Thursday, February 20, 2014

I did a race! For the first time in months.... so used a suitably innapropriate bike. Tuesday nights "Yeah Boi Sick" race in the redwoods. The second running of an event to celebrate the memory of James "Dodzy" Dodds, and raise funds for the skills park to be constructed in his memory. And threw on my Rotorua in Gear T-Shirt to honour the memory of another great friend - Paddy Avery.

A lung burning blast up Nursary Rd, and a blast down Exit trail. Followed by Round 2 on the sketchy drop and root infested old exit trail. Fun on a trail bike, difficult on a hardtail, on a CX bike.....?! Got down most of it with a short run after chain derailment, hung on for grim death through these roots shown above, and then managed to throw a nice wee whip over the ramped log the ends the trail. To which I can just hear what Dodzy's voice with what his reaction would be....

... "Yeah Boi.... Sick"

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Famously Rotorua

It's kinda funny what you see sometimes. Especially what you can (or choose) to read into things. Had one of those moments this week when flicking through a midweek edition of the NZ Herald. Featuring a pull-out magazine highlighting Rotorua. Whilst I am currently residing in Auckland, the pull of Rotorua remains very strong. So obviously such a magazine is going to grab my interest. So I started at the front side of the mag...
 ... "Famously Rotorua" promoting the various activities and attractions the region has on offer. I opened it up and saw this guy ...
 ...then I flicked to the back section. "Proudly Rotorua" promoting the region as a great place to live and work...
 ... which I open up to see this guy...
... can't help feeling like someone is trying to tell me something?!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Exploring something different

Went exploring on the weekend on what turned into a bit of an epic. At a secret location where I know of numerous (and awesome) Moto trails. Had planned on a 45min or so skid. Was having too much fun and started following arrows. After 1hr30 I realised it was the 30km+ loop from a recent 6hr Moto race. I didn't have a water bottle... but I did have jelly snakes
Some brutally steep ups

Some rather exciting downs

And some spectacular views
Didn't think to use the camera earlier in the awesome single track. I think I only pulled it out later. Perhaps to record my last moments if I never made it out?! Almost 3hr, 30km and 1000m climbing later; after a few wrong turns/long grovelly bike carries/and scrambling to safety after disturbing 6 wild piglets (scared the parents were nearby) I made it back to the car. Massively dehydrated, hungry, and exhausted.
Might have to do that again next week

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

People are good

So despite the massive lack of posting activity that may suggest something to the contrary... I am still here folks. During those few months there was also a significant lack of racing or exercise motivation. I did punch out a couple of 3rd places in the N-Duro MTB series, and Mud Warrior CX events, but then it all went a bit pear shaped really. Too many life changes equalling a not so happy camper. It wasn't an easy few months but its all pretty good right now. Thanks to one thing really.... People.
People are good
 People like Louis Crosby, dragging me out for wednesday night (and occasional Sunday) skids

Or Pauly B. Good for a bit of a laugh at the MX track when I can get there

 Family of course. Mum and Dad who got me to hang out for a great week in Noosa. There was also Luke and Lisa but I was too lazy (or talking too much) to pull a camera out

People like this Madman. Ra Bana. Perhaps the most generous person I've ever met, and when I decided I couldn't be bothered racing the last two NDuro events, let me take my KTM into the forest for a good hoon lead moto and track clearance duties instead

My adopted family here who let me hang out on weekends and distract me with childs play

Oh yeah... there were a couple of races in there....
People like Mops. An amazing host in Wanaka for a few days. And of course old man Mikey, my MTB and Moto buddy.
This wild untamed bushman who is always good for some random chat about anything over a coffee

Or the biggest poser  one of the most genuine guys in MTB/Tri. Always keen for a lunch date when in town

These two who'll make a cuppa then happily patiently listen to any inane rambling that comes out of my mouth
Or this guy who is so genuine and appreciative its a pleasure to assist him with his racing
To be honest if I keep on posting pics of the people I could put up here I'll be here all night. So I better stop. Suffice to say people are good. All those countless people who've made themselves available for a beer, a meal, or a cafe catchup as I travelled round the country. You know who you are. Friends are awesome.

And to all those out there I haven't seen in some time... look forward to the next time we catch up for a beer. Or a coffee maybe...depends what time of the day I guess  :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Innapropriate bicycles....

First round of the winter N-Duro MTB series last week. Having been on the road on a sales trip for the week prior I had two bikes in the car to choose from. Potentially both equally inappropriate for a fast XC event. In the end i chose the one with no suspension, drop bars, and 38mm deep carbon wheelset....

Did I mention non-tubeless is one retro set-up i could do without? Two tube changes in the first 4km saw me dead last by a long way. However a rocket ship of a bike up hill (and maybe 36/25 as granny forced that) had me back to 10th by the end (although I only made it to 2nd in the womens race - sonia smashed me).

 riding a glorified road bike in singletrack was a pretty interesting experience. If I'd become lazy with riding habits this is certainly a way to get you thinking about what you are doing! moving time on the GPS showed I could have been pretty close to the front so plenty of positives. And a week later my arms and shoulders have finally stopped aching.

 Will I use it again? Maybe. Although the thought of using 3 different styles of bike bike in each of the 3 races is kind of appealing too. Got a few weeks to decide

Thursday, June 20, 2013

 A change of footwear this weekend, some important lessons, and a only a couple of injuries.....

Needing a bit of a blow out mentally, I lined up for the last round of the Dirt Guide XC series. A 2hr Moto event.  Bit of a change from the previous weekends which had gone XC MTB, Duathlon, then Trail Running. Instead this weekend it was the KTM 125 that would power me around the course.

Not having ridden trail in over 6 mths (or at all since March), lining up on a startline was a bit of a risk. So with no competitive intentions I just kind of followed, and watched what others in front were doing. This is not good. Ride to your strengths people. Lack of focus, and laziness in control led to a number of fairly major moments, that could've been worse. A few tweaks and sprains see me sporting some lovely pink Kinesio tape this week. But it's not too bad.

Generally I was doing 30-31min laps. My 3rd lap was the important lesson. Having had a quick refuel, I headed out in clear space. I focussed on riding smooth and "safe" fast. Riding my lines, and getting clear of others as soon as possible. Suddenly I rode a 28min lap, with far more control.

The lesson? In any activity, when there is risk involved, maintain some focus. You don't have be giving 100%, but that 80-90% commitment is a grey area where your mind wanders and dangerous things happen. Be aware of what you are doing. Have fun, but stay safe.

In the meantime everyone should watch this for an example of what amazing imagination, commitment, and skill can produce...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Working on making my legs hate me a little less....

After a week of hobbling around due to my self-inflicted leg damage from 3D's efforts, I figured my running could do with a bit of attention. So rather than plan a sensible slow base run, I took the usual approach of finding an event. Conviently the 2nd race of the XTERRA Trail Run series was on in the nearby Riverhead Forest.
 I woosed out of the "Super Long" course option, and just signed up for the Long. So 18km all offroad, with around 500m vertical climbing; combined with torrential overnight rain, and clay based tracks, and slippery snotty goodness awaited everyone. It wasn't going to be an easy day. I ran a solid (if a little conservative) race, and trotted in 1hr20 odd later in 2nd place, around 3min down. Happy with that.

Despite knowing full well what the conditions were likely to be, I ran in the totally innapropriate racing flats (my trail shoes are in storage in Rotorua). Still they worked out ok.

 About 1km in and the RNZAF boys have already smacked it off the front. At this point I am already realising that maybe its not that cold and I could be a bit overdressed.

Nearing the finish and I am sure this carefully placed log caused cramping issues for many. While I look clean, its only because I'd fallen in a deep puddle 30sec earlier...

I'm often made aware of how much MTB race courses cut up in the wet and how much worse conditions can be for athletes further back in the field. Apparently running is no different as this young fella in the short course event demonstrates.

And even the photographers couldn't escape the conditions. Fun and challenging times allround. Hopefully I can make a couple more events in the series. Certainly a great way to learn some new terrain.