make an interesting but not too technical (ie beginners would have no problems) course.

Racing started at 12pm and they had 4 races over the following hours, a novice event (to get the feel for the track or to try out CX for some), a single speed event (there were 6 of us competing in that one), a masters race (I could not do that obviously) and then the open race. So for the $10 entry fee (MTBA license covered my insurance) I was able to do 3 short hard fun races (the longest, open race at 6 laps was around 40 minutes). It was a completely different feel to mountain bike events and different skills helped even. Also the course could be seen almost entirely by spectators from almost everywhere. They had a bbq and beer for sale which was great, I was able to refresh myself with a Boags after each race.

A crew from Melbourne rocked up, they race dwell and shared their experiences from running their own CX race series. Sounds like they have a good local scene with 120 or so people at each round. They have a format where there is a pure cross race and a separate event for all other bikes. Thus mtb owners can race but not in the CX only event. All sorts of things could work, however I think this was a great event and hope like heck something can be done to get a series of 3 races or so (May, June, July maybe) next year at the velodrome. They are planning at least one event in June and I would strongly recommend attending, whether it be to watch with beer in hand and cheer or rattle cowbells at people racing, or to compete. Fun is almost guaranteed, Simon was even talking about trying to get some earth moving equipment to make the course more interesting (soft sand/mud pits, some rolling lumps like found on parts of a 4X track (though not jump sized) and other features.

Anyway I had a great time and would like to thank Simon, Simon and vikings for another excellent event.

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Ride like a girl - 15:28

Ride Like a Girl (fullsize)
When I first saw this jersey being worn by my friend Kath I thought it was rather awesome. However due to it being a commercial jersey and a company unrelated to me directly (AMBC) I was a little wary of buying one of the jerseys. In the end though I decided it was too cool not to own one.

The sentiment is there (Heather and Lib hand out cans of whup arse on a regular basis to myself and many others for example) and it works well with my theory that pink goes faster anyway. So now I wonder if I will last with a concerted effort to not purchase any more jerseys for a while.

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Fri, 12 Nov 2010

More cool stuff from xkcd land - 17:17
I do not recall if I read this previously, I recall the comic going on about colour and some stuff online about the colour survey. However Randall at XKCD did a survey to work out what colour names in the RGB space are recognised as what by whom.

He has a blog entry about the colour survey on line which is pretty damn interesting reading. All the data is available if you wish to run your own analysis, however seeing what differences between gender are is entertaining for an intro as it is. Lets hope we do not live in a "baige" world.

Of course if you are bored with this, his collaborator who wrote the front end for the survey has a calcluator online to work out the cost of filling your apartment/house/gogo mobile with plastic playpen balls which will get anyone started on the path to world domination I assume.

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Jeffson Jersey - 12:10

Jeffson Custom Bikes (fullsize)
With some of these jerseys you may think there is a theme appearing, which is lots of black. Obviously the perfect choice for coming into the Australian summer. To the issue of having lots of black jerseys, I guess i just have to obey Rule 5 in summer. As for the theme, do not worry the jersey I will put on the diary tomorrow will break the theme and return to normal race gear (for me).

This one, another purchase while in Rotorua, comes from Jeff Anderson at kiwibikes. A frame builder who had some rather cool bikes on display that he had built. I have been missing my CX bike a bit since it was stolen so decided I would get Jeff to build me a new CX frame. I sat down and talked with him about all the things I want to do with it and how I want to fit it out. He checked out my sizing and riding style and listened to what I did and did not like about my previous CX bike and about other bikes.

So in a few months I should have a new Jeffson CX bike, I got started on my accessory collection early with this jersey.

[/mtb/gear] link

Thu, 11 Nov 2010

Single Speed Worlds Jersey - 10:29

Front of the jersey (fullsize)

Back of the jersey (fullsize)
Many people know I tend to have a cycling jersey addiction. I used to count all cycle tops (winter warm tops, and summer weight also) however I did an inventory of just the summer weight tops recently, I am now up to 30. Of those 30 I have purchased 4 in the last 6 weeks.

I thought I would upload the images of these new jerseys, just to keep my collection of jerseys online. There were two jerseys sold by the SS Worlds crew, the first one was a woolen jersey I thought looked somewhat boring. This one on the other hand looked cool, colours on the sides, kiwi influenced design, RSSS branding. So for a good price they were offering I got one.

[/mtb/gear] link

Wed, 10 Nov 2010

Rule 5 - 16:55

Front of the jersey (fullsize)

Back of the jersey (fullsize)
So when we first learned of The Rules a few of us were quite a fan of some of them. In particular Rule Number 5. I openly admit I am not much of a roadie and do not obey rule number 1 (adhere to all the rules) however I like to think I do at least from time to time obey rule number 5.

As we are such fans of in jokes we decided to get the jersey pictured on the left made up and the website registered to display that particular rule. Of course I could not help putting a Jens quote on the collar as the man defines the rule. "Shut Up Legs"

[/mtb/gear] link

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