Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Would be fun

Hopefully I can stop thinking of cool things to do and just do them !

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Well my posting lately has not realy been too much about riding or racing, while I have been and trying it has been very frustrating. It seems every time I get into routine showing some good signs it all turns to pear. So here is some good stuff of what's been happening.

First night at home and already best mates

This little bloke is a Tenterfield Terrier (one of the few true Aussie dog breeds), and has a very cool character. Whilst we miss our Bella, we found Elsa to be very lonely, lost and demanding attention every second we were home. we just did not have enough time to give her. So we decided to have a bit of a look around to see what type of dog we wanted. We are pretty picky when we look at pets after all they will be with us for a very long time (hopefully). We wanted a dog that would fit in with us, enjoy every second they could, be a great friend, great with other dogs, and good amount of energy, smart, attentive, and attractive. We were not too sure of the size we would get as "little dogs" did not really do it, but Tenterfields seemed to have the right balance. Lucky for us we found a great breeder with a great history who obviously loved what they did. Although their dogs had show dog champion history, they were all about enjoying the dogs and what was right for them, and generally letting them be dogs. Mother (Lina) and Father (Raz) were from different parts of Aus all the history meant no in-breeding and a full health check and these parents  were in tip top condition. A little chat about feeding the fella's and it was clear they were not skimping on good tucker for them.
So the dogs were fantastic fun we also saw the pups 2 year old sister, actually there were about 5 adults all enjoying some fun and games with the pups. You could see the great attributes of the breed and to be honest it was going to be hard to take one of there own away from the pack. It seemed like they were apart of a big family that no doubt will be missed by the pup. But reality is they could not keep all of them so it just had to be. We had spent some time with the dogs before we eventually gave Ollie the farewell to his parents, but they seemed to know exactly what was going on. With both the mother and father coming up to me and Kendra (on our way out to take Ollie home) for a pat as they waged their tails. It was pretty cool because it was like getting the OK from the parents.
Ollie came home and was introduced to Elsa, and he was very cautious to begin with but soon the courage was building and you could see the friendship evolve. They are great fiends but some days Elsa looks like a worn out mother, ready for a good sleep. Ollie is sometimes very demanding and can sneak his way into anything he wants and I got to say it is very hard to say no to the little bloke, who looks so disappointed when he makes anyone upset. Elsa and Ollie are great together and sharing definitely is not a problem with bones and dinner time it is all good. We have had friends dogs over and no doubt Elsa has proved to be the protector in guarding Ollie while he finishes his treat. It is good to see them both happy and enjoying each others company. There is no looking back now he is a great bloke and perfect fit into our family. He is going to be allot of work like all good dogs are but we are enjoying the puppy stages. School is going great and has been great for him to socialise a bit more and meet new friends including a girl friend called Jess :). Allot of people say why not train them yourselves, but reality is you get more from the dog doing it in an exciting environment, knowing they will listen in any situation, and it is great for socialising. He has his first test tonight and no doubt he is going to pass. Elsa finished up in first place 13 years ago, but I got to say the other dogs are lucky they do not place them anymore.
I have taken him out on a few little rides and he loves it, he is getting more confident with it but we are slowly building. We have build up to about 5k's, and loves the run.
Trying to be top dog

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Trek Madone 5.9

It's been a while since I've felt comfortable on a roadie and the last few weeks I have been enjoying every moment on this bike. The 5.9 is made up with a full Ultegra group including wheelset and Ui2. Since purchasing I have swapped out the cranks to my quark power meter, and other than that it has and will stay pretty standard other than the Garmin 800. It is such a nice bike I really have no reason to swap anything.
As soon as I threw a leg over Marilyn Madone (OK the name did not come from me it was Kendra, but it does fit ;)) it felt right and I could not get the grin off my face. The first ride was in -5 and below temps out at Tidbinbilla and I did not even think about how cold it was, I just enjoyed the ride and it felt soooo right. It is hard sometimes weighting up difference's in bikes trying to make the right choice, but for me this was a long term one and I'm hoping to have this bike for a long time so a few extra $$$ for exactly what I was after, is a decision I was happy to step up to. The frame was stiff, any power went straight to the wheel, but so smooth on the big chipped tar, it is hard to believe how far the technology has come, I could not be convinced that anything else could ride any better.
On the Rivet, were fantastic in helping with the paperwork etc for compensation from my accident, they really went out of the way to make life that bit easier, and did a few extras that I would not have expected from any shop. There are so many things that just can't be brought, and it is really where the LBS steps it up. Scott also set me up with a bike fit, this has been a good move, there was not much wrong with my old fit but I was keen to slide the cleats more forward than mid foot. This raised the saddle a touch, slight adjustments here and there and things were in line and feeling right. So thanks to On the Rivet for making life back on the bike as quick and easy as possible.
So stand out features of the standard 5.9, and things I'd be always looking for in a good roadie:
The frame just begs to be ridden fast, it looks fast and is finished to perfection. I love the colour and where it is white does not really get dirty (MTB'ers dream ;)).
Ui2 just so quick, smooth, effortless, maintenance free and reliable.
Carbon bars, are great on a roadie especially in the drops ofering great dampening.
 A great all round package.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Madone - On the Rivet

On the Rivet have a few selected demo models for riders to try out in the real world. It is a great way to confirm any doubts when buying a bike, and for me it has been a hard choice, and one I want to get right. With my road racing increasing over the past year or so I want to make a good choice. So without a roadie I have been getting my fix with a Trek Madone 5.2.This is similar in spec to my old Giant TCR Alliance, so the Ultegra components was very familiar and I felt right at home. The frame was a 54cm, a touch small for me but it gave me a really good idea on the frame characteristics.

The look is great, some very nice details, and Trek have finished it off nicely. The very wide BB, unique tube shapes, internal cables, all finished off to perfection and hard to pick any faults. The 5.2 is very stealth, it was nice but personally not quite what I want but it is a personal thing. The 5.5, 5.9 definitely appeal more to me in the paint department.

The frame really is where it all matters, and while this is a 5 series and not the top of the line 6, it still had most the design qualities of the 6 and comes in at a lower price. Having being so adapted to the Giant I could feel instantly the differences in the frame. The bike was stiffer yet less harsh, I found as soon as I put any effort in I was rewarded then and there with the bike jumping forward, but also smoother to ride. It felt like a racier bike yet more comfortable. Designs change over 3 years and the Alliance was partly alloy, but the Trek did feel like it had the perfect balance.

I decided a ride up Honeysuckle would be the best choice where I can do my timed run and compare. It was great I never felt sluggish and definitely felt lighter, and easier to punch over the steep rise. My time was off my best and I must admit I am in no shape at the moment to get close to it, but I was not far off, the bike without a doubt improved the climb. The decent was quick...too quick, I felt uncomfortable and it was not the bike slowing me down it was me. The bike handled speed so well I just did not feel right going so quick into the corners I had to brake. There was no twitching, flexing, it was smooth and stiff. I was the weak link, I've never felt that descending on a road bike before.

Overall I really like the bike, it has everything I want plus more. So the decision has been made, I know what I want, it is just so hard to choose the model. Each model has a great spec and all look fantastic it is hard to make that choice. Hopefully the next month I can move forward and get back to the road efforts.

Thanks On the Rivet for the test ride, you have eased the itch temporarily :).

Seems I need to clean my phone camera lens :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Where to go?

Well to be honest lately I've been in a spin. Up till about 6 weeks ago it was all fantastic hitting all the numbers, good build happening for Easter solo then sickness came, I was thiniking all good plenty of time to bounce back. I built back up and was looking good again, then Bella happened. Mont had come with little riding in the week leading in, I must admit I was a little flat but still riding well. But since the mont I have been suffering hand numbness but battling through it, and looking at bike positioning again. Then my wheels were taken out of me by a bull bar. All is good physically a little sore but not too bad, roadie did not cope too well a write off, but at least the driver was good about it claiming responsabilty (well so he should). The "sorry mate I did not see you" words were used as I was getting myself off the tar. Things like that happens unfortunately and the driver was a good bloke in making sure I was OK and taking me home. Hopefully I will have some luck with the claim.
So with all this happening, 6+6 will be over for me (although I decided that on the weekend), and I may even give the Rockytrail race a miss. Really depends on how I feel riding over the next few days. But somehow I think somebody is telling me something, maybe I should just sit on the couch and get fat.........sounds fun, but that is not living.
So today I went out for a fun ride, and really just what I needed. Nothing beats a good day out, no intentions, no numbers to chase, it cleared my head and for the first time in a few weeks I really felt back at home on the bike.
More details to come on that ride.
This weekend of course the Easter solo's is on, feeling a little dissapointed I'm not doing it. It's strange sitting this one out after doing the last 5 (well last year was a real failure, so I guess that does not count). But it is all for the best, and I'll be out there cheering. So good luck to all, and hit up a few laps for me and make them fun one's!