Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ay-Up 24hr. Another win....

So the Ay-Up 24hr has been run and won for another year. Am pleased to say that team Majordebt (Nic, Cabin, T-Rex wilding, and Cam Durno) took the overall win. It was a tough hard fought battle with a highly motivated R&R Wellington team, but in the end it was our experience that got us home in the end.
Even better, we were a mixed team, they were an all Male team. Nic's pretty fast.
All up we completed 28 laps of a 16km course. We shared the workload evenly, and all four of us were strong and consistent throughout. Huge thanks to the N-Duro team for an awesome event, and a great atmosphere. And for the loan of the unbelieveable Ay-Up lights. Made our job a lot easier.
T-Rex has written a good report so I'll cop out and us his! Click here for more
The LeMans race start, and thinking Triathlon, Cabin so enjoyed it he almost forgot to collect his bike. The Aussie dude behind was much more sensible. Who'd have thought?

Alden and Co on the moving roadblock.... Just glad I didn't have to pass them in the singletrack. Alden however, must be thanked for a wicked BBQ fry-up for breakfast. I literally stumbled out of the back of the car (aka Bed) at 7am and had eggs, sausages, burger patties etc presented to me. It went down awesome.

Fast forward a few hours.... and I at least try to finish it off with some style. Fuelled by the fresh coffee pre last lap, delivered by Mr Larkin. Top bloke.

The most impresive looking doorstop, ah, I mean trophy, I've seen in a while. Good thing T-Rex knows how to look good for the camera's.... Or at least look at the camera's!

Cabin setting new heights of fashion in his 2XU compression tights. T-Rex was horrified.

Friday, March 27, 2009


The latest edition of NZ MountainBiker mag is due out any day now, and I see it has some funny looking bloke on a bike with big wheels on the cover.....
.... Pic was shot less than 48hrs after the Karapoti win on the ever fun Hot-X Buns trail in Rotorua. Kind of a celebration shot really.
Seriously though, the mag is full of good reading as always, including "how to maintain your bike without wrecking it." I could've done with reading that one in the early days. So if you don't have a subscrition. get down to your local magazine retailer next week to grab your copy :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009


A few may be wondering what happened to my Triplecross intentions. Well.....

.... put simply, due to my hectic last month I had managed zero hours of practice on a dirtbike. As I was going to Triplecross to win, I made the tough decision to pull out and race Triple Peaks instead. With tough competition such as John Kirkcaldie, Stu Lynch, and Vince Fletcher, I was going to have to be 100% on top of my game.

Heading out on the moto at the pace that would be required to win with no practice didn't seem either wise, realistic, or for that matter, safe!

My consollation? A Kiwi Rider and Yamaha NZ supported ride in the Northern TTR Enduro series in May... Not a bad plan B huh? Can't wait.

And Triplecross? World Champion Adventure racer Stu Lynch, a right hoon from way back, took the win from JK after smashing the run leg in particular. Great work from the man who arranged my Chinese Adventure last year (where I raced for his Orion Adventure team).

And shows he must have really benifitted from dragging me around China in a double kayak with my minimal paddling skills contributing little to our forward motion during those 4 days in China last year

Hawkes Bay Adventures

It was a pretty exciting times in the Hawkes Bay this past weekend for us. So much so that it's taken me 4 days to posting anything. The most exciting bit?

Well it wasn't 'good' exciting, but certainly dramatic. On the drive home on Monday morning, the strut bolts fell out of the front right of Nic's car whilst driving at about 80km/hr. Very scary for a few moments. At least it didn't happen on downhill/flat and fast, or fast windy road?! Turns out a mechanic who'd done some work two days prior had neglected to tighten them up. Ended up with a long wait and a tow truck ride to Taupo. Guess it saved on gas?!

Anyway.... The real reason we were in the Bay. Racing. Two races in two days. First up

The annual Triplepeaks Challenge. A pretty gruelling 47km MTB race. Unique in that it has 3 big climbs (as the name might suggest), and for the most part follows farmland. In the past, the course marking has been sketchy at best. This year, am happy to report no dramas. Awesome course, well marked, great weather, and great track conditions.

Resulting in wins for both of us respectively. A new course record for me, and a PB time on the course for Nic by 20mins

And race two? The final of the Shed 2 Hawkes Bay Sprint Triathlon Champs. You should have seen our trick TT bikes. They looked just like, um, our MTB's. Yip, we hadn't brought any Tri gear with us, but did bring wetsuits. So raced on our MTB's, used our cycling clothes etc...

The swim was average for both of us. I lined up behing Super fish types Guy Crawford and Steve Nicholls. All was well for 50m until someone kicked me, I swallowed some salt water, got grumpy and swam on my own. Meanwhile Nic just swam steadily trying to find a rythym. After a pretty average (ie Slow) transition we set about chasing.

Hard work on MTB's. we made inroads, sort of. I only lost 4 further minutes to the leaders on the 21km bike. And the run? Well aside from the super slow transitions as we tightened, and double knotted our laces.... It was pretty good. If you took that transition out I easily had the fastest run. And Nic was smooth and strong trying to find her XTERRA pace.

I ended up 6th open men. And Nic 4th in the Womens. So not all bad considering. Great XTERRA prep, especially using the bikes (and thus set-up) we'll us in April. All good then.

Next up?

The Ay-Up 24hr in Rotorua. Team "Xterra". Consisting of Nic, Cabin, along with T-Rex Wilding, and Cam Durno. Should be good.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


As I mentioned, it's been a pretty busy time recently since Karapoti. I've had return trips from Raetihi to Auckland, Rotorua, and Taupo (x2) respectively. I'm still feeling pretty smashed from the travelling alone.

There's been photo shoots, sponsorship negotiations, work, and lots of XTERRA training. And for Nic... lot's of work and study.

For both Nic and I it's now some serious focus on the run and swim aspects. Being on the farm in Raetihi is actually amazing for that. Long base runs around the farm. All hills. Not easy, and we're pretty satisfied to know that there's not many rivals who'll be doing runs any harder. The Waiouru army camp's pool is pretty handy too. 33m, hardly used, and a $2 entry. Nice.

And, we just found a nearby picturesque little lake for some open water swim's. Think it'll be ok?! It looks good anyway.

There's also great roads. How's the 17km/1000m climb of the Ohakune Mtn road anyone? And again, the farm's not bad either. Turn's out mustering by MTB is pretty effective training. Nic will be pretty hard to beat if any XTERRA race in the future involves moving livestock!

And there are MTB opportunities all over the farm. Like the huge step-down rock garden the digger contractor constructed for us 50m from the back door. Gap-Jumps and berms to follow. As will a few pics.

And in exciting news.... Cabin Racing is officially re-born as a team. Naturally, Nic and I as the athletes. We've got some great partners to make it happen, including a great naming rights partner. An announcement will be made shortly, when we have the uniform design finalised. Watch this space....

Karapoti aftermath

So I still haven't written a report on Karapoti... It seem's a bit odd I know. I usually can put together a great report, and put plenty of time into it. Yet this time, I go and win NZ's most prestegious MTB race, and two weeks later I still haven't typed anything.

Perhaps it's disbelief that I did it. Or perhaps it's a case of nothing really dramatic happened. For once, I raced to my own plan, didn't panic about what others were doing, made no mistakes (well, not too many), and it all came together.

Often we talk about the mental aspect of racing at this level. And thats what it was really. I got that part right. Even when told at the top of the last climb I was 2min30 down, I didn't 'settle' for another 2nd. Anything can happen I told myself. And it did. I really smashed myself for that last 30mins.

What made it even more rewarding was that it was a genuinely fast ride in the conditions. And it was my good friend Stu Houltham 2nd across the line, and first to congratulate me.

The best bit? The reaction from the NZ MTB community, and the kind words many have offered. It's pretty humbling. So thank you.

For a race report..... I reckon read the official one. It pretty much sum's it all up!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Introducing Kermit

Meet Kermit. The bike that won me Karapoti.
True story.... I only picked up the bike the wednesday afternoon prior to Saturdays race. After an hour playing in the Redwoods I decided it was so much fun to ride, that since I wasn't 'serious' about Karapoti, it'd be great to ride Kermit down the Rock Garden. And after some last minute fiddling to get the fit right (ie changing parts on Friday night), turns out Kermit went pretty fast up and down.
So a 29er fully won Karapoti! So for those interested, it was built something like this....
Frame: Niner Jet with RP23 shock. Size M
Fork: Fox f29 RLC
Wheels: Bontager X-Lite
Tyres: Bontrager XDX Tubeless
Brakes: Formula Oro
Groupset: SRAM X.O (twist shifters). XT fr mech
Cranks: Truvati Noir
Post/Saddle: SDG I-Beam/I-Fly
Stem: KCNC
Bar: Niner super wide flat (710mm) with Serfas Bar ends, and ESI grips
Pedals: CrankBros Candy Ti
Did I mention I quite like Kermit?! Now I've spent some time on it, we should be able to get it real fast

Monday, March 9, 2009

The 2nd place streak is over....

10m away from the biggest win of my life

Cabin wins KARAPOTI!!! Even better, Nic made it a great day for us with 2nd in Elite womens.

More of a report later, but for now I just want to thank everyone for all the support over the years. I guess this has been a long time coming, and what better race to win than Karapoti?!

It was a pretty improbable win. It was suppossed to be my weekend off (after two months of racing). I was on a borrowed bike I had only ridden for one hour. A 27lb+ Niner Jet fully. All logic would suggest it shouldn't of happened; but it did. And I'm stoked. Thank you everyone, and more a report to follow later.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Nat Champs in Pictures

Nat Champs in Pictures. Thanks Raewyn

I won't pretend I stayed upright the whole time
Lap 2 of 4. Front brake lever already at the bar. Uh oh.
Great vision for all on Saturday

Mud's real fun eh?!

Monday, March 2, 2009

NZ National MTB Champs

The short story.... Awesome track. Atrocious weather. Nic rode awesome and was 2nd in Elite Women behind Olympian Rosara Joseph. And cabin found yet more new and interesting ways to finish 2nd in Masters XC race.
Slightly longer version.... Elite Womens. After getting tangled up in some perhaps over aggressive starting techniques, Nic managed to get into single track 3rd to start race. Clearly being held up, she made short work of the rider in 2nd, and set off in pursuit of Rosara. Track conditions by this stage were diabolical, but both Nic and Rosara were clearly revelling in it.
Nic held strong about 2 1/2 minutes back till the midpoint of the race when her gripshift ceased to function, so essentially singlespeeded (in far too bigger gear!) for remainder of race. Holding on for a great 2nd. But also a tad dissapointing as time gap blew out to a much greater margin than what it deserved to be.
And Cabin? well, i was having great fun in the Masters. Riding highly innapropriate tyres (ravens, in the mud), slip sliding around and clearing out to a handy lead on lap one. Then cruising as i nursed a slow leak in rear tire. With a lap to go I should've either grabbed a wheel in tech zone, or maybe put a tube in the rear tyre that was now about 10psi. i didn't do either and tried to top it up with my CO2.... leading to 100% loss of air, and an entire lap spent riding/running/carrying a bike running on the rear rim. Not good. But held on for 2nd 1min40 down on Jason Goldie.
So looks like we (Nic and I) both out for some revenge at Karapoti this weekend
It was just a wee bit muddy....

Womens podium: Sara McDonald 3rd, Rosara Joseph 1st, Nic 2nd

Cabin's wheel post race. Not much traction for climbing when this happens
P.S. Oh yeah, and I won the Masters Gold at the Hillclimb on thursday aswell. I actually wanted to win overall, but all the running I did the day before caught up with me and I couldn't hang onto a pretty fired up George bennett/Gav McCarthy combo off the front