Thursday, December 9, 2010

End of year win!

You know it’s a big day when the weetbix you eat truckloads of every other day just won’t go down the hatch….ask Bex, we do a separate shopping trip each week just for weetbix and milk! A big sign that I was quite nervous heading into the Festival of Cycling this year, and with good reason, it’s always hard going to a race with a title to defend.

I knew this year the riders were going out there to beat me and with a bunch of young talent in the South Island and a generally strong field at the moment I had to be on top of my game to win.

The course was slightly different from last year with a huge climb near the start which traversed across to the top of Rapaki. The climb was mainly on grass which made for a slightly dead climb and some sections being super steep! I got a small gap about half way up which I held on to and slowly increased to the top of Rapaki to take the King of the Mountains competition and from there I slowly gained more time out of NZ U19 Champion Richard Anderson and the consistent Mark Leishman with a few young guns on his wheel.

With one more descent to go I had a lead of roughly 40 seconds which I thought would be plenty to get to the finish on my own but…that was soon to be gone when a storming talented Brad Hudson and Leishman appeared out of nowhere on the tar seal nearing Sumner. With my solo plan gone I had to start using my road racing knowledge and get myself into good position for the sprint, I was pretty confident I could out sprint both Brad and Mark but when Brad opened up for the sprint I had to quickly get my wheels turning to roll over him, I did just that with a few metres to spare to take the win. This year’s win was just as exciting as last years which was my first race for Bergamont. The perfect race to launch our new team kit and name - Bergamont/Endura. Endura Clothing have jumped on board and kitted us out in awesome gear that matches the Team Bergamonts nicely. My cycling wardrobe is looking pretty cool right now!

Wicked to see and hear all the supporters at the top of Rapaki and then as we criss crossed over the road sections….this race has to be one of the best for spectators, Bex had the supporter thing dialed in on her road bike, managing to get out to Gebbes to see the road race leaders challenging the King of the Mountains, then up Coopers and over to Rapaki to be there when I popped out, continuing along the summit road for each entry and exit and then down to the finish line in time to see me take the honours!

One more race to go and that was the Elite Mens Criterium in the centre of Christchurch city, going along Oxford Terrace, a perfect location for a crit and the crowd is always in full swing. The mens field was pretty jam packed with class as always. I love this race and once the gun went to start I was right in there doing what I love to do and that is race fast, a break went early and with Team Pure Black having control over everyone it was quite hard to get anything done. I tried along with a few other guys to get across which eventually pulled us within touching distance to the leaders. 3 laps to go I drove out of the bunch and got a small gap which got me pretty close but then over top of me a few riders rocketed away and with tiring legs I wasn’t able to respond, that was the move I needed to be in and I knew it. There wasn’t much I could do know so I rolled in with the bunch to get 15th with only a few more actually finishing the race which was incredibly fast.

I was really happy with my performance, I certainly haven’t done the amount of racing the other guys have done and with most of the guys in the top-15 being full-time or near enough full-time bike riders I had a pretty solid race. Next year I will come back a lot more prepared and try reach the podium that I stood on in 2008 with a 5th placing.

I’ve had 3 podiums in 3 years of racing at the Festival of Cycling so keen to keep up that momentum next year! A fantastic weekend and not all hard work on the bike…..enjoyed a few ciders in the sun at Sticky Fingers both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and the chance to catch up with family and friends round Christchurch. It’s on the calendar for 2011 already!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Taupo Huka XL

Finally I put my race number on for the Round Taupo event. I was deciding for a few weeks prior to the event whether I should race the road or do the Huka XL mountain bike race, I went for the mtb race more as a prep race for the Festival of Cycling which I would love to defend my last years race win. For the Huka I knew I would have the fitness to get up in the top handful but more importantly I knew I had to watch the guys who ended up in the top-4 placings plus Stu Houltham who finished a small margin behind me in 6th place, I also knew if I got isolated from those guys my day would be very long as I had no knowledge of any of those trails. After a hard 45mins racing I did end up losing sight of those guys and after a wee while I saw Stu coming up behind me which gave me bit of a boost because I knew he could ride himself back up to the leaders and I wanted that as well. I sat on Stu’s wheel for a long time and gave him a rest every now and again when we got onto some wide open sections. With about 25km to go I moved to the front and kept a reasonable pace which eventually got me ahead of Stu but still a wee while away from the guys I wanted to catch. I finished at least 7mins behind the winner Mike Northcott and a well deserved win after 2nd placing in the last 2 Huka races, Karapoti winner Tim Wilding wasn’t too far behind in 3rd, last years 3rd place getter Mark Leishman did a repeat of that result and young stormer Dirk Peters pulled off 4th with me 5th followed by last years winner Stu Houltham. A pretty top notch field and a fierce race which will lead into a strong 2011 season.
I was happy with my result and I can see some positives leading into this weekends Festival of Cycling, I’d like to think I will have the goods to do the double in the mountain bike race but I know there are a few people who will want to stop that and I’m up for the challenge!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The wheels are rolling!

The warmer weather has made me feel like a cyclist again, more daylight hours after work has helped me get my motivation back and the last month has been pretty consistent. I haven't spent much time on the mountain bike but more so the roadie and have been hitting up races from Wellington to the West Coast North Island areas. Last weekend I went back to my home town to race the Sharrock Cup in Wanganui, 73km out to Waverly and return. The out journey was fast with speeds of up to 60kmh on the flat but the bad news was coming home with a nasty headwind and some big hills to conquer. It wasn't enjoyable but the 3 of us worked well and nearly got through to the front markers. I got the jump in the sprint and bet home old racing buddy Adam Gosney for fastest time.

Today I rode the Tour of Manawatu, an event I last hit up back in 1998 but on a much different course. Palmy pulled the perfect weather out of the bag which made for a fast race on some really nice rolling country-side. A group of 8 slipped away with round 50km to go and we were't mucking round, plenty of attacks and surges kept the legs honest and weakened a few riders. 10km from the finish I eased up on the attacks and had confidence in my sprint to get a good result, Craig Lawn had a ripper of a day and jumped hard at the same time as me and he held on for the win with me getting 2nd. Great ride by Craig and well deserved as he had a very honest day of racing on his bike. I was really happy with 2nd and stoked to have my road racing legs back after having a few years away from the road. Next weekend is an event over in Masterton, good that there is no shortage of racing at this time of the year.....starting to think I might be keen on lining up on the road for Round Taupo rather than the Huka Challenge....who knows, certainly not me so will see how I'm feeling when I put in the entry!

So for another week it's all about the commuting and making the most of the wicked Wellington terrain after work, if you are in a position of being able to ride to work and you aren't doing it yet get going, make the most of the k's and save your petrol money to get to races!

Hope everyone is enjoying the nicer weather and is getting those white glow sticks some summer tan!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Endura is the one!

Well I have marked down my first big race for the coming season, The Festival of Cycling.
Last year I won the mountain bike race and 2008 I finished 5th in the Criterium, this year I am returning to both events and hoping for similar results. I have always enjoyed crits and have had pretty good results in these races over the years in NZ and overseas, they good great to combine with mountain bike racing and more mountain bikers should race criteriums.
The mountain bike race for me is a favourite, I have spent a lot of time riding these trails over the years and I rate them as the best trails in NZ, I look forward to December!

Next year there is going to be a new look for the Bergamont Racing Team, there is some new riders on the team and it will be great to have some younger riders to help grow as riders and help them achieve their goals. Even better we are joining forces with Endura Clothing which is new brand of cycling clothing in New Zealand, Jack Bauer is part of their pro cycling team in the UK. This is a big deal for the Bergamont Team and I am sure we will help Endura Clothing grow as a brand in New Zealand. Big thanks to Nigel Blanchard from Endura Clothing for the support! Roll on 2011..

Check out the range of clothing on

How exciting were the Commonwealth Games?! Congratulations to all the New Zealand riders, they rode awesome!

Enjoy. Summer is coming.

Monday, October 4, 2010


How good is cycling when it is warm? For me motivation comes once summer rolls into town, I don't like being cold and wet so in winter I prefer not to do too much riding (only to work which I have to go to). Over the last few weeks I have been doing a lot more riding than I was a few months ago, my commute to work is so much more enjoyable and riding round the Bays on a calm morning is amazing, more amazing is the amount of people out doing some sort of exercise.

Last weekend I did a video shoot for the Spoke Magazine doing a bike test on the Bergamont Thressome 5.0 which was really cool, I hadn't ridden on the Korokoro track before so it was a chance to do some exploring on some knarly trails that were pretty wet and definately not a place you want to crash on! My riding skills were abit rusty after some time off the mountain bike but it was an enjoyable few hours and a cool video to watch at the end of it.

This weekend was pretty busy on the bike, on Saturday I went for a big road ride out and over the aka's to Waikanae then back along and up over Paekakariki Hill then to Wellington via the Haywards, super cool ride and the view up Paekak was postcard material. I last did this ride a year ago when Bex and I moved to Wellington, such a solid ride a ride I need to do more of. The bunch of guys I rode with were a good laugh and made the ride go pretty quickly.

Sunday was bit of a killer though, I started the Peaks Points event with Dave Sharpe, the idea was to ride to 9 peaks round Wellington in the quickiest time..any route any order! I knew it was going to be hard as Dave is super fit at the moment and had me chewing my handlebar on a few climbs as I struggled to hold his wheel! I popped at the top of peak 5 and called it a day while Dave stormed off on his own to try pull back a few lost minutes.

I will be turning up to more events over the next few months as I prepare for some big races nearer the end of the year, theres a few exciting plans on the go at the moment which I will share with you when its all go. I am looking forward to the coming season, the competition will be stepping up a level with some young guns moving up the grades..Bring it on I say!

See you out there somewhere. Enjoy

Monday, September 13, 2010

Roll on Summer

Summer for me is what motivates me. Winter has never been a great time to race a bike, I get cold pretty quick and I am not a big fan of water at all except to drink. This winter has been pretty quiet and it has been a great time to forget about racing and have a small break after a busy 2010 summer racing series. I may have kept low key and away from bike racing but I have been doing my usual Monday to Friday riding to and from work with a few extra minutes added on every now again. I now ride over to Miramar each day which has been a nice change from the ride to Seaview, I have already sussed out the new area and found some good climbs to punish the legs when the time is needed.

In the weekend my younger bro Nathon came up from Christchurch with his motocross bike to spend the weekend riding some new tracks and more importantly teach me how to pull the throttle back on my bike. I am pretty new to the sport and I am slowly getting the confidence to ride the bike how it should be the powerband! My Suzuki rm125 is a toy compared to Nathon's Kxf450, I won't be going to a bigger bike thats for sure. It will be interesting to see if riding the motocross bike over winter has helped my mountain bike riding, one thing I do know is that my arms just aren't quite big enough to pull the throttle back and hold it wide open. I am sure any riding is going to be a benefit and I certainly am enjoying the motor bike riding.

The 2011 season is not too far away and I have been thinking quite hard about it, as summer nears I am more and more keen to get riding a lot more and checking some more tracks in Wellington that I haven't ridden yet.

Catch you out there soon.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A year goes pretty quick

This time last year I was relaxing with Bex (now my lovely wife) on the side of small lake known as Lake Orta up in the north of Italy. This was the end of our 3 month holiday and Orta was the one of most amazing places I have visited. The main goal for the trip was to do some European racing to prepare for the World Mountain Bike Champs in Canberra. A winter in New Zealand has been completely different and I’ve been enjoying a more relaxed approach, deciding I won’t put my all my focus on bike racing. That’s not to say I haven’t been out riding, my daily commute is keeping the legs turning although my body fires up in the warmth!

It is great to see so many young riders heading away to try achieve their dreams, there is certainly a lot of depth in New Zealand in all codes of bike racing. Exciting to see the dominance from NZ riders in the BMX World Champs this week, how cool is little Lachie going to be at school when he tells his class at news time that he is the Under 7’s World Champion! I often wonder how long I can go as one of the top NZ mountain bike riders – I don’t think I can measure my own success by ‘how long’ but more determine it on the enjoyment I get from the sport. There will be a long time when I am not at the peak of the sport in New Zealand and I know for a fact it will be the enjoyment of the sport which keeps me in it for years to come. To make that move though, I have to be happy with my achievements over 15 years of racing. I have to decide if I want to have another crack at becoming the New Zealand Champion. I have to decide if 2nd place two years running is satisfying enough for me.

My whole life has been bike racing, when I was a young lad doing a paper-run on my Raleigh 20 before and after school it was always a race. I never felt comfortable riding slow and still don’t. I see myself now as one of the ‘older guys’ in the sport, when I was young I was racing against legends Gary Anderson and Lee Vertogen who I wanted to beat. What motivated them? Maybe it was to try beat the ‘youngies’ and prove they still had the goods, maybe because they just enjoyed it so much and couldn’t imagine life without the rush of racing.

I’m pretty sure that this coming season is going to be one of the fastest New Zealand has experienced. Those riders coming up through the ranks are not peaking, they are building their own campaigns which hopefully they can reflect on in 7-10 years when they are closer to my age and still put enjoyment up there as one of the main reasons why they ride and race.

So while I might have been lying low this winter I’m slowly coming out of hibernation, the fingers have been moving quickly on our keyboard hunting out racing calendars, the light is lasting longer at the end of each day and I’m being inspired by the results of others…..

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Drifting back into the zone

Since Mt Isobel I’ve been bit of a drifter, I usually go into this mode once serious racing stops then my mind starts drifting to find something to do to keep busy. The day after Mt Isobel we went and watched my brother Nathon race motocross out at Omihi in Canterbury. Everytime I watch motocross I get excited and have the thoughts of buying a mx bike to end my childhood dream, it now has because I finally have got myself a motocross bike! I’ve been getting rides in when I can and planning on doing a few local trail rides over winter. I took the bike to Peka Peka beach near Kapiti and had a burn..far out it is SO fast! And what a buzz, I love the buzz pinning a cool descent on the mountain bike but the feeling of the powerband kicking in is something different and when it’s on its ALL ON! Downhill riders use motocross/trail riding as training so I’m sure it will help a cross country rider...even if it doesn’t it will be a heap of fun.

The big mountains of Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngarahoe were the background for a fantastic weekend with friends to riding T42. We woke to a bitter wind, a nice clear sky and snow covered mountains, what a great area to ride a bike. I last rode this ride when I was 16 with the Wanganui Mountain Bike Club, I didn’t remember too much about the ride but I knew there were a few step climbs and a few river crossings along the way. There were a mixed bunch of riding abilities but we cruised along and waited when needed and raved about the sections we just rode. We all really enjoyed the ride and we will certainly get back up there through summer for another ride. Our day finished with watching the Rugby, drinking a few beers and listening to a very local singer playing his guitar who hadn’t prepared at all for his night. He was so unprepared he sung songs he didn’t even know the words to, then even let a girl sing a song she didn’t even know the words to..maybe it was a karaoke?

My ‘training’ is going to be a little different from now on, since being in Wellington I have ridden over the Wainuiomata hill most days to get to work. I’ve taken a job on the city side of the hill and am stoked that unless I opt to test my legs up that big beast of a hill it’s not part of my daily commute. Plenty of other hills to get some training on round Wellington and adding in old Porirua Road instead of Ngaio Gorge will keep my legs working. I’m still a big fan of cycle commuting where it’s possible and Wellington has no shortage of keen commuters, they have now made parts of Thorndon Quay a no parking zone in the morning to give cyclists space which is just one step towards the city becoming more cycle friendly.

I’ve had a great long weekend with Thursday and Friday off work – long enough to make me want to be a full-time athlete! Great weather in Wellington made for two weekdays of action with mountain bike rides on Skyline and Makara and a blast in the Wainuiomata hills on my motorbike each day. I was surprised by how wet the Makara trails were, but they were as much fun as when dry. Awesome to have tracks locally which can cope with a bit of rain without being a washout.
Enjoy the winter trails..keep the bike clean!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Victory at Mt Isobel

Early starts in the South Island are generally not my favourite! On Saturday morning it was crisp as at 5.30am when we packed the van to head up to Hanmer for Mt Isobel. We had the heater on full noise most of the way, it was more than a bit nippy in Hanmer but the blue skies were gleaming and it was to stay like that for the rest of the day. Hanmer was a bit frosty and while there was a bit of ice thankfully there was no fresh snow on the trails. We hooked up a ride with Anton Cooper and his dad Paul (best supporter of the day award!) Even better Anton’s Mum Laila packed a big chilly full of home made goodies for us all … think the chocolate muffins were for after the race but we all had a couple before, highly recommended pre race food!

Mt Isobel has been one race that after doing it a couple of times in a team I’ve been super keen to hit as an individual….and super keen to win! I had heard stories of Isobel being pretty rugged and steep but these stories only hyped up the event for me and made me even more determined. My biggest challenge on the day came from midget Anton Cooper. At the start of the run we were running together and swapped placings every now and again but eventually it became a combined effort which we enjoyed to find ourselves at the head of the race and going for the win. We had our work cut out because the first runner came in 5 minutes ahead of us and was doing the Individual as well. Once we came clear of all other riders we were able to both enjoy the final stage of the mountain bike leg…and from the youngest rider in the open men’s field came the suggestion of a bit of a gentleman’s agreement – he wanted me to cross the line first as he felt I had done slightly more work on the bike than he had. I feel this type of maturity and selflessness is something that Anton can be proud of and take with him as he develops into the next stage of his riding. Who knows who would have taken the win had we not had a quick chat along the way but that’s irrelevant as both of us were clearly capable and it would have been only down to the two of us anyway. To have had such close competition throughout the entire race from Anton made it not only an exciting fast race, but also pushed us to finish at a time quicker than the record set in 1999. Because the record was set on a slightly different course it’s not clear if this will stand in history but my time of 2 hours and 14 seconds was on a course which is rumoured to be longer than the one in 1999, with additional singletrack.

Seriously great to hit up this event again, it’s still got a real local flavour to it – right down to the bbq crew who when they ran out of paper plates to serve the delicious fare on they promptly went and found a whole lot of china plates for the picnicking masses!

I seriously recommend to the North Island riders to pick some of the South Island local events and get down there, flights to Christchurch are cheap as and there are always people travelling from the Garden City to the races to hook up with. In the last month I’ve raced in the Hutt Valley, Rotorua and Hanmer and all three locations have had completely different terrains and trails. It’s this variety which New Zealand is huge for….use it and become a better rider. I’m a big fan of making connections with other riders and families who are into the sport – as riders we should be helping each other to get to these races in different places, or just for weekends of riding. There is no doubt that the stronger the competition the better the riding becomes and in turn the better the sport becomes.

And yes….it wouldn’t be one of my blogs without mentioning Bex! She enjoyed the race, only complaint was not having time afterwards to hit the Hanmer Hot Springs for a well deserved soak. Bex took 3rd place out of a field of about 14 woman in the individual event, once again the strong and gutsy Sia Svendson took the win. Best wishes to Sia as she heads back to Denmark soon to tackle the Denmark Elite Road Nationals in preparation for the Worlds on the same circuit.

Try something you haven’t done before in the sport – you never know, you might just enjoy it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Four more days to Mt Isobel!

Mt Isobel…starting at the mtb haven of Hanmer and running up a bloody big climb for close to 8kms, then a mad dash mtb ride to the finish. That’s the plan this weekend!

Any excuse to have a weekend away! This race is one I’ve been looking forward to hitting again, having only ever done the mountain bike leg previously I can’t wait to put the run in front. In 2002 a mate and I won the team event and two years ago Bex and I took 3rd in the mixed teams…this weekend I’m aiming for a sprint through the tracks to take 1st in the individual.

On both occasions it was pretty cold with sleat and snow - 2002 I was the first rider through and had to learn how to bash my way through ice puddles and very quickly because I was on a mission. So far it seems like it will be balmy in comparison this year, although after a settled period of autumn weather in Wellington I’m pretty sure I will be blowing frost out as I climb.

This weekend was a complete opposite to the last two – with no racing planned I was at a bit of a loss on Saturday until I put on my running shoes. Awesome to be living in such a great location for hitting the hills, I went up Bells Track intending to complete the loop which goes up over Mt Kaukau, instead I got a bit sidetracked and did some repeats up and down Bells Track. I learnt at Crazyman that what I thought running down hills fast looked like was very different to the speed other runners could get so it was more of a downhill session than anything else. Hoping it will pay off this weekend as the last 1km or so of the run is a steep downhill scamper.

The day got better and better weather wise so perfect for a spin out to Silverstream on the roadie – and better and better bike wise as I not only got a good 55k flat ride in but also managed to spend some time oogling at bike stuff in at Cycle Science. Of course no Saturday bike shop mission would be complete without a purchase so I came back with pockets full of spanners to complete the build of a new Bergamont Contrail (full sus) for my mate Sam…look out Ngaio, Bergamont is in the hood! Spent the rest of the day tweaking and generally just playing in my bike room (whoops…slip of the tongue…our spare room!)

I haven’t been for many weekend road rides over the last few months and was planning to do a long ride on Sunday but a good group of friends and too much Malibu changed that..oops! As it turned out the weather was yuck anyway so a day of laziness didn’t hurt.

Roll it or run with it..both will get you there! Bring on the weekend!!

Monday, May 10, 2010


Back in the early days of my racing I always looked at 12 hour races as a pain! The thought of being under a small canopy in the rain, changing wet clothes and putting on soaking shoes never really enthused me. The reason I enter in these events now is probably only that the last four years of racing these endurance events I have been fortunate enough not to get caught in the wet.

My coldest was the Mont 24hr in Canberra in 2003 - while doing a lap at 4am my bottle of water was freezing up…no idea why I actually wanted a drink given that it was that cold! In fact at the time I was thinking ‘why am I doing this’ a kangaroo nearly bowled me over out of the darkness! The other extreme was again in Australia, this time in Victoria doing a 24hr in 2007 with temperatures of nearly 40 degrees and man eating flies buzzing round!

I really enjoy this format of racing - doing short laps as hard as possible and always trying to beat the last lap time and racing to be the fastest team. This weekend at Moonride in Rotorua our team was sponsored by Balance Nutrition. We were looked after pretty well with great products to keep us refueled and recovered to bang out the fast laps for 12 hours. It was a bit like a kids party where you get a goodie bag to take home too – thanks Balance, the cupboards are stocked!

We had the fastest team on the day organised by Mark Leishman, who took the first and last lap honours (with just a few more in between!), Scott Thorne, 2010 Xterra Champion and excellent all rounder, and lastly Dave Sharp, a fast Wellington local who has motivation to burn. We were kept on our toes from the fast Rotorua boys but with our consistent lap times we managed to pull out to a comfortable lead of round 7 minutes. Thanks to Keryn (Dave’s wife) who had the team manager business down to an art with every lap and transition timed and accounted for. The tracks in Rotorua are built to be ridden at speed and for an endurance lap race they were perfect, nice to be able to style the laps up with a few jumps and whip round the corners, laps were about 8km each with the fastest lap times from our team around mid-18 minutes.

Leishman pulled out a blinder last lap which included a sprint on a retro BMX to the finish line, had to be there to see it! We finished up with 36 laps one ahead of the Rotorua lads, a great day of racing by all and a crankin’ event to be part of…the night riding on Saturday was hilarious to say the least!

I might have to change my blog title to “Sharratt Racing Team” because over the last month my lovely wife Bex has been getting up to a bit of racing which is awesome. At the last minute (again, bit of a habit forming, that’s a Gemini thing!) she decided to contest the Women’s 6hr Solo, I thought that was a great idea and thought she would do well as long as she ate often and drank plenty. I find it hard to control myself in longer races to be able to push through to the finish, but Bex is quite a master in endurance events and is able to pace herself. She proved this with super consistent lap times right through the 100+ kms that she raced. Bex rode a perfect race and her only complaint was having to stop three times over the 6 hours for us to restock her pockets and drink bottle. Her aim was to reach the 14 laps which the winner did last year, she finished with time to spare riding to a comfortable win with 13 laps which is fantastic effort and was probably only 6-8 minutes off getting that 14th lap dialed.

The weekend away was awesome, plenty of laughs and best of all the track was in fine form for super fast lines. A few days of recovery and I will be back in to training for the next event which is down in Hanmer, Mt Isobel Challenge.

I’ve just lined up my winter training weapon – I’ve just taken deliver of one of my all time favourite cycling machines…a Cateye Cyclosimulator. Can’t wait to tap out a few secret sessions as I plan for upcoming races…LOOK OUT!

See you on the tracks wrapped up warm!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Crazyman! Lives up to its name...

I got excited about Crazyman not long after Karapoti when I was looking for an event to do and was keen to do some running as a new challenge. I have always enjoyed running off-road but 18km? and with two massive climbs?? mmm that was my concern…but I soon became confident over the last few weeks leading up to the event. Only a week before Crazyman Bex jumped on the internet to register as a volunteer marshal…and 10 minutes later told me she had entered the individual duathlon instead! Good or bad idea? Well it turned out to be a great idea!

The beach run, about the first kilometre, was challenging. It seemed like you were taking two steps forward and one back, a kind of sinking gravelly surface. We then hit the road for another few k’s which was only a temporary relief for the legs before hitting the first of the two climbs. I had heard stories about how hard this run was going to be but I think my running strength is running uphill…I found instead that my biggest weakness was actually going downhill.

Approaching Mt Lowry the forecasted southerly came in and blasted us with cold winds and heavy rain but the steep hills kept the warmth in the body and once into the dense bush it was quite nice heading through to Wainuiomata. Despite this at the transition point I couldn’t make my hands work from the cold! Our support crew literally had to put my mountain bike gloves on for me! Thanks Tristan, Saskia, Meta and Marilyn (Bex’s Mum).

I had a consistent run and came in 14th at 1hr 33mins, 14 minutes back from the leading individual male competitor (Bex came through at 1hr 46mins – 2nd female and 7mins behind the leading woman). I felt quite good on the bike and started to quickly reel in the riders getting myself up to 5th spot overall on the home stretch of flat riding, straight into that southerly! The course took us up through the rapidly expanding Wainuiomata Mountain bike Park trails onto the firebreak north. If you are in Wellington with your mountain bike make sure you check out the tracks in Wainui – heaps of work going into making them a great destination, and only a short drive from the city.

I was stoked and a little surprised to come home 1st in the Individual Male category in a total time of 3hr 24min, a bit off the pace from last years winner Scott Thorne but with more running I believe I can get reasonably close to that time..bring on next year!

Bex wasn’t too sure how she placed in the Womens category until prize giving when she heard her name as 2nd place getter behind Danish speedster Sia. They are both looking forward to lining up together again at Mt Isobel in a few weeks.

We had a really enjoyable day of racing and it was great to try out another race format, both of us are keen to do the full Crazyman next year…better start looking for a kayak! Also on the cards could be an entry at the Multisport Nationals which Nathon Fa’avae is promoting and organising down in Nelson for February…watch this space!

Awesome to hit up a slightly different scene and be able to be competitive, my aim for the day was to not destroy myself on my weaker areas so that I could maximise my strengths. This race was tough and as much about mental strength as it was about physical ability. Having not completed a race like this it is hard to know what to expect and how to train specifically for it. I went into the race knowing I was new to it and had a lot to learn. As an athlete it’s important to go into new situations with a positive mind, doubting your potential will pull down your performance.

I really liked something Nathan Fa’avae said after the Crazyman. He noted that the competitors he passed had their heads down, and that the competitors he was passed by had their heads held high. Interesting observation.

I believe that what ever your level, whether you go out to complete or compete, your performance will be affected by your self-talk and believe in your own potential. Keep your head held high, trust in the training you have done and be willing to learn from others.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Great things come in bike size boxes!!

Over the last month or so the weekends have been pretty full-on, organising our wedding which was a time consuming as riding a bike! Bex and I have enjoyed this weekend - no more organising and running round like yoyos! Bex decided yesterday she wanted to race the Revolve Womens Mtb race at Makara so we cruised out there to check out the course, my new bike wasn’t ready so I got my running shoes on and ran round the loop to prepare for the Crazyman next weekend, I felt really good and finished up feeling like I could do a few more strides. Bex felt quite confident on the bike after not really doing any riding since Karapoti and she actually enjoyed a few sections which have been a little tricky on previous rides. Her race today went well, finally she is raving about loving the downhill sections! She showed a consistent steady pace as the race wound it’s way up to the summit, then relaxed and had some fun on Zacs, Northface and Starfish, Swigg to finish 7th. I was supporter and photographer for a change with Rex, his partner Ange coming in the top 10 also.

Friday afternoon I get a text from Bex saying “come home quick there’s a surprise!” – woohoo! Knew my new bike had arrived! I was like small boy opening his first box of lego.

This is what I got..
Yep, I went for the hardtail. I loved the full suspension but deep down I love the hardtail, there’s nothing better than nailing a descent on a hardtail and working to stay smooth, I like to move my bike round, use rocks to jump over nasty bits, pre-jump down slopes to hold speed, a lot of the time I will ride descents and not pedal but just use the bike and pump. I got that style from my Bmx racing days. Coming down North Face today at Makara was a blast! The bike was holding so much speed and was super responsive on corners.

My Bergamont Platoon Team is so European, I love how the Euro’s present their bikes, the colours (blue/white/exposed carbon) are spot on. The machine looks amazingly fast and it is. Set up with my race wheels the bike weighs in round 9kg or just a tad over. I am really excited to race this bike, watch this space!

It’s already had a few demos today, Rex got upgraded on the way up to the summit as I swapped with him (couldn’t resist a bit of single speed time!) and the Bushlove boys were loving it! Don’t be shy….come and have a look when you see me out and about!

So it’s all on for the next two weekends with Crazyman for both Bex and I then we’re off to the Moonride in Rotovegas…..whoop whoop.

Clean your bike…keep it sparkly!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Im back!! A married man!!

Well what a blast! Bex and I got back from our honeymoon which we had up in Kerikeri staying in a cottage on a small farmlet overlooking the Kerikeri inlet, it was amazing waking up to the views each morning. The bikes were left behind for a change so we made the most of our running shoes with a few runs and exploring missions round the area before hiring a car to explore the region over the next 4 days and then driving down to Auckland to fly home. We got out for a really nice kayak up the inlet out towards the coast to a area called Wharau which took us about 2hrs of paddling plus a few stops to do some fishing from the kayak. Bex had a few small bits but I hit the jackpot and cauht a small snapper..wohoo! I hadn't been fishing since I was about 10yrs old , I quite like fishing but I am not into going any further with them so that can be someone elses job..I will quite happily eat it though!

I've had a nice break from the racing and now I am definately getting that urge again to get racing! I have an addiction for searching the race calanders and finding a race to do somewhere in the country or in Australia, I have a plan which will take me to June then from there if it works out I will be hitting the local cyclocross race series in Wellington plus a few weekends up on the mountain.

The most exciting part is that I will be getting on my new 2010 Bergamont machine, I am yet to decide if I should stay on the Fastlane Team full suspension or go to the Platoon Team carbon hardtail? I have heard from alot of people this season that I should be on a hardtail because its faster? But for me..I go fast when I am enjoying the bike I am riding and this season the Fastlane Team has been a brilliant bike to race so my decision is heading that way again..or will it? WATCH THIS SPACE!!

Hope everyone is keeping fit and enjoying themselves. Catch you on the bike soon.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Free Time

For me the 2010 summer racing season has finished, well it actually finished after the Karapoti Classic. I have kept the riding to a minimum with a few days a week riding to and from work and aswell some running in the hills which I really enjoy.

When I look back over the seasons results I am completely happy with how the season has gone, only last December I was ready to put racing on hold and do..well..I didn't get that far but thanks to Bergamont I got the flame burning for yet another season of racing. I had three big goals for the season, 1: win the NZ Cup Series 2: win the NZ Champs and 3: win Karapoti. I achieved the first goal and finished 2nd in the other two, I am more than happy with those results. This year for me was a very consistent season, my attitude was relaxed, I had fun with my training and trained alot less with more freshness coming into each race, also my job is really enjoyable and I actually enjoy going to work now. My boss is Wellington Saloon Champion (speedway), we get on really well and I guess we feed of each others achievements.

Bex and I are two weeks away from getting married, this is pretty cool, racing and getting results is a good feeling but I reckon when we hear the words "you may kiss your wife" I think that will topple the results I have achieved this year. I look forward to that moment.

I have a few different events planned through May. I am training fot the CrazyMan Duathlon in Wellington on the 1st May, this includes a 13km run from Eastbourne over the Wainuiomata then a 33km mountain bike along the fire breaks to Upper Hutt. The 2nd event is the Mt Isobel Challenge in Hanmer on 22nd May, this is an 8km uphill run then a 25-30km mountain bike down to Hanmer. I am looking forward to these 2 events and I have already started my running training up in the hills behind our flat in Ngaio. Bex is also booked herself in for Mt Isobel also and maybe the CrazyMan.

Hope everyone is enjoying whatever they have been doing.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Another win bounced past me....

Karapoti..I put this race in the same category as the Tour of Southland. A race everyone wants to do but how many actually enjoy it? I’ve raced Karapoti before but haven’t had the enjoyment until this year, my 2 previous attempts haven’t made it to any newspaper articles! I first came to this event way back in 1994 when I was 12 and raced the 20km and finished in the top-20.

This year I came to Karapoti “wanting” to race and in my pre-ride I actually enjoyed it but still thought it was just one mongrel of a bike just’s a true old school mountain bike race. When I got in to the sport that’s what we rode on our fully rigid beasts bouncing round like pogo sticks on a sugar high.

I dislike cold water a lot and even get goose bumps jumping into a warm shower so running through a river at the start of a race at 10 o’clock in the morning isn’t on my list of favourite things to do!

The pace was pretty quick up the gorge with big rig Tim Wilding riding like he had a motor on his bike, Mark was putting in his grunt as well. This pace saw myself and a group of round 5 other riders slip away and we stayed together until the “warm up climb” which split the group. Stu, Tim, Anton and I got into a good rhythm, managing a small gap over the others and as the climb went on Tim and I tussled our way to the top with a small lead over Stu. From the top of Deadwood to the Rock Garden, Stu and I were fighting to stay with the flying Tim who eventually hit his powerband twitch and was gone. I was in 2nd and knew I had to pin it to hold this spot because on this course you just never know how far riders are behind you. At the top of Dopers Tim had round 2mins on me so for the last part of the race holding 2nd was the priority.

Coming out of the Gorge on to the road section I saw a hunched over Mark chewing on his bar to reel me in. Hitting the river I went too far to the right and found myself not touching the ground and had to doggy paddle for a bit to resurface and get motoring to the finish line. Quite an experience for a non-swimmer like myself! I held on and it was a great feeling crossing that line!

Mark didn’t bother with a swim at the end and came through another 9 seconds after me. Anton ended up having a superb ride, coming in 4th, just a tad over 2 minutes off the Junior Record, I’m sure by the time he’s finished Junior he could quite possibly have his name on both records? As the event doubled as the NZ Marathon Championships I take claim to 2nd for the Elites and Anton took the Junior title for this. Stu rolled in to finish 5th after a puncture up on the Boulevard.

Great race all round – Karapoti and I are now even thinking about becoming facebook friends now that we have found out we quite like each other!

Congratulations to Tim, brilliant ride and great to see him take out another big event. To those who rode Karapoti well done for finishing and even cooler the “always working hard and not leaving time to ride her bike” Bex took 23mins off her last years time!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Closer..but not close enough in 2010

My new home town Wellington was the perfect host to the NZ MTB Cross Country Nationals this weekend.

The weather was in fine form, the track in perfect form and my legs were in even better form. Big cheers to the organizers, this was one nationals track that tested!

I knew it was going to be good, my plan was to be at the front and stay there...more importantly not to let any of the big hitters get a gap. This plan worked for a while with Mike Northcott, junior Richard Anderson and myself gaining time on the other riders on the first lap. This grew throughout the race. Mike was on fire but I did what I could to match him and let him know I was going to be the one to beat today. But he was on form too and he gained a little here and a little there, getting a gap of round 25 seconds, which slowly grew to 55 seconds then to 1min 10secs at the end. Not part of my plan! When this happened I was still feeling really good and giving it gold, but Mike was just faster and stronger, in mountain biking it’s simple...the fastest rider wins!

The remainder of the race I had a good tussle with young Anderson who was having a cranking race and won the U19 comfortably. This race was by far the best I have had all season, in my own form and in the competition around me. The second step on the podium was well earned and for Bergamont a big start to a big venture in New Zealand, for a brand new to NZ in 2009 they have already got people talking! Maxxis Tires were part of my success today also, it is great to have their support this season. Claiming 2nd place at Nationals twice in a row shows the consistency in racing form which I have built to.

It’s completely exciting to be part of the scene right now, there are so many up and coming juniors who are biting at the elite riders heels, keeping the effort and race tactics fast and honest. Age and experience are still the trump cards, not just on race day but in preparation and training.

Thanks to all the people who came out to support, although I can’t always pick out faces from the blur trackside I hear the voices of support, clapping and cheering. In the weekend at both Mt Vic and then on Sunday round the short course the crowd were really getting into it. Quite cool to hear heaps of people yelling out my name!

So as always it’s a quiet Monday night, time to chill out, recharge the batteries for a couple of days then look the next challenge straight in the eyes...Karapoti. A race I’m convinced people love to hate! It’s never been a good one for me, but after a sweet run through a couple of weekends ago it’s time to bite the bullet and get the mongrel out! Best wishes to all those taking on this challenge, whether you get round at race pace in contention for the podium, or get out there and finish it is a massive achievement.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Show Down in Vegas!!

Series win on the line, 2 riders eligible and ready to win…showdown in vegas!

I won the 2010 NZ MTB Cup Series. This was one of my goals for the season, added to the South Island Cup win - two titles which I’m stoked to have grabbed.

No time to dwell on it though, it’s all just a warm up with the real goal next weekend…Nationals…something I have wanted since my second placing in Nelson last year. And by being part of the racing this weekend in Rotorua the stage is set for an exciting and fast day on the slopes of Mt Vic!

I rocked the Maxxis Aspen tyres this weekend which had literally just turned up at my doorstep – mint for the rotovegas track which was bone dry and fast. It took every advantage to stick with the locals in their turf! The field was cranking with all the strong Elite riders in the country showing up.

I rode the start like a bit of donkey, it was an uphill tarseal climb and by the top I was sitting about 14th. My thoughts headed towards “no way my legs can’t be this bad”. A couple of years ago a bad first lap would have seen me pull out as if I wasn’t at the front I thought I wasn’t in it. I’ve had a huge head change in racing since then and know that there is plenty of time to work the crowd if I can keep my head positive. So I kept calm and started to feel to fire burning by the end of the lap. Lap 2, my legs hit overdrive mode and I had a stormer up the tarseal climb, moving from 12th to 4th in the space of 300m and going uphill like a rocket. I managed to get within 10secs of the 3 leaders..perfect. I was back in the race!

From here I had a real battle with Carl Jones (Bergamont) and Stu Houltham for 3rd spot. I got a gap on Stu and was tussling with Carl for the last few laps. At the end of the 5th lap he attacked my in the singletrack and I just couldn’t follow his wheel. I pulled a small amount of time out of him up the main climb but his local knowledge of the singletrack tested me and I had to settle for 4th.

This round was about the racing, not necessarily the result – it’s put the legs and head in the right space to attack it next weekend in Wellington.

Wicked to be part of the Bergamont crew – we’ve had a huge start to the season results-wise along with being part of an exciting brand introduction to NZ. In every cup race, North and South Bergamont has hit the podium, in most we’ve rounds we’ve hit the podium steps twice or three times.

Bergamont riders have claimed the South Island and North Island Cup Series. Bergamont has taken the 1-2 in the Elite Men NZ Cup Series, myself and Carl taking prime positions. And Katie O’Neil is representing for the girls and doing it well with the NZ Cup Elite Women title as well as 2nd in the North Island Cup…..Bergamont is dominating!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rocky Road!

Bikes are washed, washings done, another good weekend on my pedallies!

I hit up the local road scene on Saturday, howling winds didn’t stop the Wellington roadies. The interclub race took us all over the Miramar Penisula… minute we were heading round the coast at 40k an hour, next minute it was an almost stand still coming round into one of the bays, 16k and slowing quickly. A mad race, with a hill finish. I started on scratch with 4 others, that soon whittled down to two. Myself and Andy Hagan battled it out, I knew he would be a tough fighter on the climb. He proved that he was ready to pounce, but I had the head tuned in and was ready and waiting. Despite not knowing exactly where the finish was I was able to put the power down at the right time to finish just ahead of him taking fastest time and second overall.

Great to be able to get some time in my calendar to race local road races, nothing like getting the Bergamont Dolce 4.9 out there in full force. Pretty sure some of the race goers are still laughing at my Compact Tiagra but it’s been said before and I will say it again…’s not just about the bike. Sure I would love to be racing some light fast wheels and carbon but for local racing the Bergamonts got it covered.

Sunday was an early start out on the Karapoti track for a reccy. It’s never been a good race for me. My plan was to go out, ride it hard and give myself a confidence boost knowing that I’ve ridden the course at near race pace after a good dose of rain. The Maxxis Monorail front and Larsen TT rear was a good combo…..for a dryer track! I’ll be looking to run the Maxxis Advantage if the track gets any more rain otherwise will be sticking with this combo. It was pretty slippery out there, but the first and last climbs have been smoothed out which is likely to make for a record breaking Karapoti time on the day if anyone has got the goods.

So it’s full steam ahead for the weekend up in Rotorua now, race day Saturday. Looking forward to hitting the forest again, love the vegas tracks!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

From backyard beginnings….

Somehow I managed to get myself roped into riding back to the Picton ferry with Bex at the beginning of the week, she had ridden out to Nelson on Friday through all the thunderstorms! The return trip was far less eventful weather wise although the legs were a bit had it after the weekends racing.

This should have set me up for a quiet week of spinning but I couldn’t resist hitting it hard a couple of times, adding extra hills to my normal commute. It hasn’t really benefited me as I spent the weekend feeling rather lazy and not going near my bike. It’s a bit of a reflection of the effort that’s been put in over the last month, the body was ready to have a weekend off racing, the travel and the need to be somewhere at a certain time.

A crazy Wellington weekend, hugely hot and deadly still on Saturday followed by an early winter on Sunday left me time to have a think about the times that got me started in cycling.

I grew up on a small block of land in Wanganui behind Virginia Lake where me and my brothers (Craig and Nathon) spent endless hours building jumps, challenging each other to ride up the steepest hill, making jumps at the tops of the hills and jumping down them, building cyclocross hurdles and doing time trials on the motorbike. It wasn’t all fun and games with the yearly planting of pine trees to sell as Xmas trees which funding our racing.

Our paddock became a bit of a hang out for the local club riders, we had skills days, cyclocross races and eventually Mum and Dad organised a kids series for under 12 year olds called “Kiwi Kids Mountain Biking”. These started out to be 10 kids having fun to about 80 kids wanting to win over a near 10yr period! Not many people know but this series was the start of many champions, Sam Blenkinsop, one of the best Downhill riders in the world, Jono Hamlin (multiple NZ Track Cycling Champion and now Motocross rider) and Glen Haden (multiple NZ Downhill Champ and now Motocross rider) to start with a few names!

I was super excited when I found out I could ‘race’ a bike. It all started in 1986 when Craig and I rode BMX in Wanganui at the local BMX races in Castlecliff, at the time I was getting laughed at because I was always last on my little blue chopper! I turned up to my first road race when I was 12 on my Mtb bike and raced well but knew I could go faster on a road bike. Brent Anderson who looked after the younger riders said to he wanted me to use a club road bike to see how I went which at the time was a weapon! A white and blue Tarini with tubular tires and old shimano 600. I raced that for 3 years and treated it like my own bike. It got a good clean each Saturday morning so it was sparkling for the afternoon race. Not quite as fancy as the younger riders these days are getting, but damn it looked clean! The following year I got into Track Cycling on the old 500m Cooks Gardens Track before it got pulled down.

I really enjoy going back to the Wanganui Club and racing every now and again, the club was very supportive over the years and there are a lot of nice people still involved. Bex laughs whenever we drive through Wanganui and we see a cyclist as I can just about always name them! Small town!

So that was how it all started for me, backyard beginnings.

And how it finishes for me in cycling? ….. I’ll be cycling until the stars stop shining! Racing will have it’s day, but the sweet feeling of two tyres and a bit of speed will never die!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One goal down – 2 more to go!

It’s great to take the South Island Cup for the 2nd year, finishing with the same results as last year - two 1st places and a 3rd.

The final round of the South Island Cup was in Nelson, a similar course to last years nationals with almost the same conditions to keep us all honest…..MUD, and lots of it! Approaching this race I was aware it was going to be a challenge with more competition than the last 2 rounds. New Zealand Champ Stu Houltham was racing, plus on form rider George Bennett along with a handful of North Island riders.

The race started fast on the main climb which split the field straight away, the pace was a little fierce for me so I backed off and found my own rhythm. At the end of the 1st lap I was in 4th but soon went to 5th when flying Junior Richard Anderson came past and left me wondering if I was having a good day. My descending was appalling and I was loosing time. I was starting to panic but soon got my mind into the race and got the flow going by the start of the 3rd lap where I put in a surge in the big ring up the main climb and pulled back some time. From there I knew I’d grovelled back into the podium positions.
The last 2 laps were good and finally passing Stu Houltham moved me into 3rd spot, fast closing down on my team mate Carl Jones who was riding really well. To get 2nd I had to climb like a demon and catch Carl by the top of the climb before we got into the descents but just couldn’t quite do it had to settle for 3rd. George Bennett was 2 and a half minutes ahead of Carl. I was 15 seconds behind Carl.

I was happy with 3rd. I raced hard and was pleased with my last half of the race, I know
where I messed up and will work on that over the next month.

I’m now looking forward to some weekends off racing and staying put in Wellington with Bex for the next three weeks. One of the goals is to do a recky of the Karapoti course plus some good ride time on the Nationals course at Mt Vic.

Monday, January 18, 2010

2 rounds, 2 wins!

I came back from the 1st round of the South Island Cup like an old person, legs were smashed at the start of the week and it was first up, first dibs on the car in the morning instead of riding the famous wainui hill to work.

These couple of days off the bike, along with some serious eating and muscle recovery set me up for the next hit at the South Island Cup Series - Dunedin.

The good weather hung about making for a fast course, the same one will be used for the upcoming Oceania Games in March. It was about 6.5ks a lap, 6 laps for Elite.

Having just flown in the morning of the race I was a bit stressed to discover my front rotor was bent. Time ticked away as I attempted to sort it out, in the end borrowing one (thanks heaps to Steve from Invercargill!).

The race started fast with the juniors fighting for the lead heading into the first single track section. I held back and wound up the pace leading into the first climb, establishing a gap by the second lap on Brad Hudson which I was able to extend to about 40 seconds and then hold for the remainder of the race.

The climbs were great, was able to give them a bit of a drilling, taking it easy down the descents and having a bit of fun with the course. The main descent was a bit tacky with steep off camber sections and tree roots, I enjoyed the little ramp drop offs and jumps.

Again it was a long race by cross country standards, total race time for me was 2hrs 15, after a similar length race in Christchurch. It will be interesting to see what finishing times the remaining South Island Cup race and the North Island Cups will be. If NZ mountainbiking organizers want to draw the crowds, riders and make the racing faster perhaps they should be aiming for a winners time of 2 hours or less…World Cups are sometimes under 2 hours, Swiss Cups were sometimes down to 1 hour 45mins with laps as short as 3.5k. Just something to consider to bring the speed back into our cross country racing.

It was a bit disappointing to see only a few elite riders riding in Dunedin, but awesome to see the standard of junior riders coming through. I’m looking forward to Nelson round with a few more guns lining up – will be a more challenging race and the end of a 3 good racing weekends for me. I’m ready to battle it out and wanting to take the hat-trick!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Living it up at Living Springs

It’s all started, the much talked about national cross country circuit, south island cup, north island cup, one off nationals….opinions are varied but at the end of the day it’s great to have a racing circuit to pick and choose from and to test out the legs on.

Christchurch was host to another big weekend of cycling, not too unlike the recent Festival of Cycling with a range of disciplines hitting the road and tracks hard. While the crowds would have been obviously drawn to Sunday mornings Elite Road Nationals it was awesome to have a Cross Country circuit with heaps of supporters out there lining the track. Thanks to all those people who were calling out my name….it’s great motivation!

I enjoyed being back in the scene and catching up with other riders, while it was a smaller field than I would have expected it was still dotted with riders wanting to check out their own and others form at this early stage of the season. The 6k circuit which we ended up doing 7 laps of was filled with demanding climbs and rewarding flowing descents. Hot weather made for a great dry track. Living Springs is definitely a good spot for Christchurch locals to make use of, awesome views and well formed tracks.

I started fast, which worked well, I had a few followers in the first 100m who I was able to work a gap on as the first lap progressed, then it was all about lengthening the gap each lap. The biggest challenge was from Anton Cooper racing in the Under 19’s who ramped it up in his 5th and last lap to pull the gap closer and take out the win in his category. Unfortunately Richard Anderson who was racing Anton had a nasty crash, good to hear today that he hasn’t broken any bones.

I’m loving the X-link rear suspension on my Bergamont when hitting rough grounds at full pace, a sweet race. Hopefully there is some pace in the field at Dunedin next week to give the spectators something to get excited about. I’ll be hitting it hard and enjoy the Dunedin circuit.

With three weekends in a row of travel and racing it’s going to be a month for managing food, sleep and training effort … with Bex still on school holidays it should be easy to manage between the two of us.

Ride hard not long :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Seeing in the New Year

My last week of holidays has been relaxing and enjoyable. Bex and I took off up to the ‘naki for a few days. We hit up Lake Mangamahoe, on the way into New Plymouth from the south. I had some good days of training on tracks that are very different to those here in Wellington, there were some really cool steep damp descents with lots of tight single track and plenty of tree roots. I’ve been testing out my stealth new riding kit, Fifty3eleven, designed and produced in Christchurch and supplied to me by Andrew Widdup. Stoked that he’s started to manufacture mens gear after the success of his Athena range for the ladies. The Fifty3eleven kit is well constructed, uses quality fabrics and chamois and has a great fit.

Back in Wellington it’s been a windy couple of days – making for some dicey moments up on the Skyline track behind our place….literally blown off my bike and bracing myself against the hill! Bex keeps telling me it makes me stronger….a Wellington girl at heart! Also have had a chance to explore some of the Belmont Regional Park by mountain bike and knock off my first timed climb of Paekakariki hill on my road bike (10mins 24 seconds….about 3.8kms of solid climbing)

Whether it’s the wind or not, I feel I’m ready to tackle the first round of the NZ MTB Cup Series in Christchurch on Sunday. I have great memories of the Living Springs tracks after a successful (and hilarious) South Island Single Speed champs there last year. Unfortunately for the spectators this weekend there will be no pink pajamas, gorillas, near nudity or beer sculling on course….but here’s hoping there will be fast and furious racing instead.

Work first though – it will be good to be back into the routine – hope everyone enjoyed their new years break wherever it was and that you got some good k’s in.