Thursday, July 31, 2014

Two more stops into my East Coast trip and I have been pleasantly pumped with the way things have turned around. Here's a couple race reports; one from nationals and one from the final round of the Pro XCT series in Williston, VT.

Coming in to the US National Championships I took the week relatively easy, keeping fresh and positive after the rough race in Wisconsin. I knew if I was able to ride strong throughout the whole race then I would be able to finish strong like I had as a junior. Riding at my own pace for the first two laps I was comfortable in 5th/6th place as I approached the half way point. With two laps left I could barely see fast-man Casey Williams at the top of the grassy switchback climb (~45seconds). That got me excited! I knew I was riding strong on the longer, less steep climb and decided that would be where I could reel him in. Half way through the final lap of the race I powered by Casey into 4th place and tried to put as much time into him before the descent and short punchy climbs of the second half of the course. Unfortunately I had gone way too deep trying to catch him and went into the descent a little cross-eyed from the effort and was unable to respond when he attacked in the final climb of the race. Did my best to hang in for a sprint finish but ended up losing about 10seconds by then end of the race. All in all very happy with the 5th place finish, big improvement from last year's 10th and still room to improve by the time next year comes around!

Short track went okay at the National Champs, with the U23 and Elites in the same race it was always going to be fast and hard. I had a good start until a little tangle-up with Mitchell Hoke on lap one but rode through until starting to fade around lap 3 and seeing lots and lots of people go by. Finished up 26th which leaves me wanting more in these short races in time to come!

During the week following Nationals I spent a night in Boston, checking out Newbury Street, Fenway Park, and the Parlee Bikes HQ and Factory with intern/friend Rob Auchincloss. Following Boston I found some more friends in New Hampshire who work at Highland Bike Park and spent a day riding the rad trails there on a loaner DH bike followed by riding a baby moto for the first time. One thing to say: these guys are doing it right, and thank you for putting a roof over my head for the week!

This past weekend racing the Catamount Classic Pro XCT in Vermont was another exciting race to finish the national XC season in the US. The course suited my riding style pretty well, with a lot of open grassy fields needing lots of power and a few mildly technical sections in the trees. It was always going to be a hard race starting at the back of a 60 man field, but I had fellow Skyhawk Mike Sampson to keep me company and CX champ Jeremy Powers to try and ride with on the flats. I decided to take it easy off the start and ride into the race, finishing strong as people started to fade. This race plan worked well, keeping consistent with lap times I continued to move up through the field throughout the race. Eventually finishing in 16th I am stoked that I was able to put together a good race and excited to make it into the top 20 of a Pro XCT. Still room to improve for next year!

Short track followed about the same protocol as the cross country, starting at the back of about 40 guys it was a slog the whole way. Ended up riding a strong race after a pretty shocking start finishing again in 16th place, just ahead of birthday boy Mike Sampson. Welcome to your 20's!

This week has been spent in the great land of Quebec, Canada, trying to get by with year 9 French class and growing a pair to ride la Beatrice (rock garden in the Mont Sainte Anne XC course). It's been a great week of recovery and relaxing with a bit of training and go-kart racing with Coach Rotem, Payson, and Levi.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! These people have played a huge role in making this East Coast trip possible:
 - Dirty Harry's bike shop for helping me out when mum and dad told me I needed a new helmet
 - Lauren Catlin for being my feeder through Wisconsin and Nationals, and sunglass lender after I broke mine with my helmet in Wisconsin
 - Grandmas and Grandpas on both sides for coming out to Nationals and cheering and supporting all the way, you guys are great!
 - Mr and Mrs Noonan for providing me with such a wonderful home to stay in during Nationals
 - Joe, Andrew, Lauren and Chad for showing me the Highland way of life
 - Chris, Noah, Sarah, Billy, Aaron, Nick, Elisa, Crystal, Vanessa, Brad, Tom, and Mikey for welcoming me into the floor sharing life of the North East
 - And of course Mum and Dad, Corey at Ultimate Ride, and everybody else who is always there for support and smiles!

Now is time to do a tiny bit more recovery to race the Eliminator here in Mont Sainte Anne tomorrow morning, wearing USA kit and #72. Have to make it through the timed qualifying round in the top 32 (out of 72) to be seen on RedBull TV at 5pm Quebec time. Go hard or go home

Next blog to come with more exciting news and hopefully photographs :)


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Racing, Riding, NO INTERNET, Happy Birthdays

It's been a little while since I said I'd post a race/life report but I swear I really have been busy!

Since my last post I had a very rude awakening to the realities of altitude, riding a very good first lap and a half before my heart and lungs decided that was all they could do with the oxygen they were given. After the short track on Sunday (which went just about the same as the XC the day before) I packed up and headed down to Durango for a short week of training and catching up with friends before the big trip towards the east side of the USA.

The week in Durango included some hard mountain bike rides and some easy ones followed by time at/on the Animas river doing stand up paddle boarding and tubing. It was a great time to relax and finish organizing travel details for the six weeks of racing to come.

The first race of my current trip was in Portage, Wisconsin at a little ski resort called Cascade Mountain. It was a relatively long lap with punchy climbs and grassy ski slope traverses, not overly technical unless it rained... Which it did. My race started out well, from the back row I made my way up to around the top 20, riding in a group of four guys and feeling good to recover a little for the last couple laps and maybe make up some more spots. This plan went pear shaped as it started to rain on lap 4 of 6 and my mud riding skills from Alice Springs really began to show. I would get passes on a singletrack, try to hold the rider's wheel, and fall over. It went like this for the rest of the race, sliding and crashing all over the place, eventually finishing in 33rd. Definitely a lot of things to take away from this weekend, the main conclusion is that I need to ride more mud.

The place we stayed in Wisconsin was a cool old farmhouse with cows, corn, a snapping turtle, but no internet. Sorry Cruz and Elena, happy belated 21st to you!

Since Wisconsin, Levi Kurlander (Ska/Zia/Trek MTB team) and I have been treated to wonderful grandparent service with my grandparents in Pittsburgh, PA where they DO have WiFi! I am writing this from their living room before we head out to the next stop, USA National MTB Championships at Bear Creek Mountain Resort, PA. It's the morning of my 21st birthday and I am very excited for the next few weeks, not because I can drink legally, but because I feel that my legs are finally deciding it's time to switch on - I guess we'll have to see!

Sorry for the lack of pictures this time, will do my best to add some from nationals.


Friday, June 27, 2014

6 Weeks = Not Enough!

Well, after six weeks back in the land down under staying with my family, working at Ultimate Ride, and riding my bike, I can safely say that it wasn't quite enough. But I think that's a good thing - keeps me excited to go back next time! It was great to catch up with everyone at home and with a solid block of training under my belt I am ready for the next six weeks of racing here in the US and A.

The flight over was pretty long and uncomfortable, but nothing out of the ordinary. Under the loving care of my grandparents helping me get over the jetlag and ready for the Colorado Springs US Pro Cup! Altitude is hurting my poor heart and lungs but we'll see how they pull through tomorrow, awesome course in store so bring it on!
Watch it live here at 2:30pm Mountain Time: 

Here's a picture from the top of Mt. Gillen with my mate Alex!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Stage Racing = Hard!!

Coolest race ever! Hope to see y'all next year :)           Photo: Shane Mulcahy
At the end of a totally awesome week of racing I am happy to say that Alice Springs has not lost any of its magic! The trails and racing were absolutely unreal and coming into the last stage with a lot of work to do made for a very exciting day... Here's how the last three stages went:

Stage 5, Night Race:
   - Good start with fast section on the golf course
   - Little stack in the sand about 2km in
   - Panicked to get back on Ben's wheel
   - Second into singletrack but too adrenalined up to ride well, blowing through a turn
   - James, Chris and Paris came by and rode behind them for ~20mins
   - Calmed down
   - Got back on the front of the small group and started to chase down Ben
   - Dropped chain with ~5km to finish, many profanities yelled
   - The 3 guys came around again
   - Failed to get back into the racing groove for the rest of the race
   - Finished up 5th on the stage, ~3mins down on Ben, 2mins down on James, Chris and Paris
   - Dropped to 2nd overall
   - New derailleur fitted for stage 6 (Thank you Corey Gerdsen at Ultimate Ride!!!!)

Awesome singletrack in stage 6
Photo: Shane Mulcahy
Stage 6, Velodrome to BMX track:
   - Queen stage of the event
   - Pretty fast start along the hell line
   - Paris has mechanical early on - snapped his chain :(
   - Select group of 4 guys (Ben, James, Chris, and myself)
   - Ben punched it up the hard steep fireroad climbs keeping it tough
   - Rolling turns along bike path and bitumen
   - Other guys seem very strong, sitting on about 35km/h
   - Tried to eat as much as possible - could feel legs starting to go
   - At about 20km to the finish legs decided that they didn't want to be there anymore
   - Dropped off group at water stop #2
   - Rest of the stage spent trying to limit losses
   - No crashes on the ridgeline
   - Finished ~8mins down
   - Slipped to 4th place overall, ~10mins to Ben, ~2mins to James and Chris
   - Very impressive rides from these guys - super shredders!!

Stage 7, Chifley to Telegraph Station:
Racing just to be in the singletrack!
Photo: Kirrily Whitehead
   - Final stage
   - No troubles with police escort today!
   - Knew I had to go from the start to make up as much time as possible
   - Raced James to the first bit of singletrack
   - Couldn't shake anyone by Undoolya rd.
   - Into the next singletrack put the hammer down again
   - Got a bit of a gap with Ben, began to ride away from James and Chris
   - Kept the pressure on for the rest of the race
   - So much fun going very fast in the new singletrack!
   - Legs hurt so much, knew it would be close
Raby - The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Trail Gopher responsible for amazing singletrack in stage 7
Photo: Shane Mulcahy
   - Came through the finish line with absolutely nothing left in the tank
   - Had the ride of my life!
   - Climbed back into 2nd overall

Little brother Paul - looks hurting but probably having fun!
Photo: Rapid Ascent
Absolutely spent at the end of the week!
Photo: Rapid Ascent 

Myself, Ben Mather, and James Downing
Awesome to share the week with these champions!
Photo: Rapid Ascent
These wonderful ladies!
Imogen Smith, Jo Bennett, and Jess Douglas all smiles for the women's podium
Photo: Rapid Ascent

STOKED! It was such an awesome week getting to ride with guys so much more experienced than me and to meet so many amazing people. Great work to everyone this week and I hope to see you all in the near future, hopefully you're all as excited as I am to come back and race next year!


My friends' back yard is cooler than your back yard ;)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Stage 4 Time Trial Highlights!

This morning's stage was absolutely phenomenal with the ~22km time trial which started and finished at the Alice Springs Golf Club with a bit of a later start for me, heading off at 10:18am (30 seconds behind Ben Mather). I knew going into it that I had the upper hand having someone to chase the whole way which made it very challenging not to get out of the gate too fast and blow myself up. I knew that he was going to be really strong again in the sand and in all the climbs like yesterday so I made a point of saving a little energy on the first half of the ride and staying super smooth and fast through the singletrack.

Had the pleasure of trying to run away from cameraman Norm Douglas (who put together the super cool highlight video below) out on Kim's Track which added some excitement before having to put my head back down and continue the chase. On the way back I decided it was time to have a big dig on the fast and flowy Emily Gap Track and hoped I would be able to see Ben some time soon. About ready to slow it down a little I caught a glimpse of him and James Downing at the top of some switchbacks which rekindled the fire in the hammered legs.

With about 3k's to go I had finally reeled them in and knew that I had had one of the rides of my life, hopefully not doing myself in for the next three stages...! It has been such a pleasure (and suffer!) to ride with these guys so far this week, all of their racing knowledge and friendship has made me truly respect them and a little anxious to see what they've kept in store for me in the second half of the race.

Anyway, here's the quick video and a couple more photos before the night stage this evening. Enjoy :)

Doing the hurting and being hurt while trying to smile
Photo: Dane Groza

The beautiful backdrop of the West Macdonnell Ranges (Home)
Photo: Shane Mulcahy

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Back in the Alice!

It has been a very, very long time since I've posted anything on here. A month short of three years to be precise! A lot has happened between June of 2011 and May 2014 - including finishing up high school, a six month stint in Bogota, Colombia, as an assistant teacher, and surviving two years of college at Fort Lewis in Durango, Colorado. 

A little flashback action of my lovely house and roommates in Bogota

The nitty gritty on these happenings is going to have to wait as currently there's a little more important racing to talk about here at home in the Alice!

The Ingerreke Commercial Mountain Bike Enduro (ICME) started yesterday and so far has been nothing short of amazing after stages 1, 2, and 3. Having ridden in the race four years ago, the event run by Rapid Ascent hasn't lost any of its fun (both in the casual atmosphere and unreal trail choices)! With the support of the Ultimate Ride Bike Shop and Bicycle Centre I've been given the opportunity to ride a suped up Lapierre XR 529 while I'm at home which has proved to be a great bike so far for the race. Enough with the background info, here's a bit of a race report on how the race has unfolded so far:

Stage 1, Chifley Resort to Alice Springs Velodrome:
A very unfortunate start to the race for number one plate Ben Mather as the cop car escort through town ended in a brake slam instead of an acceleration, ending with Ben laying on the back window a little bruised and now an angry man. He showed this as he lay down a steady but very strong pace through the sand before getting to the Alice Springs Cinema KOM. By this time we had a gap to the rest of the field, and I wanted to see how Ben's climbing legs were going so gave it a big effort over the top to take the prize. 

Top of the KOM, photo by Shane Mulcahy

From here we settled in for a solid shred on the local singletrack keeping the power going through when a km or two before the water stop I burped my rear tyre. James Downing had a heroic chase and caught us on the descent into the water stop where I put CO2 in the tyre and, fortunately, Ben and James were gentlemen and slowed for me to get back on. 

The last part of the stage continued with more awesome singletrack, and the three of us stayed together until the second train track crossing where I was able to hop across like a kangaroo and put a tiny gap into the guys. After a little mistake at the bottom of Blair's Stairs, I put the hammer down and the dually handled the climb perfectly letting me descend into the velodrome with a slight gap over Ben in second and James in third. 

Stage 2, Anzac Hill climb:
After taking the stage in the morning, I wanted to capitalize on the small lead I had since time bonuses are on offer (20 seconds for first and 10 seconds for second). The short 300m climb is an all-out sprint, and I made sure my legs were nice and warm before heading to the start line 30 seconds after Ben. Everything went quiet as I watched the start clock tick down from 5-4-3-2-1… after that it was all over before I could think about it. With legs burning and barely able to get enough oxygen, Norm Douglas came over with his camera and said "sum it up in two words for me," the only appropriate thing that came to mind was "holy moley!" with a big grin having gotten up the hill in just under 44 seconds, barely two seconds quicker than Ben to take the stage win for the second time.
Cool little highlight reel here check it out here.

Stage 3, Telegraph Station to Lasseter’s Hotel and Casino:
Today was all about staying with Ben and James and not losing any time in the overall standings, going into the stage with just a 28 second lead. We got off to a relatively responsible start on the fire roads through and after Wigley's waterhole, with Ben and I gaining a little time through the sandy sections on the 'Roller Coaster.' We made it to the helmet (Ben's, after Ben Hodgson an ex-local strongman) with a group of four or five of the top guys and enjoyed the riding on some new singletracks before making it to the water station at about 25km mark. 

Tongue's out fun's out! Photo again courtesy of Shane Mulcahy
Ben continued to tap away pretty strongly on the pedals, and we would get small gaps to the guys behind before they would catch up in a bit of a yo-yo exercise. Coming along onto the final stretch of fire roads and bitumen with about 5km to go Ben put in some massive efforts keeping me on the ropes trying to get back on. Eventually it was back to four guys again, with Chris Hanson and Paris Basson mixing it up towards the last climb of the race. I misled all except Ben with my 'local' knowledge, and advantage was taken with Ben taking off again leading most of the remainder of the race spent in the red zone. Coming down Stephen’s Road to the finish, Ben was going so fast there was no chance to come around and try for the stage win again, and he took a well-deserved win after sitting on the front all day! 

The results of today's stage leaves the gap between Ben and I at 18 seconds after time bonuses. Unfortunately Mr. Downing had tyre trouble today and had a valiant effort after blowing through three CO2s and only losing three minutes! 
Highlight reel for stage 3 action click the blue underlined word.

Getting some rest now and watching a bit of Star Wars in preparation for tomorrow’s double stage. Looking forward to a nice massage from Pippa at Alice Springs Physio this evening as well!

Cheers :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Subaru Cup Pro XCT 2011

I think I have put off this post as long as I possibly could, because I would rather forget about it. As far as the racing went I didn't deviate too far from the plan, but the fact that both plans A and B did not go as hoped was a disappointment. Starting off well from the front row I was sitting just behind a South African rider up the first climb, not going any harder than is usual for a XC race. This however was to backfire unexpectedly on me, when the next climb came I no longer had any oxygen to power up as per normal, it felt like I was racing at 3000m elevation. And so I began my slow progression towards the middle of the pack. Plan B was to find someone riding well and hold their wheel, this was possible on the descents but went backwards when the track turned upwards. It continued in this fashion for almost all 4 laps, on the last lap getting a tiny bit more oxygen to the legs and feeling a bit faster, although unable to repair the damage that had already been done.

Finished up about 10 minutes behind the winner, and 7th in the u19 category... Fingers crossed for some form this weekend in the Mont Sainte Anne World Cup.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Back on

So... It's been almost a year, and in my packing for leaving tomorrow (which is now today) I thought I should let everyone who is/was following know what's going on after almost a year of nothing! I'm on at 2:30am after getting everything ready, unfortunately none of it is packed yet, but all over the floor. Only one mis-hap, tore the cleat plate out of my shoes, guess that means another trip to Ultimate Ride in the morning and a bit of "seagull" action.

Will get another post up after some sleep with info what's happening in the coming month.

OCD? Unfortunately not packed yet..

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Musical! A Month Late

Had a blast to the past in the school musical production 'Disco Inferno'. After 6 months of dancing and singing rehearsals (which all payed off) the end result was awesome! Kind of like racing with all the adrenaline pumping just before going out onto stage. Anyway, it was loads of fun and so many good memories and new friends that I've come away with. Thanks to everyone who got us to where we ended up.

Here are the only photos I can currently find, for those who weren't able to make it to the performance I will try and get a fair few more so you can see what you missed out on :)

The whole group just before warming up

Backstage... Everyone trying to work everything out

So I will stay true to my word this time and chase up some more photos ASAP!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Late US nationals race report

So I went into this race pretty confident, due to the 2 weeks I had spent with reasonably low oxygen (at altitude), but things were not to go the way I planned after the first time up the ridiculously steep start hill. Had a decent start, 3rd row and not too fussed after my starts in Europe, and was mixing in the top 5 up the hill. This was not to last though, as my throat began to dry out and fill with dust, starting to struggle for oxygen I was getting to lose the wheel in front of me, still a long way to go on the hill, and in the race.

So I decided to just tap away and try to recover from the hard start. Unfortunately that second wind never came and I was slowly slipping back through the field of about 40. Getting as much water as possible, in the neutral feed zone and from dad, and chasing for a wheel I could hold, finding a pair of riders in blue kits whom I sat sandwiched between for the better part of a lap until an unfortunate front flat which needed to be changed. The change went smoothly, guessing it took around 2 minutes and I was back on trying to chase those guys down with the strength I didn't have.

The last lap was just an attempt to stay on the bike going up that start hill and pull back the lad I sighted at the top of the hill, which didn't happen, again because my legs decided it was not to be.

Finished with what strength I had, securing myself an 18th overall. I would like to be able to say it was the unlucky draw of number 666 but really the 17 guys in front of me were faster and deserved the positions they got. Well done Skyler, that was a good ride mate. Hope to be back next year to mix it up again!

Around the corner before the feed/tech zone

Top of the hard climb

Will be back with more photos when I can chase them up from the relatives!

And blogger has decided it won't let me delete the second copy of this photo so I guess I'll leave it there!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sorry for the wait AGAIN!

Hey everyone, once again sorry to take so long between posts. I'm kind of just using it as a race report page which I guess till works alright. I just got home and have been running around frantically trying to get together everything I need to go on Leadership course tomorrow. So, in 10 days I will be back on with a race report and photos from the US national mtb championships in which I finished in 18th.And it just so happened that the nationals were held on the same day as my birthday, turning 17 this year and maybe starting to get old?! Maybe not.. But here is a photo of the awesome ice-cream cake grandma made for me, to celebrate both of our birthdays (hers is a day before).

It is actually a bike on the hill of brown sugar with little trees and chocolate rocks to make it a bit real!

One more time, sorry for the long waits and I'll try to be more informative when I get back!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wisconsin Pro XCT

Finally we got a hotel with internet on our trip from Wisconsin to Wyoming, because I wasn't able to get into McDonalds for free wi-fi before we left! So here's how the racing went:
Saturday was the main event, the cross country, where there were about 10 juniors in a field of about 80 guys in category 1. The whole category thing was new as well, my licence said I should be racing cat 3 (social) and had to chase down the national coach to email the event organizer to let me race cat 1, which was a good thing! The weather was awesome compared to Germany, about 30 degrees celcius and had rained the night before so the track was nice. My start wasn't so great, even though this time I had a front row spot, couldn't get my foot in losing a fair few spots on in the first 100metres. Was able to reel the spots back, half way through the first lap sitting in about 5th with two of the other juniors, Payson and Will. There is a nice little pinch at the end of the lap and I decided I could wait no longer, and made a move to break away from our small group, turned out my legs were going very strongly because I only saw them at the finish line. The next three laps were spent just siting strong, not making mistakes, chasing down the cat 1 leader and even that eventually happened, half way through the fourth I was on my way past and he asked for a set of allen wrenches, which of course I had a set in my back pocket. So on the way up this hill I passed them over and said to give them back at the end and he did so no loss there! Finished feeling really good, it's always fun to come from an unknown and especially when I was meant to race cat 3!
The photos:

Always smiling :)

Representing the NT and Merida Flight Centre with the lovely ladies I'm travelling with.

On top again, maybe a little too dressed up?

The start line, packed!

Across the finish line

And now to the short course, also a bad start from the front line of the grid, sat in top 5 for a couple laps then decided to have a dig and test everyone's legs again. Not a good idea this time around, blew up and struggled to hold third wheel for the rest of the race, thinking to have a decent sprint at the end, only to come out of the last corner (which was super sketchy) and drop my chain, almost sending me into the tree on the outside! Pulled it back in and finished up 4th, not a bad effort.
A couple photos from this one:

In the front, but nothing lasts forever

And hanging on by the skin of my teeth

Thanks everyone for following and the continual support!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Engelberg Swiss Racer Cup

Sorry this one has taken so long to get posted too, have been travelling and getting settled in to the US. The race was muddy, as expected, but a different kind of mud compared to the stuff in Albstadt. Here it was super thick (like pedalling downhill to keep moving) and the short laps meant we did 6 all up. Once again I got a spot near the rear for the start, which I didn't really mind because my starts are pretty good, and this one was no exception. Got up to the top 15-20 by the top of the climb but also true to my style lost too many places on the descent. It went on like that for the whole race which is unfortunate because I was doing really well on the climbs, although losing more places descending than I could make up on the ascents. Another thing was the weather, again the rain played a big role, but this time it was 5 degrees celcius (40 farenheit) and thought my toes would have to be chopped off because of frost bite! Finished up in 31st position this time, out of about 50 I think, but still getting some awesome exposure over here.
And some photos, don't have any from the race because the coaches were doing their duty and manning the feed zones:

Race day - looking up the hill

Snow on the hills

After pre-running the course

Biggest, best sandwich ever made!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Race weekend - Engelberg

Okay, we are just about to leave for the Engelberg Swiss racer cup which is tomorrow. So far the forecast is 45degrees farenheit which is about 10C and rain! Still looking forward to it though, maybe because no one else is and I can have one up on my mental approach.
Will have another post when we get back on Sunday afternoon

Friday, June 18, 2010

Another week down

So this week has gone way too fast for belief, thought we would have lots of time but it seems that was not the case. Hasn't been quite as nice weather this week, it's been raining since Wednesday (and it is Friday now) and pretty cold this morning when we were riding up in the clouds! Have ridden a fair number more awesome trails during the week though and really looking forward to the race this weekend and getting more experience in the mud. Did my activation this morning for the race on Sunday at Engelberg, Switzerland which is about a 3km loop and goes straight up then straight down with over 130m of climbing.

Here is the course profile if you can see it, we are doing the yellow one, should be exciting coming down as well as going up.

Have a few more photos of stuff we saw during the week on our rides and in Freiburg:

Wind power generators at the top of the Rostkoff (not sure how to spell it, a really long hill starting in Freiburg which is below the bottom of the picture)

Random little 'water chime' on the side of the trail, the water spins the mill which moves the little metal thing to ding the bells.

A small sanctuary in the middle of the forest.

Climbing through the forrest.

Fresh bread and jam.. soo good

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New photos

Okay, the photos as promised:

Warming up

Dropping in

Getting to the bottom, on the bike this time

The one corner I could take with pace

Bike after the race

Shower after the race

First Race

Sorry for taking so long to update the blog on my race, anyway here is my race report:

The race today went well considering the conditions, I started on the back row (out of 50-60 riders) and was in the top 10-15 by the start of the climb. It had started to rain in the morning which wasn't good but I decided it wouldn't be so bad, turns out I was wrong. It was crazy slippery, and the courses here are really steep and the mud is not at all the same as anywhere in Australia that I've ridden. As the race went on the rain came down harder, but by then I had already spent more time on the ground than I really wanted to, luckily in the slippery mud crashing doesn't hurt a whole lot because I went down probably 20 times in the 5 laps! Ended up with a rasberry on my hip and some cuts on my shin, and my knee is still sore I think from bending it the wrong way while slipping/tripping down one of the hills!

Anyway, had a lot of fun racing apart from not staying on the bike, finished 35th, kind of hoping for another muddy race next weekend so that I can get better at riding this stuff!

Have to go riding now, will get some photos up when I get back.

Thanks again for all the support everyone!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 3

So it's day 3 now, just did activation ride in the hills this morning, feeling pretty good about the race this weekend which is the Gonso/Albstadt Bundesliga XCO. A bit of rain last night cooled the place off a bit which is good because it's been really humid.
Not much happening other than that, just resting this afternoon, about to clean my bike then maybe afternoon sleep.

The accommodation just outside Kirchzarten

Our new kits

I'll be back on Sunday afternoon from the race and keep you posted.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Finally here

Went for a ride yesterday, definitely loving the trails over here, can't wait for racing. About to go for another ride this morning, it's really nice being able to sleep in too!
Also just want to throw a huge thanks out to everyone who's helped me get over here and get to the point that I am able to be riding at this level!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Hey everyone, so this is my first post. I'm sitting in the Darwin airport waiting for my connection to get me one step closer to Germany, where I'll be spending the next couple weeks riding my bike and also doing a touch of racing. Will keep you all updated!
Oh, and thanks to EVERYONE who has helped make this possible (Merida Flight Centre MTB team and all their sponsors, all the local people who also help out, and of course mum and dad!)