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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.

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.

Little Zara growing up

Here’s a photo of little Zara at Sannas mums in the same chair. On the right she’s about 6 months old and on the left about 19 months old, so about a years difference.

She looks like a little girl now and hasn’t her hair grown. She was a chubby little cheeky cherub a year ago, now she won’t sit still for a second.

Hello to all my friends around the world who are enjoying being parents also, and happy father’s day for last week.

New Guard versus the old guard in Enterprise IT

Working in the IT industry now for close to 20 years I’m starting to understand how IT culture fits together a lot better.

There are two groups of people in Enterprise IT, the new guard and the old guard. The old guard are those who have been around in the organisation for (depends on the organisation) 2 to 3 years plus, they’ve seen a few projects come and go, they know who to speak to, they are the connection makers, which teams to speak to, which individuals make things happen, which don’t, who to avoid, what the processes are, how to get things done!

The new guard are quite often contractors and come in with fresh new ideas, new ways of thinking, new ways to make the business move ahead, bring new technologies, generally they have the ability and knowledge and energy to make the organisation better.

The issue with the new guard is they do not know who to speak to, the processes, generally how to make things happen to apply the knowledge to drive things forward.

To receive the ultimate outcome of successful projects and moving things forwards you need to make a connection of the new guard and the old guard. If they work effectively together they will be able to deliver outcomes for the business, complete projects and everyone will be happy.

In some circumstances the old guards feel threatened by the new guard because of their new increased knowledge levels they bring and it may show them up negativly, so the old guard and the new guard actually don’t want or don’t get on together, and this can create a bad and toxic environment.

The old guard are typically permanent staff who have been with the company for a while on a salary income like to receive their bonuses and understand a comfort level within their role (I’m just doing my 9 to 5), and will probably be there for quite a few years yet. The new guard as mentioned before are contractors who are typically in either temporary backfill rolls or specific projects.

In my current role that I’m just about to leave, I felt like I was moving into a old guard type role after a year and a half, I was connecting new guards that would come into the organisation to the right people to make them successful and deliver their outcomes.

Previous to my current role I’ve always been a contractor so fall into the new guards category and I enjoyed the dynamic nature of trying to deliver with a challenge within large organisations working with the old guard.

The moral of the story is, if you are a manager in an organisation and you’re bringing on new guys to deliver a outcome/project, make sure you empower them with solid and good connections with your existing knowledgeable long term staff.

Anyway that’s my way of thinking what do you think? What’s your view?

Port Douglas trip August 2017

Our family trip to Port Douglas in far north Queensland, August 2017. This is the end of the Aussie winter, doesn’t look or feel like winter up there, 28 degrees every day. For non Aussie’s reading this, Port Douglas is up here:Zara’s boarding pass for her first ever aeroplane flight!

Zara’s first ever flight looking out of the window, what a beautiful shot.

We stayed at the 5 star ‘Thala Beach Nature Reserve‘ resort, 15 minutes south of Port Douglas . As soon as we arrived we went to the pool to relax.

We enjoyed the natural style of the pool which had lots of water falls

Then we explored the resorts beach

and lazed in the hammocks

and went for a short walk, Zara LOVES to be in the baby carrier.

This was our little wooden hut we stayed in. It had on the opposite side a balcony that was high up looking into the forest.

New video by Mark Bedford / Google Photos

Local Cocoa bean from what chocolate is made of. We drank Cocoa nectar which is made from pressing the flesh of the fruit, if you ever get to try it do! it’s delicious.

On day 2 we visited a Port Douglas wildlife park, lots of birds to see!

New video by Mark Bedford / Google Photos

The birds were shrieking at Zara to go away and were biting her hand, but she didn’t care and kept touching them, haha.

Next she went to harass the wallabies (smaller than a kangaroo).

New video by Mark Bedford / Google Photos

Big crocodiles!

Then I tried to get a crocodile to snap at my stick

New video by Mark Bedford / Google Photos

She doesn’t seem to be afraid of any animals

Day 3 we went for short walk along the beach, so pretty Queensland, and Zara looks so cute in dresses

I like this shot even though they are not front lit, its a good silhouette shot.

That evening we laid in the hammocks and watched a beautiful sunset at the resorts private beach

What a lovely break we had.