The following was originally posted on the Kenwood
Cyclery message board.
Tuesday Carrie, Dock and I are off to Oz for World Single Speed
Championships on Nov. 9. Rest assured we'll be riding with a full
complement of Kenwood racing apparel and colors, including CX warm ups.
Dano the organizer has a great itinerary of activities (Mountain Bike
Nationals, winery tours, genuine Ozzie barbie, urban assaults, trail
rides, traditional pre-race registration party, Worlds race, post race
party, hob-knobbing with all the really big bike industry movers and
shakers, etc) set up for us, and we will try to post some reports here
on the KW Discussion board, and CarsRCoffins. And remember
it is still not too late to get a ticket to Melbourne.
Well after spending 20 hours on planes Carrie, Dock and I arrive in
Melbourne. We hooked up with the crew from Spot in LA, and the crew from
Atomic-Industries at the Mel Airport. Nine of us in a 9 passenger van,
with most of the bikes in a trailer. Tight. Thursday was spent getting
to Mt. Beauty where they are holding the Oz Mt. Bike Nationals this week
end. We unloaded, staked out our beds, put the bikes together, had a few
beers, and rode downtown for pizza. The service sucked so Dano got
pissed off and we took the pizzas back to the house. A beer stop on the
ride back, then we discovered the large pizzas we ordered turned out to
be smalls. Service sucked, not only that but it really sucked.
Kind of an
early night for most of us, still tired from all the flying. Friday it
started to rain, but a couple of us did some road rides downtown again,
then Dock and I went to the race venue to sign up for the SS race
Saturday morning. A one day license was $32 aus. But we whined enough
the lady offered to let us do the race free, being as we were
internationals and all. The sun came out, and we convinced the
others back at the house to go for a dirt ride. We rode the XC course,
and I have to say at least the slippery conditions made it the toughest
XC course I've been on. Definately a 30x20 day tomorrow. Right now
you are sleeping, and we are heading back to the house to shower and
warm up. Hopefully tomorrow will be dry and warmer. After all it is
supposed to be spring. The Spot crew have some really nice bikes
with them, and Dano is treating us just tops.
Saturday Dock, me, and Pat from Spot did the SS race at OZ Nationals.
Pat got second, I was DFL (out of 5 remainders) and Dock was pulled due
to excessive bleeding. The course was 2 x of 6-8K as we did in the
pre-ride on Friday, but the organizers saw fit to hold off on the start
for 45 minutes to give it a chance to rain some more. Even the Spot guys
were complaining about how slippery it was, and they're from the NW.
So it got more and more "technical" as the race went on. Pat
was brave enough to enter the next race, not a bad deal as they let him
comp into it since he was an international. But as strong as he
is, he dropped after two laps because of the glop that the course had
An additional side benefit to being a stupid American: turned out they
wanted to re-use the number plates for next year, but all three of us
somehow ended up keeping ours, we all missed the little old lady with scissors
at the exit gate who was clipping them off of the bikes. No idea we did
it. In the afternoon Dock quit bleeding enough to go for a trail
ride. We had a map, got some advice from Dano and Mallachi on the
good trail (going in the opposite direction from what the guy in the
bike shop told us of course!) and headed out. Then we missed the very
first turn and got lost. But kept right on going until we added
another 5 miles of uphill to the high point on the mountain road. The
down hill race was in progress so we watched a bit of that, then rolled
down the road to the promised single track down hill run. Sweet.
Finished the ride going past the golf course where Dock and I had seen
some kangaroos during our warm up for the earlier race.
Sunday all nine of us got up early, packed the van and headed to
Melbourne. We hop-scotched from coffee shop to winery to coffee shop
back to Mel. Dano only got 2 speeding tickets. Today is an off
day, tomorrow is the barbie on the Yarro river with the locals. More
drinking will happen I'll bet. But I wont bet on the horse race.
To quote one of the local TV stations, "Euphoria is building!"
We've been riding around Melbourne area, and done some nice single track
stuff. Dock and I found some trails along the river that the locals say
is not quite proper to ride on, But the park managers just kind of look
the other way. The local MTB advocates are working with the parks to get
some actual trails put in, and they haven't had much of any sort of
conflicts yet. Joey Klien from IMBA was here for a while a couple of
weeks ago to help get things started.
Today we rode some really nice single track at a state park out side of
Melbourne, very much like the river bottoms. tomorrow we head up to
Castlemaine for the big event. Much riding and partying before the
event, of course. Hopefully I'll be able to post a report from there,
with actual results etc.
Post Race Report:
The course was super, everything very challenging but rideable if you're
fit/strong/skilled/sober. The best rider of the day was Clinton from NZ
who didn't need to be sober. Dock and I both got lapped, but finished
the 4 loops around the 7 K course. Carrie made one lap and had more fun
then the rest, catching a couple of Kangaroos hopping around the bush.
The best woman was Linda from SoCal. Not everyone finished by the way.
There were a total of 140 riders, with a few pros. Whomple did his thing
(get nude and ride) to the disgust of most of us. He apparently
does this quite regularly. Dano did a splendid job of organizing
things, with help from his girl Emma and the local bike club headed up
by Mallachi. The weather was great of course.
Out on the loop you had a choice of taking a short cut around a
technical section (as if there weren't already enough technical sections
like 'Spooky', 'Death Drop'), but you had to dismount and drink a can of
XXXX beer before continuing. Dock and I both made 2 beer stops, Carrie
made one. A bunch of guys who beat me to the beer on my first lap were
still there when I came through on my last lap. It took me maybe 2:15,
Dock about 5 minutes behind me. Winner must have been about 1:30.
We are now
in Sydney "decompressing" from a week with the single
speeders. Which means trying to dry out. Castlemaine had some great
trails besides the Worlds course. We did a ride along a very narrow
single track on top of a berm, about 10 K each way. The day before the
Worlds we went off with a big group ride, but they went back to the
trails we had ridden the day before. So he and I went off in search of
the Worlds course to get a sneak preview but never did find it. All of
the race details came out at the party the night before the race, and
they were published in a special edition Outcast, carried over from
Scotland by Dr John. Really cool.