Ride Bikes

Australian Nationals Round and Oceania Championships - XCO Toowoomba

Australian Nationals Round and Oceania Championships - XCO Toowoomba 12 March 2017


Last weekend the final round of the Aussie Nationals mountain bike series was held at Toowoomba. Training for the event snuck up on me yet again, but I managed to make it out on the day and put in a solid race. My first win at a national level, in Masters.

The race itself was fairly uneventful, so instead of sharing the details of the race, I thought I would share my rather comical life with 3 kids in the lead up to a National mountain bike race. Sometimes I feel like I am in an alternate universe.

Everyone has their own obstacles when training (or racing), whether it’s injury, sickness, work, family or travel which sometimes unfortunately takes precedence over training. This year I really planned to get out on the bike more. I am lucky that I get to commute to work, so I make sure I push hard and work for it during the 20 km stretch of mostly flat road. I love commuter racing, and I race any person on a bike that happens to be in the vicinity. Mountain bike rides are saved for the weekend, where I usually get out once.

Every time I head out for a ride, my two-year old clings and cries (this also happens every time I have a shower; ‘hower too mumma?Hower too!!”.) When I get back from a ride, there is a chorus of ‘mumma, mummy, mumma!!’ Where everyone explodes with information they are busting to tell me over the past 1.5 hours. No time to stretch or eat, it’s straight into getting everyone else drinks, wiping bums, or cleaning up something.

Two weeks before the race, our two-year old was eating his regular 3 bowls of porridge for breakfast (yep, seriously!). I’m making school lunch, preparing daycare bags, and getting my own stuff together for work. I hear him say ‘oh no, oh dear’. I look over and there is porridge everywhere. All over him and the floor. I figured that he had spilled it, and thought about scraping it back into the bowl for him (of his shirt, not the floor). But decided to just clean him up and get him out of the high chair and off to daycare so I could get to work. I cleaned up the mess and finally I was off to work. Half way there I smelled something awful and realised that it was vomit. Then the penny dropped. The porridge that was all over him and the floor was actually vomit. Which looked exactly the same as the porridge in the bowl--honest mistake right...

The vomit sessions continued on for another 4 days, when finally I caved and took him to the Doctor. In the waiting room he managed to spew everywhere, and I had to sheepishly go to the reception to ask for help to clean it up. “These pills will stop him vomiting, just give him 1/3 of the tablet on his tongue’. Thanks Doc. Struggling to figure out how to cut a tiny tablet into a third, I managed to get some into the toddler. Where he continued to vomit; tiny third of a pill and all. After another day and night of this, with hardly any sleep and so much washing (toddlers don’t know they are going to spew until it explodes out everywhere), we decided to take him to hospital. Diagnosed with a super bad case of gastro and dehydration they preped him for a drip, but then he had a reaction to the numbing cream they put on before the drip goes in. So, he didn’t have to have a drip. Luckily we didn’t have to stay overnight, and they let us go after making sure he was taking fluids. Only to vomit again when we got home, and in the middle of the night (right into my face might I add.. .. ewww).


I figured I still had a week to get gastro and get better again, so my Nationals race wasn’t over yet.

In the mean time, six-year old and two-year old collide on the lounge and two-year old gets a black eye.

bad-head-toddler black-eye-toddler

Fast forward a few more days, and I have clingy toddler again who wont let me put him down. So I spend the day carrying around a 13kg lump of toddler. My neck and back aches. The issue of the clingyness is solved when, yet again vomit explodes out of his mouth all over the place. Another few days off work to look after a sick baby means I am not getting any riding in. I’m spending the nights cleaning up vomit and not sleeping. There is even vomit down the side of the bed between the wall and the bed. I can’t move the bed away from the wall so the stench of vomit stays there all night, while the spew is soaking slowly into the carpet.

We seem to be getting onto of the vomit clean up, only to realise we have tiny bugs/mites in the beds. The chooks have them, and now they’ve found our way into the house!! argh. More sheets to wash, and beds to be vacumed and sprayed with bug killer...

With my lack of riding the last few weeks I focussed a little on getting my bike into order. Getting some new tyres (I’m running a Maxxis Ikon on the rear and Maxxis Ardent Race on the front). I got my forks serviced by the lovely crew at www.cyclinic.com.au and they were running sweet!

I also thought I’d stock up on race gels, I never seem to get to a real bike shop, so it’s nice to be able to buy them online. I find the Endura ones are good, but the Gu and Cliff shot ones are way too thick and hard to swallow. From this website you can also get trial packs of different flavours.

Managed to get out to the track to practise a few days before, with fellow mountain biker shredder AB and Jo R. My lovely mum looked after the black-eyed-vomit toddler and four-year old. My eldest was at school, so I managed to drop the kids off, and then make the long drive to Toowoomba with AB. I had to work in the car on the way there, so I was being very unsociable on the laptop while AB drove. Rushing back to the burbs after track practise, I was worried we would get hauled in the principals office for being late to pick up the kids. But thankfully we were only 10 mins late, so weren’t categorised as Bad Mums yet.

Race day arrived and I hadn’t got sick and no one vomited during the night. Winning! It’s a 1hr 40 min drive to the race track, so we were up early. We packed the car the night before and the kids lunch boxes. They get so excited about what might be inside their lunch boxes, they had eaten half of it before we had even got to the neighbouring suburb.


The track was steep in sections, with lots of uphill technical climbing, with some super steep pinches. Downhill sections were so much fun, rocky and steep in sections with surprise pockets of sand just to keep you on your toes. My hardtail went well and I was smiling on every decent (while trying to suck in some oxygen ready for the next climb). No photos of the singletrack as my cheer sqaud was safer in the main village area.

Photo: race start, pushing hard up the road to get into the singlet track.

Stoked with my race, stoked I didn’t crash and happy no one vomited.

Photo: My support team and cheer squad ‘Mumma, mummy, mumaaaa!”

The next day I was loading the kids into the car before work/school/kindy/daycare. They are all strapped in ready to go. I leave the car doors open and I run back inside to change out of my ‘breakfast clothes” (the ones that get weetbix on them) and into my work clothes. I only take about 40 seconds, and love every minute of the peace and quiet that welcomes me inside. While half dressed I hear behind me:

Mumma, quick it’s an emergency!” Says my four-year old as she runs in from the car.

Whats up?” I say half concerned but half groaning... I’m sure that someone has either vomited, fallen on their head or slammed their finger in the car door.

“Its a chicken emergency!!”, she exclaims. I’m wondering if the chicken has vomited, fallen on its head or got slammed in the car. I run outside to investigate.

One of our 7 chickens has decided to jump into the car, eat up crumbs off the floor in the back. She obviously found something delicious under the passenger seat as she was well and truly stuck under the seat. Welcome to a new week of craziness!

The next race is the National Championships in Canungra in the Gold Coast hinterland next weekend.

Photo: Chicken. Yep that’s permanent text on the four-year olds leg

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chain reaction

Unlucky 13. Why people wear race plates upside down

Photo credit: mountainbike-trails.com.au

I’ve been racing a long time, but have never been handed the famous number 13 race plate.

As I got to the registration desk for the Chicks in Sticks 3 hour race, there it was, number 13.

I had often seen people racing with their race plate #13 on upside down. I guessed they were a bit superstitious, and by turning it upside down it would ward off evil sprits or something. There is even a special word for people with a phobia of the number 13; Triskaidekaphobia (the term was coined in 1911).

This image is of a racer at another race wearing the number plate upside down.

Source: http://www.mountainflyermagazine.com/view.php/eagle-outside-festival.html

Back at the registration desk, I stood there looking at the race plate. I’m not really superstitious, but have had some weird coincidences happen in life. Should I put it on upside down? If I put it on the right way would I be worried about some phantom accident that might happen the whole race?

Apparently ‘unlucky 13’ is a big thing in the motor car racing world. They don’t even have a pit number 13 and opt for a 12a instead. (source: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-racing/motorsports/10-superstitions-from-the-world-of-motor-racing6.htm)

In the rules of riding from this site; http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/comment-page-212/ , it clearly states that “If you draw the unlucky 13, turn it upside down to counter act its negative energy.”.

Source: http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/comment-page-212/

I thought about it, and decided to treat poor #13 with respect and run it up the right way. I was confident with my ability and preparation going into the race.

Photo credit: mountainbike-trails.com.au


I have since learnt that #13 is also considered good luck, especially in Italy (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/13_(number))

The number 13 also represents femininity, because it corresponded to the number of lunar (menstrual) cycles in a year (13 x 28 = 364 days). Which is kind of fitting for a female only mountain bike race.

Embracing the number 13, I rode well and pushed hard. Had some great battles with other competitors and finished in 3rd place. It was about 51 km and 3 hrs 30 mins. The family all came out to cheer me on, which was lovely.



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aussiefarmers tent-world

What happens at a professional bike fit?


If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend ages choosing the perfect bike.

The colour, the wheels and the running gear all have to be perfect! You finally choose it, and get it from the shop. Then you put the seat to the ‘right’ height, make sure you can reach your brake levers and off you go!

I will admit it. I have never done a ‘technical’ set up for my bikes.

I make sure I buy the right frame size for my height, and then put the seat roughly to the right spot (based on putting my heal on the pedal, and straighten my leg, then set the seat height based on that). Then I might tweak it up or down depending on how it feels.

I never could justify getting a professional bike fit. I am far from a ‘professional’!.

So what exactly is a bike fit?

Put simply, a specialised bike fitter will measure you up and fit you to your bike.

A proper bike fit will reduce pain you might have in your back, feet, arms, neck while on and off the bike.

A bike fit also aims to get your technique right so you can get the most power out of your legs while riding.

Although I am far from being a ‘professional’ bike rider, I am keen to get the most out of my bike and my body. Perhaps my back problems are part baby-related and part bike-related? Maybe I can increase my power output and improve my race starts?

Fix a sore back

I do get a sore back. But they are not related to my bike…

It’s the kids!

People told me that having a baby ruins your back. But it's not the pregnancy that wreaks it. It's the slumping while breastfeeding. It's the rocking the baby to sleep and awkwardly and carefully placing them into bed. It's the leaning over the cot or through the cot rails patting or rubbing baby’s back at all hours of the night. It's the laying down sideways breastfeeding and trying to catch some zzzzzz. With a crook in your neck. Because you can’t move. Because then you’ll wake up the baby.

Anyway, I digress.

If you are sitting on your bike wrong and your pelvis/knees/ankles/feet are not working right, then you will do more damage to your body. You will get sore and probably won’t want to ride your bike as much. A bike fit can fix these problems.

Get more power

A bike fit can ensure your body is aligned and you are getting optimum power from each pedal stroke.

If you are set up properly you can be sure you are using those big muscles in your glutes.

Professional bike fitting

A friend I used to race with recommended I visit Gary Land from PRO Bike Fit. http://www.probikefit.com.au

He is located in Brisbane’s leafy suburb of The Gap, which is not far from me, so it seemed like a perfect idea to catch up and see what he does.

I met with Gary to discuss his professional bike fitting service, PRO Bike Fit. He is a Master certified Retul bicycle fitter who has been in the bike industry for 14 years.

His workshop has a lovely view of the rolling hills and is surrounded by bushland. Over a coffee we talk about the types of problems people have and how Gary fixes them. He legitimately wants to help people solve bike fit problems.

I know nothing about muscles

While listening to Gary explaining how the human body works, I realised I know nothing about muscles. He used all the technical terms for muscles which I can’t even attempt to spell, so I have no chance Googling them.

What happens at a bike fit?

Gary’s previous clients included high level road cyclists and World Champions. But surprisingly I didn’t feel ‘un-worthy’ being there. Gary also fits clients who are just getting into the sport.

PRO Bike Fit uses a Retul 3D motion capture system. The Retul motion capture bike fit assessment is about 90 minutes long. You get hooked up to a set of LED lights (on all your ankle, knee, hip, elbow, wrists etc), which is tracked by the motion capture system when you pedal your bike on a stationary trainer. I felt a bit like a super hero.

Photo: Part of the Retul system

The objective is to analyse your movement on the bike. Are you moving in the most efficient way possible? Are you flexing or rotating too far in one direction in your ankles, knees or hips?

The bike fit also includes bike measurement set up report of bicycle after setup, so you can use the measurements to replicate the bike fit on your other bikes (yes, I know you have more than one).

Making contact with the bike

It may sound obvious but there are three points of contact with the bike:

* Feet.
* Bum.
* Hands.

So, each of these needs to be assessed to see where problems may lie.


The PRO Bike Fit service will include an assessment of your bike shoes and cleat position in relation to your feet and toes.

I have always set my cleats up with the premise that they should be placed on the ball of my foot. I thought I had that part of my set up right…. But I guess I never really knew where the ball of my foot was!


Although I’ve been riding bikes for 15 years, I have never really thought too much about the type of saddle I’ve used. I just buy one that looks good and is light. I was never too fussed on the style of seat. I figured the women’s specific saddles were a marketing gimmick.

The PRO Bike Fit using the fancy Retul 3D system will determine if my saddle is right for me.


The sensors on my wrists will detect if I move my hands around while riding on the stationary trainer and it will also show the angle of my wrists on my bars.

Measurements and analysis

Once I was hooked up to the LED lights, all I had to do was pedal on the stationary trainer while the Retul motion capture system did it’s thing.

Photo: The bike fit process

Key findings from the bike fit

The analysis provided really detailed numbers for the various movements that your body makes when cycling. It showed where my right or left side were unevenly moving. It also showed that my pedalling technique needed work.

Bike set up

With the results showing where I had uneven movements, or where my body was moving in an inefficient way, the PRO Bike Fit assessment recommended changes to my bike set up and to my technique.

The big thing that I took away from the results was that apparently my trusty saddle was not the right size for me. It is too narrow for my sit bones. I needed a slightly wider seat because my sit bones were sliding off the saddle with each pedal stroke.

It occurred to me that I have no idea if I sit on a seat correctly. And what the ramifications are of it. Thankfully Gary lent me a women’s specific saddle to test out (that reminds me, I must give that back…).

Gary explained that some of the simplest bike set up errors can result in a lack of power. Your body may be using different muscles, and not using the strong glute muscles (in your bum).

When I got home, I found myself Googling sit bones and pelvic bones on saddles. I might follow up on a future blog about saddles when I’ve done my research.

Photo: The bike fit process


I was quite excited to test out my bike with the new PRO Bike Fit!

I did my normal loop in on my mountain bike. The cleats felt a bit weird, but I soon got used to them in the new position.

The women’s specific saddle felt really good. I could actually notice that I wasn’t sliding sideways with each pedal stroke.

It’s strange that I never thought I had an issue prior to the bike fit. But with the changes in place I could notice the difference.

I ended up getting a few Personal Best records during climbs on my mountain bike ride! Amazing!

I am totally sold that the bike fit will result in more efficient pedalling and more power for me. I’m not sure if it will fix my back pain as I am sure that is related to carrying my kids in awkward positions. But being more stable on my bike will probably help reduce potential future pain.

If you are interested in getting a bike fit, check out the PRO Bike Fit website (http://www.probikefit.com.au) and contact Gary for more information.

cell bikes

Merida Hidden Vale 24 Hour race

We geared up for a weekend of riding at the 24 hour race at Hidden Vale. We have been the past few years, and it’s a great way to get some quality riding in, and spend time camping with the kids.

As always there was a big bouncy castle for the kids to play on, plus an easter egg hunt for them on the Sunday morning. Our two older kids (5 and 3) also raced in the kids bike race. This year they got to ride some new single track, which was a lot of fun.

We entered the 24 hour race in a mixed duo. So we tag-teamed racing and child wrangling.

Hidden Vale has a stack of new trails, so each lap was mostly single track and it took about 1 hour to get around it.

Our youngest Master Z is almost 18 months old, so he is still quite little. Being out in the hot sun and also fuelled by chocolate meant that our kids were slightly feral by the days end.

On my dusk lap (about 6pm) I was chatting to a guy as we rode around. He asked how many laps I was doing, and I said I was heading back to camp after this one. He kind of called me ‘soft’ and suggested that I should do more laps.

I didn’t go into the details with him, but the tasks at hand back at camp were far from soft!

We needed two parents on hand to get everyone fed and into bed. We had to make sure all the soft animals were lined up perfectly, teeth were brushed and a few Peppa pig books were read. A fresh nappy for baby, and after a long time for them to wind down, Tony could go back on the track.

This was great. Kids were asleep and Tony was out racing. The only problem was I was covered in dirt. But the showers were a long way from our camp. I couldn’t leave the camp as the kids were asleep!! I couldn’t go to the toilet or shower. Argh..


I managed a wipe down with a cloth, but I really wanted a hot shower.

We raced well and came 4th place.


The new tracks were a lot of fun. We had a ball.

All the details of the race are here http://hiddenvale24hr.com.au

Kids love dirt


Mr F (5) raced in under 7s in the kids race and came 3rd. He was so happy. And he got chocolate. Chocolate makes them go crazy.



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Toowoomba Nationals 2016

After this weeks debacle of events, it was touch and go whether we would make it to the race. Thankfully the Gastro bugs stayed away.

We did everything we could to make it happen. We managed to borrow my Mums car (thanks Mum!) and somehow squeezed my bike into the back. The forks hung over one child’s head, and the handlebars over another.

Baby Z woke at 1am for a breastfeed and again at 4am ready to start the day.

Today will be sleep deprived racing at its greatest.

I tried and tried to get him back to sleep but it was futile.

In my pre kids life at a Nationals race, my bike and gear would be super organised and I would be in the right mind set to race. But this time around I was just hoping to pack matching gloves and water.

The morning was spent packing three lunch boxes full of tasty goods to make sure the kids were happy on the almost 2 hour drive to the race.
Photo: Lunchboxes all sorted.Yes, I know who likes the triangles and who doesn’t

As for my own nutrition, I made sure I had a banana for before the race and some protein for after the race, and my water.

While getting everything ready to pack into the car, Baby Z managed to fall out of the car onto his head and he got a big lump. Ice packs needed, and one cranky baby loaded into the car. After numerous discussions between Master F and Miss T about who brought which toy, we were finally off.

Photo: Bumped head

Photo: Finally on route to the race

We made it to the track and I really wanted to ride half of the course. I seem to do much better in races when I have warmed up on the track. But unfortunately I couldn’t get onto the race track because there was a race on. Luckily I had ridden it the day before!

My mind was distracted over the multiple cries of ‘Mummy!’ ‘Mummy!’. It is hard to focus. I made sure I drank some water and nibbled some food.

Although I was racing Cross Country, the butterflies from my prior downhill racing days were back. I think it was because I could see the downhillers doing runs, and I knew how they were feeling.

After giving the kids more food, and drinks, I was off to do a short 10 minute warm up before the race start. I kept bumping into some of my old downhill racing buddies. So my warm up was not too good and soon it was time for the race start.

Lining up with top names like Rebecca Henderson, Imogen Smith, Anna Beck, Jodie Willet is pretty cool. Even though I was racing in Veterans (which I found out is now called Masters!! ), it was nice to be amongst the Elite.

The gun went off and we were off up a fire road then onto single track. I pushed hard to try get a good position into the single track. The passing opportunities were limited on the track, so it was best to get a good position early.
Photo: The race start. I am in there at the back.

The Toowoomba track is fun!! I enjoy technical uphill. I am much better at it than long grinds. The downhills were super fun, and left me smiling. I loved going past the kids each lap and hearing them call out ‘Go MUMMY!’.

I managed to overtake a few people as I went around. Which is always a good confident boost.

I knew there was a girl in my class in front of me and one right behind me. I pedalled hard to try catch the leader on the climbs and stayed off the brakes on the downhills. I could see her, but just couldn’t quite catch her.

I came through in 2nd place, 11 seconds behind the winner. Stoked with my race as I kept positive and had my angry face on.

After the race Master F asked me innocently ‘Why didn’t you go faster so you could get the gold medal Mummy?’

I tried baby, I tried!

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Hoping gastro has a 3 day incubation period…. Aussie Nationals T-Bar!

Here’s hoping that gastro has a 3 day incubation period, not 2. …. Aussie Nationals T-Bar!

The next round of the Australian National Mountain Bike Series is on this weekend at Toowoomba (or T-bar).

I’ve entered in the Cross Country race, which is on Saturday. I’ve never ridden the XC tracks there before, so am excited to have a crack.

Gastro Baby

But, on Wednesday night, baby Z started vomiting at 1am. After a change of sheets and clothes, he went back to sleep. Only to do it again at 4am, then again at 6am.. You get the gist.

By Friday he was fine. So, if gastro has a 3 day incubation period, then I should get it on Saturday night. Which is great as it means I can still race on Saturday!. But if it hits me on Friday night, then it will be all over.

Today I had the chance to pre-ride the track. Thanks to my mum for looking after Baby Z and Miss T!!

I organised the three kids to get the eldest to school and the other two to my mums. I could smell poo…. I figured it was baby Z needing a nappy change. Yep he sure did. But it had actually exploded out his nappy and onto my top and onto my pants. Awesome. Then it went all over the floor… So I had to clean all that up before I even got out the house for the 2 hour ride to the track. Exhausting…

The track is awesome. Some tricky uphill sections, with fast fun downhills.

Car Troubles

Along with the gastro baby, we also have problems with our cars. Yes that’s right, both of our cars.!

Our 4WD has a broken accelerator. Apparently something has snapped and it means you can’t push the pedal properly as it just hits the floor. So it means a slow and sluggish drive. It will cost $600 to fix it and they have to send it away somewhere. ARGH. So todays 2 hour drive was painful and my leg is sore from pushing so hard on the accelerator.

The other car also has problems. But I can’t fit my bike in there easily anyway. Plus the back seat smells like spew and it looks like this:
No cover on the car seat. Means no baby can sit in it until the cover is clean and dry.

So, stay tuned to see how I fair tonight and tomorrow for the race!

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Adare Wild West Series - XC Race

My race morning started at 2 am, with Baby Z waking up and needing to be fed, rocked and patted back to sleep. Catching another few hours sleep between 3am and 5am gave me just enough energy to grab my racing gear and a coffee and get on my way out to the Adare XC track.

I didn’t get a chance to ride the whole track before the race, so I was chatting to someone about the track layout. I remembered that I had actually raced at Adare before. And it was in 2008; 8 years ago!! I mentioned that I raced here 8 years ago, and I could sense that they were thinking ‘oh gee this chick is older than what I thought…’.

The conditions were dry, dusty and humid. It was only 7:30am, so we would be in for a hot race.

I was under the false impression that todays race was more of a short course format. But it was the full XCO style race (Olympic style cross country racing). That means it’s about 1.5 hours of racing for A grade women.

Considering my rides lately have not been much over 1 hour, I was feeling a bit nervous about my stamina to finish the race.

There were 5 ladies in A grade and it was all smiles at the start line. Off went the gun and we took off in the dust behind the A grade men. Let’s just say my race starts need a bit of work, and coupled with my lack of sleep and doubting my ability to race the longer format, I was behind the others within the first 100 metres. I decided not to chase them down and risk blowing up and not finishing the race. I had no idea what the track was like and wanted to make sure I could climb the climbs and make it down the technical stuff in one piece.

It may not be the best race strategy, but hey, it’s been a while since I raced A grade in the XCO format. The reality was that I was in for a longer race than I expected, I didn’t know the course and I was tired. So tired. So I decided to focus on keeping my rhythm, aiming for some consistency in my lap times and finishing the long distance. I was enjoying being on the bike and getting some time to myself.

The track had some fun rocky sections and not many climbs. There was a whole section which seemed to go forever with flat turn after flat turn after flat turn. I was started to get a bit nauseous from the constant turning.

Negative thoughts about my racing started to creep in midway through the race. Sometimes it’s hard to ‘fire up’ and get racing when you can’t see your competitors and are way behind. I find it much easier to race when I have competitors close by (in front or behind). I hate getting negative during a race. I soon snapped out of it and battled out some sections with the B grade men who were coming through behind me.

At one stage I thought it was raining. But it didn’t eventuate. Then I felt the ‘rain’ again in the same section of track, right where the cicadas were chirping. Next lap I realised it wasn’t a coincidence and that the ‘rain’ must be related to the cicadas. Perhaps it was cicada pee. I’m not sure…

On my fourth and fifth lap I started to remember what was coming up next. So I got a bit more flow on the corners. This didn’t help me much though as Anna Beck was already at the finish line sipping her ice coffee. I came through in 5th place with some consistent lap times.

It was great to mix with the fast ladies and I look forward to the next race.!

Photo: Race results
Photo: No race photos of me from today. Here are my dusty legs though after the race.
Photo: A grade ladies podium. Megan, Anna and Jo. All from Sol-Breads Cyclinic Womens MTB Team. Congrats ladies!


craft beer

What does it feel like to mountain bike pregnant?

Usually when people think of a pregnant woman they don’t imagine her riding a bike! Have you ever wondered what it feels like to ride pregnant?

You are probably thinking of the awkward waddle of a pregnant woman and conjure up uncomfortable images of her on a bike.

You imagine the discomfort of her sitting on a seat on her ‘private parts’ where, soon a baby will be delivered. How can that be a good thing? It’s enough to make you cringe.

Then you hear she has also been riding off road on her mountain bike over bumps and rocks! You cringe again…

Let me assure you: She’s not a complete nut job.

She’s probably not in pain and probably not even thinking about the area where a full sized baby will soon be birthed from.

She’s probably smiling, enjoying the fresh air, the outdoors and the exercise. She’s dressed for comfort and feels good.
Her lungs may feel squashed, making it an effort to breathe. But that would happen regularly regardless of if she were on a bike. She may feel tired, but that’s nothing new either. The bumps may make her need to pee and she’ll feel hungrier than ever.

But it is likely that she is enjoying herself, just like everyone else on his or her bikes.

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craft beer

3 tips to make you a faster, smoother and more energy efficient mountain biker

So you’ve got the bike set up right, you are confident and have some fitness. You may even have some new riding socks.

You are all set to ride and you want to be faster, smoother, save energy, go harder and ride for longer.

Riding more often is going to make you fitter and stronger. But ultimately when riding, you want to carry more speed and go fast, while still conserving energy. So you can ride for longer and travel further.

Conserve energy while still going faster? Yes that’s right!

Here are 3 tips to help you reach that goal:

  1. Don’t brake.
  2. Choose good lines.
  3. Pump the track.
Doing these three things means there will be less pedalling (when you don’t need to), more speed, more energy.

Don’t brake

Try to carry speed by not braking as much. If you brake you will only have to put in the extra effort and pedal to get back up to speed. By not braking, you save that pedalling energy for later. Saving 1 pedal per corner on single track means you have the energy to pedal another 30 + pedals on the hilly or flat sections. Don’t brake unless it’s absolutely necessary!

Choose good lines

Line choice is a great skill to have. It is a key skill for downhillers, but it’s often overlooked by the cross country rider. Remember that the most direct route (or the A-line) is not always the fastest. It may not line you up best for the next corner. Some B-lines around drops are actually faster as you can carry speed and you don’t loose momentum on dodgy landings. Learn what works best for you and your bike. Ride smart and choose lines with purpose.

I remember reading an interview with Missy Giove (professional downhill mountain biker who dominated the sport in the 90’s and early 2000’s) which always stuck in my head. She always visualised the track before each race and imagined herself as water or a river, choosing the fastest route to flow down the mountain (Source from Dirtragmag).

Pump the track

Learn how to flow better and pump the trail. Pumping is more useful on the flat or downhill sections. Sometimes the trail is too rocky, rooted or rutted to get pedals in. So by working with the trail you can actually maintain speed and gain speed without pedalling or loosing speed. Small rises and falls in the track are actually like little roller coaster tracks. You flow down one side and ‘G-out’ at the bottom to carry speed up the next side. Push the bike down at the low points, and be light on the bike on the high points. It may not always be obvious where the track rises and falls. Sometimes it’s over rocks and roots and micro hills. You will be amazed at how much speed you can carry while pumping over a trail without even pedalling. If you are unclear of the concept of pumping, try playing the Tiny Wings game on your phone. It’s just like that.

So, by doing these three things, it will mean less pedalling, more speed, more energy!

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Chicks in the Sticks - womens only MTB enduro

Chicks in the Sticks - womens only MTB enduro

Yesterday was my first ever “ladies only” mountain bike race. I’ve been racing for 10 years, and most of the time there is only a handful of women at the start line. So it was amazing to see 175 chicks at the Karingal 3 hour race yesterday.

My favourite part was seeing all the Daddys on the sidelines with babies strapped to them! There were lots of Mummies racing, so the Dads had to kid wrangle for 3 hours.

Racing the 3 Plus 3 at Old Hidden Vale

Racing the 3 Plus 3 at Old Hidden Vale

The annual 3 Plus 3 Event consists of a 3 hour race on the Saturday and a 3 hour race on the Sunday. We did the race last year when I was 6 months pregnant (see blog here), and we were keen to do it again. Our transition was like this Mr Z needs his nappy changed, Mr F is hungry, Miss T is really tired”. An extra fast commentary of all the kids needs and a quick kiss good luck to the parent who is left behind with all the kids (not to the racer). The racing part was clearly the easier component of the duo.

Mt Crosby Sunshine Series - XC Race

Mt Crosby Sunshine Series - XC Race

With a 7 month old who wakes up every 2 hours over night, I am exhausted. But because I love riding my bike, I was determined to enter the race at Mt Crosby. Having not seen the track before, I asked fellow MTBer AB what it was like. She said “There’s a few steep climbs, but you’ll be alright”.


24 hours on the bike (well not quite….)

24 hours on the bike (well not quite….)

The Kona 24 hour race was held in April at Old Hidden Vale. We did the race last year when I was 14 weeks pregnant (see blog), which was challenging. This year we have 3 kids (including a 6 month old who wakes up every 2 hours) to add to our race planning and execution. I remember being up in the middle of the night (every 2 hours) breastfeeding Baby Z and thinking to myself that at least I wasn’t the only one up. I could hear riders outside. It gave me comfort knowing that there were other sleep deprived racers out there.

Racing at Underwood Park

Racing at Underwood Park 15 Feb 2015

The short sprint XC series has begun. I am no where near race fit, with only a handful of rides under my belt, with none being longer than 1 hr. Perfect for a 40 min sprint race! I really enjoy racing. I love the adrenaline rush, the white line fever and the feeling of accomplishment after the race.

New year!

I can’t believe it’s 2015. Our eldest child will be 5 this year. whoa, where did that go…

Back on the bike ! 5 weeks after baby

Back on the bike ! 5 weeks after baby

Yay, my first ride back after having my third baby. It feels like forever that I have ridden. Yet it feels so comfortable and natural.

​New bike! And it glows in the dark!

New bike! And it glows in the dark!

I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant, and I have a new bike!

Not intentionally racing when 6 months pregnant

Not intentionally racing when 6 months pregnant

The 3 plus 3 at Old Hidden Vale (QLD) - 12 - 13 July 2014

Last year at xmas time, my husband and I entered into the 3 plus 3 event at Hidden Vale. It’s a 3 hour XC race on the Saturday and 3 hours on the Sunday. Because we have 2 kids, the format suited us. We could ‘tag team’ the racing and parenting. The race was cancelled due to a few days of heavy rainfall and was postponed to ‘Xmas in July’.

Fast forward to July 2014 and I’m 6 months pregnant with our 3rd baby. Not ideal racing conditions, but our entries to the race were carried over from last year. So we figured we would still ‘race’ and camp on the Saturday night with the 2 kids (almost 4 and almost 2 years old).

I tested out whether or not I could still fit in my Sol Breads - Cyclinic race kit. It was a tight squeeze, but achievable.

Riding when 6 months pregnant isn’t all that easy. Yes, I am smiling in the photos, but that’s because I love being out in the fresh air, and rolling over the rocks and dirt on my bike. The un-fun parts involve having a baby’s head pushing on your pelvis, lower back, ribs, lungs and stomach. You also have to make sure you don’t overheat, or push yourself into the red zone where you max out your heart rate. You also have to be careful with your balance and centre of gravity. Every week as the baby grows my balance seems to change. So you need to account for this when on the bike.

It is totally safe to ride when pregnant, but you need to know your limits, and listen to your body. Don’t push it!

I planned only to do 1 lap a day, leaving husband Tony to do the rest.

I set out on my first lap and got a few strange looks (‘is that chick pregnant, or did she eat too much of the wood oven pizza?” ). The Hidden Vale tracks were quite rough, loose and dry. The rocky decants were catching a few people out (4WD ambulances were working hard). So I made sure I was extra alert to read the trails ahead of me.

I spun my way up the climbs in granny gear to keep my heart rate down. There were some steep sections and drops that were a bit tricky due to the baby bump. I usually get quite far back over my seat/wheel (just a habit from downhilling). But with a baby bump in the way, this was hard! Baby would hit the seat, so I couldn’t extend all the way back.

My 4 year old smiled when I came back over the finish line and said “That would have been a bumpy ride for baby! Did it like it?”.

It was great to be out riding and camping. I can’t wait to race again properly; minus the baby bump!


Baby bump + bike


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Kona 24 Hour MTB Race - Hidden Vale

Kona 24 Hour MTB Race - Hidden Vale

AKA camping with kids and chocolate…and 14 weeks pregnant.

We wanted to race the 4hr event in a duo, however the only option was to race together (keeping within 100 m or so of each other at all times). This format wasn’t going to work for us, because we had the two kids to look after. So we entered into the 24 hour.

We arrived to Hidden Vale on Good Friday and pitched the tent, shelter, set up BBQ, beds etc etc etc… We had intentions of riding the track in the afternoon, but by the time we had set up our campsite, it was getting time to feed the hungry kids and then settle in for the night.

Easter Saturday was race day. The day was full of activities before the main event started. Our kids woke us up at 4:30am and the day had begun.

Hidden Vale is the location of the Spicers Retreat (fancy accommodation and restaurant overlooking lovely rolling hills and countryside). The race HQ was a few kilometres away from the main Spicers area, but we were told we could go to the restaurant for hot coffee. So after having some breakfast we ducked down to get coffee and pretend that we could afford to stay and eat at the restaurant. The staff were lovely and we would love to go back to stay there one day.

Back to the campsite, and I geared up for the kids race. Felix was racing his first event! The course was part of the main race track. There was a huge turn out for the kids, and a big range of abilities and ages. Felix (3.5 years old) was on a balance bike, which had its own class. I rode with him so he would know where to go. The crowd was huge, and cheering all the kids on, it was a great atmosphere. The track was quite tricky for kids. It went down a steep rocky long section where lots of kids crashed. Then it followed some single track up over rocks and through sand, under a bridge and back up onto a fire road. We stopped a few times for a drink, and Felix seemed to be enjoying it. Towards the finish line the commentator cheered on all the kids and Felix and I went through the finish line. He came first in his class, and did the 1.7 km track in about 15 mins. We were so proud of him.

Photo: The kids prizes. Yum!

After the kids presentations, we had to quickly get ourselves ready for the start of the 24 hr. Tony was off first and he took off with the 100’s of other competitors. The 4 hr race started at the same time. It was midday and getting quite warm. Tony went out for 2 laps which took almost 2 hrs. The kids were entertained on the bouncy castle and other fun things.

We transitioned slowly after Tony finished his laps. We were just there to have fun and ride our bikes, and knew that we couldn’t be too competitive (we hadn’t been training for a 24 hour!). I went out for my laps and was enjoying just taking it easy. I had ridden some of the trails before (a long time ago for the Duathlon! See link here 2009) but I couldn’t really remember what was coming up next. The tracks were dry, rocky and loose. HEAPS OF FUN! There was a tricky rock drop section after the skills park where the ambulance people were stationed. I wasn’t keen to blindly ride off it, so I walked it and had a look at the obstacle. The next trails had flow and could easily catch you out if you weren’t paying attention. I loved the ‘Rock Bottom’ track. Lots of little drop offs and fast steep sections through a creek. It took me over an hour to do 1 lap, so I went out for another half lap and then headed back to camp to get dinner and the kids sorted.

I would have loved to have kept riding, but there were mouths to feed. By this stage the kids were feral. Miss 20 months hadn’t had a day sleep and was inconsolable. Felix was hypo and exhausted from riding and playing in the bouncy castle all day. It took 2 hours to wind him down to get him to sleep. By this stage we were exhausted too, and decided not to do any night laps. Slack maybe, but we were enjoying the peace and quiet and chocolate at the campsite.

Morning time and it was Easter Sunday. We had chocolate eggs and the kids were hypo by 7am. Time to do some more riding!

We did a few more laps each and watched the crazy 24 hour racers come in from riding all day and all night. They are machines.

We had fun, came in 3rd place in the mixed team. Took a while to pack up the camp and we have decided that 2 nights camping is not really worth the massive effort it takes to pack up the car, kids, bikes etc. It needs to be longer than 2 nights.

It was great to be out riding.!


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Summer Sprints - The same track backwards

Summer Sprints - The same track backwards

3rd Place (16th February 2014)

I felt a bit more comfortable on the track this time because I had already raced it a few weeks ago. But it was to be raced in the opposite direction. I wasn’t a fan of it being in this direction because there seemed to be less single track downhill sections.

Somewhere along the way I managed to loose the front end and crash with a load of dust everywhere. I didn’t hurt myself and quickly got back on my bike wondering how that had happened! It’s been a long time since I have crashed!

I raced ok and gave it my best. I finished in 3rd place behind Jo Rowell and Jodie Willett.

I have decided I need to climb more hills and get some leg strength!

*Edit: Shortly after posting this blog, I realised I was 5 weeks pregnant with baby number 3!


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Summer Sprints - The race to make me hungry

Summer Sprints - The race to make me hungry

5th Place (2nd February 2014)

It’s about time I entered another race! The summer sprint series is held at Underwood Park, south of Brisbane. I had heard about these races, but never managed to make it down for one.

I entered into A grade, perhaps a silly idea…. but the format of racing meant that even if I was way behind the pace, no one would be left waiting for me to finish. It was a 50 minute race, and you just finish on whatever lap you are on after the 50 minutes.

While lining up to get my race place I bumped into Jodie Willett, Kylie Maduna and Anna Beck. All top riders, who would be my competition for the day. gulp.

It was hot even though it was early in the morning. The track was nice with a few tricky little sections like this rock garden (photo). It was harder than what it looked because it was fairly flat and you needed quite a run up to keep the momentum over the rocks.

I came in 5th place. Time to step up the training a bit.


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Epic MTB Race 20 km

Epic MTB Race 20 km
Racing with kids
5th Place (14th September 2013)

I decided to enter the 20 km Epic Chaser race on the Saturday of the main event. Tony was racing the 50 km on the Sunday, so we each of us could look after the kids while the other one was racing.

We took the opportunity to camp on the Saturday night at Spicers Hidden Vale, so then we didn’t have such a rush to get to the race on the Sunday morning.

The last (pure) XC race that I did was way back in April 2009!! I did do the XC leg in the Anaconda multisport event, and also a duathlon. But it’s been a while that I have raced XC. As it was only the 20 km race prior to the big event, there wasn’t much pressure to perform. This suited me. The womens field was an open class, so there were lots of people.

I lined up at the front of the pack so I could get a clean start away from punters. Wearing my baggy shorts for the race, I wanted that mental view that I wasn’t racing too seriously. But in that hot sun, I really wished I had worn the lycra. It was hot and dusty.

A few chicks took a head start and left with the men. This meant they were already 5 mins or so in front of the rest of us. I try tell myself that it doesn’t really matter, but it was frustrating.

The race went a bit like this…

Took off in 2nd place (try not to blow up in the first 100 m), fire road, fire road (get overtaken by 6 or so girls), bumpy fire road, downhill fire road (pass a few people), flat fire road, cow poo, overtake some people. See the Grinder. See lots of people walking up the Grinder. Climb the grinder. Call out ‘track’ lots of times. Start to murmur ‘track’ in between breaths. The hill was rocky and steep. Saw my heart rate up around 190bpm. Almost got to the top and had to walk a bit. Single track. yippee! . Switch backs. Call track. People don’t move off track. People cut through switch backs, destroying the hill in the process. Stupid people. More fire road. A little bit of single track on the side of the fire track. People don’t follow the signs and take the single track. I loose a few places because I followed the track. Fire road.. fire road.. It’s windy. Head wind. Then a final single track climb up to the finish line. Then we have to do another 4 km of single track to finish up. It was hot. Hardtails hurt.

Come through the finish in 1hr 14mins in 5th place. http://www.strava.com/activities/82545984

I was happy with my race. It felt good to be out on the bike again. And with hardly any ‘training’, I was stoked to actually make it!

It’s made me keen to get out and race some more races! (and get a new bike.)


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Reminiscing Australian Nationals 07/08

Reminiscing - Australian Nationals 07/08

I have been sorting out photos on my computer and found this one. It is the poster for the Australian Nationals 07/08. The Adelaide MTB Club and Inside Line MTB Club got a massive poster (about 4 m long!) of this and it was put up at the entrance to Eagle MTB park.

I was pretty stoked to get put on the poster as the Downhiller. I miss downhill, but not sure I can get back into it any time soon.

Tony was on the committee and the volunteers worked so hard to pull the event together. It was Adelaide’s first Aussie Nationals Race at Eagle Park.

I raced in Elite Womens XC and DH. I even got the same race place number. I don’t know many people who have had a crack at both the XC and DH at an elite level, but it was pretty tough!

I came 16th in the XC (the highest ranked South Australian) and 5th in the DH. I had a small incident with a rock wall in the DH which I was a bit annoyed about. Because I could have got a better result.


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MTB Bunya @ 33 weeks

MTB Bunya @ 33 weeks
33 weeks pregnant
Baby #2 is just growing bigger and bigger. It’s also been pretty wet and cold here. But I managed to get out for a MTB ride at Bunya on the weekend.

Probably be my last MTB ride for a while; until baby #2 is on the outside. It gets pretty uncomfy after 30 mins or so on the bike. Plus I’m exhausted afterwards.
Pregnant mountainbiking 33 weeks


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How the Viento Rides

So I have finished building up the XC beast.

Its all pimped out with a silver, red and black colour scheme. I wanted it to be sub 10kg , but it came in at 10.4kg. The running gear is all SRAM X0 with the Avid/SRAM X0 brakes. I’ve got Fox 120mm forks and DT Swiss rims and Hope hubs. I decided against tubeless tyres because I’m unfamiliar with them and it would probably take me too long to get them sorted on the bike. And I want to ride it as soon as I can! I got a super light weight saddle which some of my friends saw and said it will ‘eat me alive’. So now I am apprehensive about how it is going to ride (especially as it’s not long ago I had a baby…).

It has been raining a lot in Brisbane lately. Creeks are flooded and people have even died from trying to cross flooded roads. This means all the MTB trails are flooded and dangerous to ride for a while. The maiden voyage of the Viento was very enjoyable! It was stiff on the rear, so any small lips or jumps it easily launched. Landings were not as rough as I expected (being a hardtail). Cornering it felt like a DH bike. I don’t have wide bars on it, but it just felt great and tracked well on the corners. Could be the length of the bike and the rake of the forks I’m not sure. It climbed surprisingly well. I’m used to riding carbon XC bikes, and I thought this may impact on its climbing ability. But when I cranked the pedals over it immediately responded and took off. Looking forward to bonding with the bike and some longer rides in the future. So far I’m happy with the way it rides.

Photo Below: The madien voyage. 11th Dec 2010

Photo Below: The madien voyage. 1st Dec 2010


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My xc race machine is finally coming together. I'm not sure how much it will weigh in the end but im trying to get light parts ( without going nuts). I haven't been out on the bike much as I've been in SA and down on the gold coast.

I have been running though and going to boot camp. I tend to drink too much coffee and eat sweet things now. I think it's because I'm at home more and think I deserve it from all this hard work. I'm still sleep deprived but am getting more used to it now. The first 2 rounds of the 4x nationals are being held in Sydney in mid November.

I've entered and booked my flights. I have not done any gate practice yet! Maybe next week I will try to do some. Gulp.

The races are being held in conjunction with a xsportgames event. I'm aiming to just head out and have some fun. I imagine it will be like a bmx track so not really my style. But it will be good to get out on the bike and also watch the other events.

Monday, 1 November 2010


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My Viento frame has arrived! Im excited to build it up and get out on it. Its a candy red and silver - exactly the same as Rampy.

So I will have matching race bikes. :) In my ‘spare time’ I am trying to research and choose parts to build it up. I want it to be under 11kg so will need some light wheels and forks. Wednesday, 22 September 2010


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First Ride Back (6 weeks post baby)

So I got out on the XC bike on the weekend.

Yay! Besides a bit of soreness in all kinds of places, it felt fantastic. Its been 6 weeks after the birth, and about 17 weeks since my last ride.

Now thats a long time! I didn’t go too far. Not because I was worried I couldn’t make it home. I was more worried about my two boys (one big one and one little one) I had left at home without any food supply for the little one.

So it was a quick squirt around our local forest for 1 hr, and about 13km. It was so nice to feel the wind in my hair and sunshine in my face. I didnt care that i was maxing out my heart rate at 190 bpm on one of the simplest hills. It just felt fantastic. Fresh air and I was alone on the bike for the first time in almost a year! whoa.

I’m devising a strategy as to how I can get in a few decent rides a week. This is a great start. I’m feeling proud of myself that I felt well enough to go out for a ride, and also that It all came back to me - just like riding a bike really!
Monday, 30 August 2010


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Team Banshee

I am stoked to announce that I will be part of Team Banshee Australia for the coming 09-10 MTB season. With races lined up locally and nationally I will be kept busy throughout this year and next. My bikes have been stickered up with my personalised “Banshee Jayne Rutter” stickers. SWEET! I am so eager to get out on my Rampant and get training. However I will need to wait until at least September before I can go at it hard again. I am also getting myself a Banshee Viento for XC racing. This one from http://www.bansheebikes.com/viento.html looks sick. But mine may not be as pimped out as this one is to start with! Its not the lightest XC bike on the market, but its renowned for being tough and strong. Hopefully I can build it up to be around the 10.5 kg mark.

Full details of the race calendar are located here <>. The QLD 4X series should kick off in September, followed by the Australian Nationals Series in November. The Australian National Mountainbike Championships will be in February 2011 in Adelaide. Thursday, 10 June 2010


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Brisbane Riding

So things have been a little quiet on the riding front.
Its been really wet in Brisbane lately so difficult to get out on the bike. Its not cold, so thats not the problem. Its the flooded rivers and waterways you need to worry about. Most of the riding has been ‘exploring’ and searching for new routes to get from one place to another. The closest single tracks are now Ironbark Gully. There isn’t much singletrack there, but enough to get out for a quick squirt on the bike.

There is an old railway route which has been turned into a nice little riding track. Halfway along is the site of Queenslands worst railway disaster where 16 people were killed when a train crashed in 1947. “On Labour Day, 5 May 1947, a picnic train descending the steep grade of the Samford Range left the rails resulting in the death of 16 people including the driver and fireman. The accident was due to excessive speed, apparently because the driver "did not know the road".”
Sunday, 7 March 2010


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2010 - Noosa

2010 - A New Year First ride of the year at Noosa. Tropical rainforest trails, then a beach swim afterwards. Perfect! Here are some photos of the gorgeous XC trails at Tewantin and my lovely Scott Spark 20. 13 weeks pregnant.

Friday, 1 January 2010

No bump to be seen at the moment.


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Today sucked. I was not enthused to race and had a late night last night. The track was not fun, and I really didn’t want to be there. You may be thinking ‘well then why were you there?’. I guess the answer is, that I wanted to see a new track. There were a few fun bits, but mostly long grass hill climbs.

And then some more long grassy climbs.... I raced ok, but just hurt a lot climbing and had very little motivation. Serves me right for not riding much in the weeks leading up to the race. Mental note, train for XC next time. I came in 5th place. Not too far behind the pace.

Sunday, 26 April 2009


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24 Hour Race Report - 2006

24 Hour Race Report - 2006

So after much build up it’s time to begin the 24 hour Dirty Weekend MTB journey. Originally there was a cast of thousands who were keen to race, but with most parties piking out at the last minute, there is only one team, The Ferals who make it to the start line.

The merchandise for our fans is ready (albeit after a few mishaps with the iron on transfers), batteries are charged and the sun is shining.

2:00:00 PM – RABBIT – 2 laps.

Pete goes out first and pushes out 2 quick laps to start with. This is Pete’s quickest time of the race at 28 mins 29 secs.

2:58:62 PM – FOX GIRL - 2 laps.

The track is sweet, nice and flowy, and even a pallet jump which looks like fun. I do it on my first lap and it’s a bit abrupt, so I decide to leave that one in the future. Half way through my first lap I manage to drop my walkie talkie. I stop to pick it up and no real damage is done. Mental note, don’t let that happen again. So on my 2nd lap I drop it again. I stop and walk back up the track to find it, but to no avail. My brand new walkie talkie is gone…..sniffle sniffle.

I do my fasted lap of the event at 32 mins 44 secs. I have to remember to pace myself.

4:05:17 PM – RABBIT – 2 laps.

I take the time while Pete is out to try to find the walkie talkie with Sacha. With only a 1 hr break, we can’t find it. Sacha keeps hunting while I eat and dress my bike up with lights, which is compulsory after 5pm. I check with the timing tent just before heading out and someone had handed in my walkie talkie. Yippie!

5:07:45 PM - FOX GIRL - 2 laps.

I’m back on the track and a message comes over the radio “Yay! we can communicate again!”. These walkie talkies are great. The sunset is fantastic and I am hoping that Pete and Sacha are getting some good photos.

6:18:00 PM - RABBIT – 3 laps.

Even though there is an hour and half break, there is still lots to do. Eat, toilet, refill water and cordial, change batteries, set up helmet light, check bike over, eat….. .. where did all that time go.

I’m ready to go off again and Pete comes into the transition, with one statement, “3 laps hurts”. Thanks for that Pete.

8:06:43 PM - FOX GIRL - 3 laps.

I’m out on my first 3 lap stint. Sacha is leaving at 9.45pm so I won’t have time to see her again tonight. This is my first real night riding experience for the race. Pete didn’t tell me there were monsters in the forest, or a disco. This place is great.

10:07:04 PM - RABBIT – 3 laps.

I try to get some rest this time in my break. But there is really loud music playing. It is freezing. I stand next to the warm fire inside and get ready to go out again. Staring into nothingness I fuel myself with a banana, chocolate rice cream, and a RedBull. Burp.

I stop and have a short chat to Pete at transition time, rather than going straight off. Everything seems to be in order and the bikes are behaving.

12:01:34 AM - FOX GIRL - 3 laps.

It is a great night for a midnight ride! The moon is looking spectacular and it isn’t windy at all. I wish I had a camera and a tripod with me, and the skills to take a moon photo. It's pretty lonely out. Pete is trying to sleep so there is no talking over the walkie talkie.

There are party goers in the forest drinking beer with the shiny disco ball. It’s nice to have people cheering you on, even if they are naked.

On my 2nd lap there are no spectators in the forest. It feels like a long time when you are out on the trail, but time goes so quick when you are back at base camp.

On my 3rd lap, my light batteries die. Luckily some dude from Melbourne is riding behind me. I let him know my predicament, and he nurses me home. It’s hard work trying to ride when all you can see is the shadow of your head and ears.

2:08:37 AM - RABBIT – 4 laps.

I think it takes less than 5 minutes after you stop riding for you to start to freeze. I’m glad neither of us has punctured. Pete is off. The plan is for him to do 3 laps. I try to sleep, but the neighbours chat noisily the whole time. Pete decides to do something a little crazy and punch out 4 laps. At 44 minutes per lap his pace is still quite quick. I’m grateful to get the extra rest time.

Pete comes into the transition with his rabbit ears are looking a little bedraggled. He is buggered and heads off to rest.

5:01:53 AM - FOX GIRL - 3 laps.

It’s just me and the trail now. There are not many riders on the track. My first lap is my slowest of the night 46:55 secs. It’s lonely and cold.

On my second lap I can see the black sky lighting up a little bit and turning a faint light blue. But it is still early and not ready for the sun to rise. As I head towards the other side of the track, I can see the sun really is starting to rise! It’s a bit lighter, but nothing that you would call a sun rise yet. 10 minutes later I head towards the same area where I was before (no I wasn’t going the wrong way, its just the way the track went). WOW I don’t even need lights now! The sun rise is spectacular! I wish I was like Steve Austin with a camera for my eyes. Now my spirits have lifted, this is great; I don’t even need to concentrate any more to ride.

On my 3rd lap, I radio in to Pete, “Cock a doodle dooo”. This riding stuff is fun again. My 3rd lap time is back down to 41 minutes.

7:13:15 AM - RABBIT – 3 laps.

Sacha is back and there are people everywhere. I am hanging out for Tony to get in to cook bacon and eggs for breakfast.

9:05:08 AM - FOX GIRL -2 laps.

Time for the iPod.

10:23:12 AM - RABBIT – 2 laps.

Mmm bacon and eggs.

11:35:49 AM - FOX GIRL - 2 laps.

More music and my last laps for the long day and night. Yay.

12:55:39 PM - RABBIT – 2 laps – finish at 2:12:54 PM

The cheer squad cheers Pete on while he does his last laps. Will he stop after one lap and wait for the time to count down? Or will he keep on going like a Duracell bunny?

He kept on going to make the total laps 38. Pete did 21 and I did 17.

Full results can be found at: http://www.bikesa.asn.au/events/event_forms/24%20duo.pdf


Dirty Weekend Results 2006_24 hour