Shimano MTB race Glenrock

I took part in a MTB race this weekend with my mate Ian. It was a team relay event where we each do a lap each in as fastest time possible. The winning team is who does the most laps in 4 hours. It was all setup in the bush near Newcastle, all the marquees are from the professional race teams with all their equipment.

I’ve never done an event like this before, their were more professionals taking part than other events i’ve been in. Normally you go from point A to point B getting across the ground in the quickest time possible, and its a long distance with no rest.

This event was good fun as you go as hard as you can for a lap and finish, eat and drink quick to fuel up, rest for 20 mins, then warm up and ‘tag’ the team mate coming in from their lap.

Sanna was our ‘team manager’ and she had to let us know how long till the other person was coming in from their lap by watching the clock. She did a good job but our transitions could have been a lot smoother! Good jump below:

Looks like i’m riding in a tropical rain forest doesn’t it, but this is just 2 hours north of Sydney.

Rocky Trail Entertainment’s Shimano GP round 1 at Glenrock

One transition, Ian went off to warm up down the road and when I got back from my lap he was not there, he came back and it was a 30-45 second transition, doh! oh well. Photo of me after a lap, I pushed myself hard each lap.

We didn’t train much and came 16th overall and 3rd in our age group, so very happy with that! I’m sure a lot of it is down to having such a good bike. I hope to do more events this year, I really enjoyed it, and i’m thankful to Sanna coming to support me and joining in.

Merry Christmas 2017

Merry Christmas 2017! Lots of love to all my family and friends around the world from Sanna, Zara and me. Zara is now nearly 2 years old now and she is still not very comfortable around the big man in the Red suit, maybe next year.

Here is a lovely photo of Zara that was taken at her daycare in Dec 2017 when a professional photographer visited. Isn’t she a beautiful little darling.

Its been a usual HOT December in Australia, temptation is always to have a cold beer when its hot, been having quite a few of them! Here we are at a brewery and Zara was having fun on a little bike.

Basima has been working at Cousin Jacks on the weekends for a few months now, we are teaching her more and more things and she’s now starting to serve customers. Here she is serving her sister Yasmin and friends.

Zara’s very own wall 🙂

Zara is our special Christmas angel for the top of the tree this year. If you look closely you can see her on the tree 🙂

I became an elf on the window sill in my office.

and there have been MANY Christmas work outings this year with all my work colleagues. I’m lucky to have great and smart work colleagues I can learn from, but are also great to socialise with.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Zara’s going to have a brother/sister!

Good news! Sanna is pregnant  with a 2nd child. Zara is going to have  brother or sister! The new baby is due mid June 2018.

Here is Zara holding a photo of her brother or sister, she wasn’t sure what to make of this picture, if only she knew what it represented.

You may remember during the birth of Zara I was updating this blog regulary to big you the news as it happened!

Good news is the 2nd time im going to step it up a level, I’ll be covering the whole birth with:

  • Live 24/7 web cams in ultra high definition!
  • Multiple cameras , probably 10 at least!
  • 2 way voice chat to Sanna all through the birth!

Its going to be great 🙂

Oh and happy Christmas from the top of our tree, the little Zara Angel sends her Christmas wishes!

Highland Fling 2017 – The Final Fling

This weekend I completed the Highland fling mountain bike race which is the 4th time i’ve completed this race I think. It’s either 3 or 4 times, I loose track from the other races I’ve done. This is probably my 2nd favourite race after the Convict 100.

The course is quite technical through farmland and forest with lots of rocky sections and 3 river crossings, 2 of them so deep you have to wade through carrying your bike.

I had a cold just 2 weeks before the event so my training stopped 🙁 So my plan was not to try and get a good time but just to complete the full 55km (34 miles) distance injury free.

Here’s my riding partner Ian who was leading me and came across the line a few minutes quicker than me in the end.

At the finishing line after a hard, hot and dusty 55km’s (34 miles). My finishing time was 2:51:59. I would be really proud of myself getting under 3 hours because I stopped all my training because of my cold 2 weeks before. so to get in under 3 hours with no training I  was VERY happy.

I think the new Ibis Ripley bike really helped me get a good time, it was the perfect bike for this type of event and gave me an advantage.

I really hope to do some more MTB race events with my mate Ian, we both really enjoy doing them. Its a real challenge, great fun, well run events and great exercise.

Kingscliff weekend Nov 2017

We had a lovely long weekend away to Kingscliff which is on the northern border of NSW and Queensland. You fly into Gold Coast airport and then it’s just a 10 minute drive south of the NSW border.

Being close to Queensland there are lots of strange tropical fruits to try.  Apart from the small orange coloured bananas, we didn’t recognise any of these.

Some of them look even stranger on the inside, the chocolate looking/coloured one didn’t taste like chocolate!

Its very beautiful scenery up there, and even though its only 1 hours flight north of Sydney, its a fair bit warmer on average.

We enjoyed the resort we stayed in a LOT, we would recommend it for anyone, very good for families too. It is called Peppers Salt Resort & Spa – Kingscliff, Tweed Coast

A bit expensive at around $350 night but it included an excellent buffet breakfast each monring and exlcelltn staff and facilities.

This is a cold Mai tai cocktail by the pool, yum!

This is Zara’s first time in a spa/Jacuzzi and she loved the bubbles!

Doesn’t Zara’s face look like a mini Sanna! I think so.

First rides of Ripley

I got my first rides in on my new Ibis Ripley over the long weekend down at lake conjola. It still hasn’t got the dropper seat post in it yet as we havnt had time to install it yet, so it’s just running a normal seat post.

I was so impressed on how fast the bike is and how quiet it runs! I hope in my next race in a months time, if I train, I will do well.

Some great fun obstacles to get over on the trails I rode.

New Ibis Ripley LS mountain bike build

So my current mountain bike (MTB) for 6 years which is a ‘Ibis Mojo SL’  is getting on a bit, MTB technology takes quite a leap every 3 years or so, so a few things have all moved on since my current bike was the latest and greatest 6 years ago.

My current 2011 Ibis Mojo SL:

Mostly 2 areas have seen big advancements.

  1. wheel size- The now standard in wheels is 29″, a massive step up in size from 26″. Bigger wheels means you can get over rocks a lot faster and so have a faster rolling speed all round. From the advancement in carbon wheels now, the high end 29″ wheels are as light as the old aluminum 26″ wheels on my old bike.
  2. Gears- back 6 years ago 3 chain rings or gears at the front and 9 or 10 at the back was the norm. Now there have big massive technology improvements to allow a HUGE 12 speed rear cassette (gears) at the back and so you can completely remove any gears at the front! This means less weight, less things that can break, and only one gear shiftier on the handle bars to think about.

So decision was made to upgrade my bike and with the very happy experience I’ve had owning an Ibis I decided to buy another Ibis. Owning an Ibis is like being in an exclusive club of owners, they are so rare and looked upon as the top of the top in MTB bikes they really are special to own. Other cyclists stop me occassionally to ask about the bike when they see its an Ibis. Its a bit like owning a high-end rare super car, just at 2% the cost (yes I just did the maths 🙂

Ibis’s current 29″ MTB  is the ‘Ripley LS’, the fact the bikes got the same name as one of my favorite characters Ripley aka Sigourney Weaver is a sign! 🙂

So for those reading this that know their bikes, here’s the full spec. list.

Brakes front Shimano XTR Race M9000
Brake Rotor front Shimano XTR Ice tech 160mm centre lock
Brakes rear Shimano XTR Race M9000
Brake Rotor rear Shimano XTR Ice tech 160mm centre lock
Handlebar Schmolke MTB Flatbar TLO Oversize 680mm 3k weave finish 83g
Stem Schmolke ExtraLite HyperStem 69g
Grips Ritchey WCS foam
Saddle Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio Flow Saddle 120g
Seat Post Fox Racing Shox Transfer performance
Front Tire Schwalbe Schwalbe Nobby Nic Addix SpeedGrip snakeskin 29×2.25
Rear Tire Schwable Racing Ralph Addix snakeskin 29×2.25
Wheels Light Bicycle  29″ carbon AM928 + DT Swiss 240 hubs
Headset Chris King inset
Fork Fox 34 Factory 130mm
Frame bag Ripley BlackBurn Pork Chop Frame Bag (custom made for the frame)
Pedals Shimano XTR Race M9000 SPD
Drivetrain GroupSet Sram XX1 Eagle Boost GXP Groupset all Gold 175mm cranks + 34 chainring

You can see from the above spec. list we have tried to design a  bike as light as possible but with a bit of solidness to cope with not just XC (cross country) riding but some tougher trails riding. I’m lucky enough to secure the first Ripley LS frame in Australia so truly a special bike.

Suspension travel, front 130mm/5.1″ rear 120mm/4.7″

Here’s all the parts  ready for the build to start.

and the carbon wheels which were a custom order from Asia.Now before the build, lets look at some of the juicy components in detail…

and the beautifully finished Ibis Ripley LS frame, first photo is of Zara trying to get into this strange big box that’s appeared.

So time for the building! Frame up and ready to add come componets.

front fork in and wheels in

Now handle bars, brakes, rear derailleur, front cranks and chain rings, this is many hours into the build now.

Ian popping the gold chain on to finish the gears.

and several hours later, all built! Took 6 weeks to get all the parts ordered and delivered from all over the world, and about a week in the evenings to build. Thanks to my Ian for all his help building.

It’s finally ready! Time for some rides to test it out!

The gorgeous SRAM Eagle drivetrain, a real game changer in gears technology.

Climate change impact

I found this infographic about how your personal choices reduce your contribution to climate change today. I found it really interesting especially the eating plant based diet and reducing one international holiday flight and especially around not having more children. Definitely selecting on your washing machine to wash cold is an easy one for sure.

Wollongong ride

I went for a cycle around Wollongong today, can you recognise where I went?

I started off from Bulli pass and did a off-road ride down into Wollongong.

Then I cycled down to the waters edge and to the Lagoon.

and lastly along the coast to Wollongong lighthouse. What a beautiful day to sight see Wollongong.

My personal site about life, friends & family, living in Australia and a fair bit on cars too :)