Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 Summer Race Calender

Jan 10th - NZ MTB Cup, Living Springs
Jan 16th - NZ MTB Cup, Dunedin
Jan 23rd - NZ MTB Cup, Nelson

Feb 6th- Wellington Road Cup #1
Feb 13th - PNP Road Interclub
Feb 20th - NZ MTB Cup, Rotorua

March 1st - NZ Mountain Bike Champs, Wellington
March 6th - Karapoti
March 7th - Wellington Road Cup #2 (?)
March 21st - Oceania Games (?)

April - Wedding Time!

May 8th - Cateye Moonride

June 6th - Round Lake Tekapo

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Xmas in Waingaro

Bex and I have just returned from a great 3 days up in the lovely area of Waingaro Springs, in the Mighty Waikato. Bex’s Aunty and Uncle are beekeepers up there and have 3 very talented sons (not to forget their daughter!) who race motocross. Dane, the youngest, raced in the Junior Motocross Worlds earlier this year in Taupo.

I was stoked they had road bikes for us to borrow so I got out for four rides to explore the area, mainly undulating and hilly which kept me on my toes. Bex’s cousins have their own supercross track which was freshly modified. Friday afternoon was spent moving earth to make the biggest jump a little shorter. I don’t have the ability to thrash round on a track like that but I could burn round on their pit bike that had no brakes! Motocross is a sport I have a lot of time for (my younger brother Nathon races in Christchurch) and it was always my dream sport as a kid, I love everything about the sport and still have the desire to buy a bike one day..maybe next year! Yesterday I had a spin on Travis’s RM250 down on the beach, I hadn’t ridden one of those before so was a little nervous waiting for the powerband to give me wack but it wasn’t that bad, I soon relaxed and had a good play round.

Hope everyone had a great Xmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hill Climbs and Hill Climbing

This week has pretty exciting. My two new Bergamont bikes arrived and I took out my second win on Bergamont.

The Wellington Hill Climb Champs were run up Horokiwi during the week. It’s a climb I hadn’t ridden before but have been riding past for the last 3 months on my way to and from work. I was confident of a good result as my climbing has been going well and I am feeling pretty fit. I laughed to myself when a few riders made mention of the low spec’d bike I was riding and had never heard of Bergamont. It’s not always just about the bike, the legs and lungs make the critical difference…anyone can get a top spec’d bike, doesn’t mean they are winners! I won by 20secs, the other guys in the top-5 had bikes worth about 4 to 6 times the price of mine.

I’ve been without a road bike for a while so was really keen to get back on one again so I could continue my proper training for next year. My road bike is a Dolce 4.9, it’s the lowest spec’d road bike for Bergamont but it looks super hot with a white pearl and blue paint scheme and it rides really well. I have never owned a bike with Tiagra and a compact crankset. For riding to work and training it’s mint, nice not to be chewing through a top end groupset! In fact, I was thinking the other day when riding home that the compact cranks are perfect for MTB training because you can sustain a lower cadence which riders should be looking to do.

My MTB is the Fastlane Team which I raced on a few weeks ago in Christchurch, I am on the right size bike this time...a medium. I have raced a few bikes over the years and all have been really fun to ride but I love the way the Fastlane handles, it’s responsive, nimble and loves being ridden like a bmx bike. The head angle is perfect, the top tube length is bang on, and the top tube is quite low which I find gives the bike a “small” look..that’s a good thing too. The Fastlane Team is a amazingly spec’d bike with Magura Marta SL brakes, Syntace post/bar/stem, Truvativ carbon cranks. The fork is a Magura Durin Race MD100l and Fox rp23 shock works wonders. All round this is a brilliant bike for the Elite XC racer or for a recreational rider wanting a fast light bike to blast round the trails in the weekend and one I will enjoy racing this season.

Bex also got herself a new bike too, she choose a Bergamont Fastlane 9.9. The 9.9 is fantastic, great for someone looking for a top notch race spec’d bike at an affordable price or for a rider wanting all-round fun on the trails. This is a mint little bike for Bex. Comes with Fox 100RLC fork and Fox RP2 shock, full xt groupset with DT Swiss 1800 wheelset. The small size is perfect for her with a nice short toptube and slack head angle for control and confidence.
It has an anodized black finish with red and white graphics…..she’s chosen well – it’s a cool little machine!

I did two good days riding at Makara Peak this weekend. I am blown away with how cool the tracks are up there. Bex and I enjoyed riding with Rex from Rocket Bikes and his partner Ange on Saturday. Can’t help being slightly jealous of their place just seconds from the main Makara carpark! Sunday it was a early mission for me with Bex joining part way through the ride. The weather in Wellington is changeable on a good day…we had a great mix this weekend from a foggy blanket to tornado like winds and then the sunshine, the tracks were bone dry. Found the T3 trail again, old skool tight and technical, great to see so many people out there enjoying themselves.

Well I hope everyone has a good Xmas. Try not to eat too much..riding your bike is better for you! Enjoy

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Great Weekends Riding

I spent the weekend riding with two NZ Champions - Stu Houltham and Anton Cooper. Anton came up from Christchurch to stay with Bex and I so he could check out the 2010 XC Nationals course, so, with me being new to the Wellingtons tracks, the best person to ask to come riding with us was Stu. I only got to know Stu this year after I roomed with him in Canberra for the Worlds Champs, I have raced with him a few times and was 2nd to him in this years XC Nationals in Nelson. I have a lot of respect for him and his achievements in mountain biking with 6 NZ Titles to his name. We met him at Te Papa and we all cruised off to do a few easy laps of the course which is going to be a great Nationals course and it will produce some exciting results.

Sunday we met up again at Makara Peak to do a bigger ride. I have always loved the Christchurch trails but what Makara has to offer is brilliant, we covered all the main and best tracks from top to bottom at a nice casual pace going up, but going down we let the flood gates open and let it flow back down to the car park. Stu was keen to shoot off so Anton and I did another loop climbing back up to the top and then down the advanced track Ridgeline which was like a wind tunnel testing bay. If we had a kite we could’ve flown Anton back to Christchurch from Makara!
Anton was pretty amped after riding the tracks in Wellington, the little pocket rocket had the descents nailed and certainly made me work to hold on to his gravel roost!
After a good two and a half hours riding it was time to hit the tarseal and ride the windy road back to Ngaio and for some well earned food.
This was my first real riding weekend since I’ve been here and I can’t wait to be riding my new Bergamont road bike next week. I will be looking to do the Wellington Hill Climb Champs on Tuesday up Horokiwi.
t’s going to be a big bike building week with both my Bergamont Fastlane Team and Bex’s Fastlane 9.9 arriving along with the road bike. Looking forward to swapping my trusty Intense for the new machine and blasting the trails in preparation for the NZ Cup Series.

I Have John Tomac's Helmet!

Well I have the helmet John Tomac used when he came to NZ earlier this year AND it has his signature on it!. His Bell helmet was a prize for an article competition the NZ Mountain Biker magazine ran in the last issue. I wrote this to win the helmet:
“My favourite piece of John Tomac history is my A2 double sided poster which I got out of a Mountain Biker UK magazine back in the mid 90’s. One side is Tomac in his black latex skinsuit bombing down Mammoth Mountain and the other side is of him back in 94 in an XC race when he raced for Raleigh. But to really see what a committed fan I am, I can tell you that through the early 90’s when I was 11-13 years old my brother and I would make up disc wheels to copy Tomac’s Tioga disc wheel.
My first idea was to use cardboard and for the Kevlar wire I used wool out of mums knitting basket. That idea was pretty cool for burning round Wanganui and hearing the the cardboard rumble away. I remember going to a North Island Cup race in Taupo where it poured with rain and had streams to ride the end of the race I could barely turn the pedals round with the weight of the wheel! So, back to the drawing board: my next idea was to use polythene and kept the idea of the wool to hold the ploythene in place; this setup made a cooler disc wheel noice and turned heads at the races, as at the time Jon Hume (Avanti) and Dave Abbot (GT) were racing on Tioga disc wheels – I thought I was pretty cool too at 12 riding mine. I cant remember how long that craze lasted for but I do remember Dad was abit annoyed with the mess after a race!"

Monday, December 7, 2009


Well I scored another Festival of Cycling podium but this time I was on the mountain bike rather than the road bike, last year I got a 3rd placing in the NZ Criterium Champs.

Saturdays win was a cool feeling, a new bike, a new sponsor, new motivation and desire to achieve my goal of being the best cross country rider in NZ. It was really cool having the Bergamont guys, Phillip and Peter watching the race and seeing their bike in full flight and I am sure seeing their bike win was a cool moment. for them.

I only decided to race a few weeks ago after my brother approached me about getting sponsorship from Bergamont, he asked me if I could win on the FASTLANE TEAM and I had a short one word answer..YES! Prior to this discussion I was happy riding my bike for fun over racing seriously but this opportunity got the spark going again and bang I was into it!
The week leading up to the race I was pretty confident I could win and I only wanted to win for the Bergamont crew especially with the brand being new into Christchurch and NZ so this was the perfect occasion to get the brand known.

The feild was pretty strong and there was one on form rider called Anton Cooper who could be dangerous if he held on up Rapaki plus a few recent NZ representitives. Richard Anderson set a mean pace up Rapaki which I was struggling to hold but I went through the pain and stuck to him as good as I could . After the Castle Rock descent I had to start thinking about how to get away from Richard because he was climbing super well and descending fast..but..I had more knowledge of the trails than him so I attacked him into John Britten trail and got a small gap which I held most of the way down to the tarseal. Richard had a small mishap which helped me gain a few more seconds that I wanted leading into Sumner and from there I drilled it in my biggest gear to victory by round 20secs. Anton Cooper got a comfortable 3rd placing, both Richard and Anton are the riders for the future and great to be on the podium with them both.

From here I am into training mode for the first round of the NZ Cup at Living Springs, Christchurch. I have raced on this track before at the South Island Single Speed Champs and loved the course. Look forward to it and aim to be on the podium once again.

Train hard and enjoy.