I'm writing this after 3 solid days on the bike and a street race in Georgetown - so apologies for the contents....
Once again thank you for supporting the Cairns to Karumba charity ride which raises much needed funds for the Cairns School of Distance Education. These funds help bring educational opportunities to kids in the bush in FNQ....the place where 'Aye!' is added to the end of every sentence, aye!
Yesterday some of the kids and families who make up the 800 students put on an amazing morning tea for the riders at 40 mile scrub at the start of the Savannah. Some of the kids explained how they have their classes in one hour phone blocks morning and afternoons and when they can get an Internet connection they can tap into the whiteboard.
One family drove over 300 kms to help put on the morning tea - which gives you an idea of how remote some of the stations and the student are from mainstream Australia.
They really appreciate the support and opportunities the funds open up for them and so far the event this year has raised around $75,000 (and is growing).
Along the way I'm trying to capture images that will show where the ride goes, who we meet and of course the 10 Victorians in our group. These are being uploaded to photo bucket as go but the with limited net access and some technical difficulties they may be a little slow to load and out of order.
So far the story is packing the bike boxes to fly up, getting to the airport on time, arriving in Cairns and doing an evening cruise to make sure the reassembled bikes were working.
We rolled out on Sunday morning at daybreak with a police escort - it is so cool having the side roads blocked, getting priority through red lights and having the police prop in major roundabouts so you can sail through with presidential priority.
We climbed the range up through Karanda, had a lunch stop in Mareeba and continued on to Atherton for our evening stop. The overnight dew and morning fog was so thick it was like Like it had rained all night!
A police escort out of town the next morning had us head to and over the Herburton Range and on to Ravenshoe the location of Qld's highest pub.
From there we continued on to Mt Garnet where our tent accommodation was located in the rodeo grounds.
Last night's stop was in Mt Surprise - the home of the Savannahlander train. We were camping along the railway line and had two trains go through during the night.
Today had us climb up and over a magnificent mountain range and on to Georgetown where we had a 1km street race where riders were auctioned in a Calcutta and then afterwards joined the annual street parade.....I don't think the local kids had ever seen so many people in one place!
Tomorrow we have a 140km day with a lunch stop where the highway crosses the Gilbert River. The local farmers and their families put on a big spread to thank us for our support.
Anyway, I need to prepare for the next part of this adventure!
Oh, for those wondering it's currently 23 deg (at 10 at night) and an expected top of 28 tomorrow.
After providing solid and reliable service for all my recent riding, the rear Zipp 404 decided it needed a holiday and wanted to head North to Doctor Zipp’s place without me (perhaps it was the nerves of racing?).
Anyway, that left me a little caught out as the bike was waiting at KAOS for the Tuesday shop ride and it needed wheels. Andy provided a great solution -fitting the ENVE carbon tubs to my machine for the week so I had them for the shop ride and then the Sandown crits.
So how did the week of ENVE feel and how did they compare to the Zipps and the Fulcrum Zeros that I also run?
Straight away they showed up as being lighter with the bike (sans bottles and computer but with brackets, pedals and two cages) weighing in at 6.66 kgs – not bad for a monster size 60 frame! I wasn’t so sure about the look compared to the Zipps which have lots of graphics and red tyres – but there is something mean and stealth about the ENVE’s. This showed up on the road with the ENVE’s proving to be much quieter than the Zipps both in rolling noise and in freewheeling. I kinda missed the “I’m Here” soundtrack of the Zipps and rolling behind others freewheeling as long as you can whilst the work their butts off and you sound like a ratchet on heat!
They also feel more compliant vertically, ‘softer’ than my normal set-up but didn’t lack any lateral stiffness and felt like they rolled really well.
I think the biggest difference in terms of performance is that they ‘spin up’ noticeably quicker than anything else I’ve had on the bike. I think they could compare pretty well with lightweight climbing wheels in this regard whilst still being very aero.
At Sandown they felt really sure-footed through the corners and responded well to my demands – ultimately securing a second place in the race.
So my final thoughts are that if you’re looking for light, fast, carbon tubs, with a stealth design and capacity for speed these could be worth a look.
Would I get some? Well I do love my Zipps and don’t think of myself as a ‘Tubby’ person so probably not. But then when I see them on someone else’s bike I’ll now know what quick wheels they have. So if you are in the market for this sort of combo (light, fast, carbon tubs) you should think of adding them to your shopping list. For fellow non-Tubby riders (hope I fit the description) Andy did mention there will be clincher versions out next year and you can get custom colour decals (not that it’s ALL about the look) ;-)
Thanks again Andy and KAOS for fitting them to the bike for me to try.
My Favorite Ride
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 01:19
My favourite local ride? There are so many great regular ones we do but if I had to pick one around Melbourne, it has to be the almost legendary EBL (Emerald Bakery Loop). I’m almost reluctant to share this ride with others for fear it’s popularity could see the end of getting a seat at the café!
So what makes this ride so good? It has all the critical ingredients for the best cycle feast around. Great hills, beautiful scenery, some nice challenges, fast descents and a café that has the most amazing range of cyclist friendly delights you’ll ever find. Combine that with a handful of friendly KAOS riders on their magic BMC’s and you have the makings of an epic ride experience.
So where does the ride go? Well you need to get yourself to the Basin at the start of the 1:20. My choice is the Mountain Hwy as it has a steady climb that will warm your legs for the main event. You can ride there from all over Melbourne or park your car at Bayswater Park at the intersection of Bayswater Road and the Mountain Hwy.
When you head off from the Basin start your lap timer at the 60kph sign and you’ll be able to record your climb time on this famous timed training ride – and use it to gauge how you compare to others or to measure your improvements next time. For newbies a time in the lower 20 minute mark is very respectable and for the more seasoned riders getting well under 20 minutes brings great satisfaction. Try not to be disillusioned by the record time which is in the 13’s!
Look for the false flat half way up the climb which on a good day will see you big ringing it into the mid 30’s and getting great satisfaction passing other unsuspecting cyclists. The timing stops at the speed limit sign just as you come into Sassafras and at the intersection you turn left and head up to Olinda.
The scenery continues to take your mind off the hill and before you know it you’ve arrived in Olinda and are recovering well. Here take the right turn to Monbulk and prepare for a fast run down the famous ‘Wall’. Give a friendly ‘nod’ to the cyclists slogging their way back up the hill and watch out for a repaired section of road and the tricky joins about half way down. There’s also a tricky right hander soon after that section which you can be approaching at around 75 clicks so take extra care there.
At the bottom you veer left and head into Monbulk going straight through the first roundabout along the main street and turning right at the second roundabout on the Emerald Monbulk Rd. This is one of the most amazing valleys in the ‘Nongs and a very special place to be in Autumn. It’s also one of the coldest places in the hills so watch for frost and ice and bring those booties.
You stay on this road for 10ks eventually climbing up into Emerald where you turn right on to the Belgrave Gembrook Rd at the roundabout next to the new Woolworths store. Straight through the next roundabout which is 200m up the road and into Emerald where you turn left at the next roundabout and look for the Emerald Bakery on the right at the pedestrian crossing.
There is space at the front, inside and out the back via the pedestrian alley so plenty of cyclist friendly options. When you get inside you’ll discover a world of choices to temp the fussiest people and help you refuel for the remainder of the ride. They also have plenty of water to top up your supplies.
Back on the bike roll back down to the Belgrave Gembrook Rd and turn left heading west. You’ll cross Puffing Billy’s tracks and might even see the train as you head off. A few km’s along is yet again another roundabout (at the Paradise Hotel) and you turn right here heading for Menzies Creek and the famous little St Cuthbert’s Wedding Chapel. Along the way you’ll get to jump the train line again and then head up to Hermons Corner and the Hankcock’s Daffodils farm which can be a blaze of colour at the right time of the year.
Turn right at this roundabout and up Grantulla Rd. A short way up you look over your left shoulder and have a great view of the bay and the city in the distance. You can also marvel at the slope of the land and wonder how the farmers manage to work on it. A little further on it’s a mini forest and then views to your right out towards Silvan.
About 5 ks on you’ll reach a ‘T’ intersection with the Kallista Emerald Road and here you turn left and head into Kallista. Straight through the Kallista roundabout and up Sherbrook Road for a short nasty ferny climb that probably hits 18% and can make your legs burn and your heart explode.
From here you continue through the magnificent Sherbrook Forest up to the Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd. Turn right at the Tourist Road for your last short climb of the loop as you head back to Sassafras. There is one last fabulous constant-radius left hand bend that leads into Sassafras and before you know it you’re back at the top of the 1:20 and ready for your fast down hill run home.
All up its about a 70 k loop if you start at Bayswater park at the intersection of Bayswater Road and the Mountain Hwy.
This ride is spectacular, rewarding great raining and has a balance of hills that feels like you’ve had a fair share of descents for the amount of climbing. But above all else it has the Emerald Bakery – and it doesn’t get better than that!
If you want to add an extra challenge you can turn right at The Crescent, just before Sassafras and then do the climb back up Perrins Creek Road. This will meet the Tourist Rd and you can turn left for the 1:20 decent or right to take on Sky High.
You can also do the whole ride in reverse as the REBL.
So many choices!
This is how you do it!
Sunday, 04 September 2011 08:08
Riding down Cressy descent at the You Yangs has never been my strong point. Not for Stefan as he demonstrates here on his GT fury.
Andys BMC Fourstoke 01
Saturday, 11 June 2011 08:47
Owning a bike shop does have some perks, like getting the latest gear and specing whatever components you want on it. Yes it is fast...
Check out Andrews 2011 BMC fourstroke 01,
Shimano XTR Crankset 172.5 38 and 42 tooth chainwheels (standard is 38-40)
DT swiss carbon forks
FRM rims with DT Swiss 190c hubs laced together with titanium spokes (1125 grams for the pair)