Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Linger and die enduro

So over the weekend I raced my first race on the new bike, The NORCO Sight a 140mm trail bike with 27.5 wheels. I had a new set of SPANK wheels built up only a couple days before the race. It was a gravity enduro held in Clyde and Alexander (central Otago). Stage 1 was the stage in Clyde and it started up above the lookout and above the DH track. With a bright blue sky it was nice and warm although my muscles needed a bit more than the 1km ride from the shuttle drop off to the top to warm up after spending three days cutting and braking concrete at work leading into the race, as I sprinted out of the starting gate and into the first section of rough stuff my body started saying to me that it wasn't up for that today so as per usual I just told it to deal with it as theres going to be a whole lot more of this to come today! The track was awesome with plenty of jumps and burmed corners and it also linked into the DH track to really test rider and bike.
After stage 1 we drove into Alex and from there on it was all about riding (no more shuttles) We rode up behind the clock and out into the hills only to race stage 2 down some fast and rocky tracks to finish back at the bottom of the hill below the clock. My body was feeling a bit better this time and I was feeling like I could ride a bike again, until about half way through the stage when my chain came off the chain ring and jammed in the chain guide system I was using. I got the chain free and back on for it to come off again a few more times down the run..... Once I was at the end I had a good look and made some adjustments to try fix the problem before making my way up the next track and even further out the back to stages 3 and 4. 
Stages 3 and 4 had a couple wee climbs in each stage and were on tracks down through farm paddocks littered with rocks to ride over, off or between. I had an ok run on 3 ending up running wide on a couple corners and having to make my own line to get back on track. Stage 4 my chain decided to play games again but this time it just popped out and didn't get jammed still meaning I had to stop to put it back on... By this time I was well down on G.C. but it wasn't all bad as the amazing area and views (not to mention the awesome people taking part in the event) made up for all the disappointment. Every one was loving life even if they were feeling rather smashed from the race or the fact they had spent the whole day in the sun, almost every one had a story to tell about some thing that had happened during the day and we still had a stage to go! 
 This stage was full of rock rollovers, drops and probably the most challenging of all the stages. I decided I would keep my bike in an easy gear in order to try keep the chain from coming off again, I think I spent more time looking down to make sure the chain was still on and found myself going off line over drops and rocks. Once the track flattened out I stayed in the easy gear and peddled like a roadie (110-140rpm).
The tracks were awesome, the event was awesome and a big shout out has to go out to Phil Oliver and the team that organised the race as it is one of those events that I will be returning to for years to come and telling as many people as I can to make the effort to turn up! 


Saturday, 2 August 2014


Well there has been plenty of "change" going on in my life so far this year! For those that don't know, I have moved to Wanaka in the south island. Im working as a plumber and living/loving life down here! Now that life not all about racing bikes I am getting out and experiencing this amazing place and all its got to offer! Getting out most weekends tramping, camping, playing on the moto, exploring the area on the mtb and any thing else that comes my way.

 I have meet some pretty cool people already while Ive been down here who are also all into getting out and having fun as well

After a 14ish year relationship with adventure brands "abs" (the nz importers of Jamis and Rocky Mountain bikes) We have had to part ways, this was NOT something I wanted to happen but I guess all good things must come  to an end. I really value this relationship and all the support (and awesome bikes) I have had from these guys over the time. I have had so many awesome experiences riding these bikes and was able to claim many titles along the way including racing to 8th in the Melbourne Commonwealth games in 2006 and racing at 8 World Championships to name a couple.
I am still riding as often as I can and have been doing a few races through out the year, I managed to come away with a win in a two person team in the queenstown 6hr super-D and a couple 3rd's in my age group (top 10 overall) in gravity enduro races, I even managed a 3rd in the winterfest bikes on snow race down one of the ski runs on coronet peak. Although I have parted ways with "abs" I am still planing to do a bunch of gravity enduro races over the summer so watch this space!!! ("change")

I have also decided to give this blog a bit of a revamp and "change" it from a race blog into more of an adventures of Mikey type of a blog, so over the next few days I will be making things look a wee bit different.

Monday, 7 October 2013

2W Gravity Enduro

On Saturday (5th Oct) I raced in the second ever 2W gravity enduro held in Rotorua's Red Wood forest. Although it is the end of winter, the tracks were dry and dusty and the day was warm with blue sky and no sign of rain! We had 5 stages to complete inside 5hours including riding to and from the start/finish, which was a short ride from the forest. I rode most of the day by myself catching up with different groups of mates in between stages. We could either catch the shuttle bus up to the start of each run or ride, I decided to ride up to my first run and managed to beat the bus up the hill to be the first on that track (C gunna gota-Paddys run). After a clean run (although I felt like I could have gone a bit faster) I moved on to the far side of the park and caught the bus up to do the long run, (A Billy T- roller coaster) As it was a small climb to the start of the run I was first from our bus to the start. I cranked into it and felt like I had some good flow, then my chain some how dropped off and jammed in my chain guide.... Once I had it out I decided to cruse the run and use it as a "look lap" lucky as the same thing with my chain happened a few more times......... I thought I had fixed it at the end of the run so I jumped back on the bus and decided to do the (B jumps track) run as it was shorter and I wouldnt loose as much time if the same thing happened again, Feeling good on this run and hitting the jumps and burms well I made it about 3/4 of the way down the track before the chain jumped off again! I was far enough down the track that I knew I could coast and only loose a couple seconds. This time I spent a few dollars and had Ed (the event mechanic) to have a look, we adjusted the gap on the inside between the chain ring and the chain guide. As we put the back wheel back in we noticed the clutch in my rear derailer was not working properly and allowing the chain to jump around more than usual, I went up and had another go at (A) this time making it down although the chain still wasnt 100% so back to Ed and he was able to adjust the tension on the clutch which fixed the problems. With coffee in me and my bike sorted I was off back to the other runs that I hadnt yet done, as I cut my way through the forest I decided to ride up to the top of the next run (as the way I was going bought me out 1/3 of the way up anyway). Next up was run (D Corridor) I managed to take off just before another rush of riders after they caught the shuttle up, An "ok" run with a few small mistakes but nothing too major until I plugged my transponder into the timing box at the end of the run and it snapped off..... I had to smack the bottom of the timing box to get my chip back out and put it in my pocket from there on. I rode back to the top of the hill again as I knew it would be quicker than going back to the shuttle pickup, Run (E) was down Tukairangi and up the road onto Challenge track. I managed to get the transponder to work without dropping it in the timing box but still had to make sure I put it in my pocket safely before taking off, another "ok" run but trying to find the timing chip in my pocket (with full finger gloves on) and then put it in the timing box wasnt the easiest. I decided I had enough time to do one more run before heading back to the finish, after waiting in line for a few minutes I decided to ride up one more time!??! 4 times in one day up the same gravel road almost reminded me of doing reps for xc training although this time I was on a trail bike..... Once at the top I decided to do my first run of the day and see if I could improve that time, I was getting a tad tired by this stage though and crashed part way down then "blew" shortly after that, so just rolled out to the bottom and made my way back to the finish for a beer and some pizza!
Although I did 7 runs only the best 5 counted so I finished up 14th over all with 2 older hammers being ahead of me meaning I was 12th in my age group. A good fun day with about 34min of timed (and counted) racing and about 4hr 45min all up. Rumor has it that the race in Feb with be on tracks that are a lot more challenging so I cant wait for that!  

Friday, 16 August 2013

Cougar Chaser

Ok people, here it is! An xc mtb race to blow the cobwebs out, the weekend before the Whaka 100km in Rotorua. The distances are short but the tracks will test your fitness!

Thursday, 18 July 2013


July 13th I raced as part of a 2 person team in the Dawn2dusk 11hr Gravity race, The race was based at the bottom of the "National DH" track in the redwood forest, Rotorua. The race was being used as a fund raiser for a couple guys heading to world champs in South Africa. 
 We caught the Shuttle bus to the top drop off point and had a bunch of tracks tracks that we had to complete through out the day before we could choose which ever runs we wanted to do, 3x National dh, 3x jumps track, 2x corners track, billy t- down to moonshine and then part of chinese menu, Hotxbuns onto bunny jugs. 
I ended up sleeping in a wee bit on the morning of the race, Jumping out of bed at 6am smashing some food and a coffee back (cant leave home without either!) I jumped in the ute and shot over to the race arriving as the first riders including Lester. The tracks were a bit damp/wet as we had a bit of rain in the days leading up  but the new GEAX GOMA tires I am running were amazing! totally predictable and never letting go. My first run was down "jumps" Im not sure why but jumps track is one of the tracks I havent really done much yet with national dh track being the other track (to be honest I I did my first run down national dh in about 6years just the weekend before the race) I found my way down with only one small mishap finding a large hole and almost going over the bars...
As the day went on we were picking off the runs leaving national dh to last, Both Lester and I only had out trail bikes (both on 650b wheels) unlike other teams that had both trail bikes and dh bikes to use throughout the day, both of us were finding our way down national dh but as it was the fastest way down we kept making our way down the dh track. At the end of the day we managed to pull off 2nd in the two man teams.    An awesome day and good luck to the guys off to world champs 

Below is my second run down Jumps track  

Monday, 1 July 2013

New rubber!

It looks like the team at GEAX have been busy doing what they do best! Yep they have come up with a new tire to take on every thing the new world of GRAVITY ENDURO racing will try throw at the riders. They have called it the GOMA and it is to be part of the 2014 line up. I have just been sent a pre-production set to try, the set I am trying are 27.5 (650b)x2.25 They will come in a range of wheel sizes and in two widths.
I fitted them to my bike tonight but didnt make it out for a ride, I will be putting them through their paces and will be sure to let you all know my thoughts on how they preform. Below is a link to inform you a bit more on these new tires 
Over the weekend I also "blinged"out my bike a bit more, taking the dual chain rings off and fitting this new straight line chain guide a red chain ring and bash ring, Im now thinking its time to go racing!!! Maybe the dawn2dusk will be a go.....

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

"One of those days"

The final round of Sean Clarks dirt guide series was on the 15th June and it turns out it was just "One of those days". I had to work in the morning and things were going fine until we were almost finished,  as we turned the water back on we had a small leak that had to be fixed before we could leave... Once we had that sorted I was off out the gate with about 1hour before the start of my race. A 20min drive then go enter the race, get changed and down to the start line. As I rode down to drop my gas off in the pits I herd the gun go off for the first wave, I arrived on the start line and turned my bike off about 10seconds before the gun went for us. I had a good start and got into the track in the top third, I was holding my own until about half way around the loop. I went to change down at the bottom of one of the big climbs but as I tried to nothing happened, I ended up having to stop on the side of the track stuck in 4th gear and my gear shifter had "flogged out" stripped. After a few minutes of rocking the bike back and forwards I was able to get it into 2nd, this was enough to get going and up most of the climbs but as I was going along a road section I hooked up another gear into 3rd, this was ok until I caught up to some traffic in tight "single track"I was able to get past a bunch of them as we neared the end of the lap and I decided to pull into the pits and see if I could tighten the pinch bolt on the shifter, A couple guys gave me a hand to try fix the problem but still no luck so we swapped it with a spare one they had but it was for a different brand of bike and about 1km into the 15km lap the same thing happened again..... I limped my way around the lap and decided to call it a day and prevent any more damage to my bike. As I was making my way back to load my bike up I had a quick chat with Sean Clark and another guy, turns out the they had a bike in there trailer that had a shifter that fitted my bike! We swapped the shifter onto my bike and I was going again. I was no doubt last but I decided to get out there and have some fun and at least get some more time on the bike. I managed to get two more laps in and pass a few riders in the process.
Its pretty cool how people at these events are keen to help out from helping fill the petrol tank to offering to clean your goggles and even lending parts out to complete strangers! if any of these people read this then THANKS again.
Oh and to top it all off, as I loaded my bike up after the race I noticed I had a flat front tyre.....