January’s all about a bike thang!

Adelaide

Being January in Adelaide if you ride any of the many different wheel sizes available, there is a good chance you’ve passed through here to race, ride or just watch one of the many events going on.

Between the National MTBA Round, Santos Women’s Racing, Ozzy Cross and that little thing called the Tour Down Under it was a cycling feast. If you didn’t like bikes and lycra boy were you in trouble.

Racing has been somewhat of a struggle lately, and getting sick a couple of weeks before a National round did me no favours.  The positive thing to take away from something like this is more than often someone has been there, can give you advice and help you not be such a sad sack about it. So it was out to watch others do their thing racing and get out on the bike with friends new and old.

There was lots of quality XCO racing to see at Eagle despite the weather for week preceding being similar to a furnace. Now I’m sure it gets hotter in other places in the world but 47 degrees Celsius is still way.to.bloody.hot to ride your bike, or walk outside, or function… But that’s just what a whole bunch of crew did.

They were from Adelaide and all over Australia and even though the temperatures cooled for the main race days the competition was red hot (ooooo terrible pun). The Women’s Elite XCO race was up first and a longer race than usual meant the lead swapped quite a few times. In the end it was a sprint to the line that got Jenni King the win in front of Tori Thomas and Peta Mullens.

Next it was off to watch the Men’s XCO and see how Jared Graves would fare on his hard tail after a long season of Gravity Enduro racing. Seems he fared quite well, even with a pair of forks that weren’t working so good, and took the win from Michael Crosby and Brendan Johnston.

The ‘sound of silence’ was a pretty good phrase to describe Graves negotiating the technical ‘Sunset Boulevard’ section. This trail had been given a total makeover for the race by Gary and his crew from Trailscapes and introduced some intimidating A-lines created with big, pointy rocks. When Graves came through for his first descent, he was already up and through with minimal breaking and maximum flow. You didn’t really think much about this until the rest of the bunch came down and sounded like a blender crushing ice. No disrespect to the ice crushers, Graves just made it look pretty easy.

The next part of the week entailed a bit of tour guiding, some by choice and a few times by accident.  People from Adelaide know how lucky they are to live here and ride. It’s not the Alps and it’s no Whistler, but you can have a total ball on whatever bike you like.

The newly created Green Smoothy enduro loop at Fox Creek was Sunday’s destination and showing around the Tucknott’s from Perth great fun. Even though my form wasn’t the best I could still tap away, point and try and shred the descents. It’s a good reminder that putting in a little bit of extra effort to find a local to ride with will make destination riding far more enjoyable. We slapped out a solid lap and then went for the double reward of coffee and wood oven pizza at Anderson Hill cellar door, which happens to overlook the trail head – win!

This was just the first time of many where it was time to take stock and remember that sometimes it’s not about the race, or the result, it can just be about your mates and riding your bike… and heckling, that always makes things pretty entertaining too.

I got to spend the rest of the week taking friends on sweet MTB trails, out of the way dirt tracks on the Envie  - not advised, that bike is uber stiff – and help Louis S take the prettiest road bunch I’d ever seen all the way out to Willunga and back… and by ‘help’ i mean stay well behind because I was so slow and ensure no one got lost, had that one in the bag!

Seeing rider’s like Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans fly up Corkscrew and Willunga Hill was great, as was seeing tiny kids have just as much fun watching as the really old ones in ill-fitting lycra. It was also refreshing to see three sprinters grunt up Corkscrew off the back, they are a little more human than first thought, only a little bit…

Last up was a PACC CX race and getting to see Peta, Sarah and Jenny tear the women’s field to pieces. If these ladies, plus the others that made up the top 10 are what’s left in Adelaide whilst the CX world champs are on then it’s a good sign. The course was one of the best yet and everyone had such a good time, the Brava even got a bonus race courtesy of Jake Henrique from Giant Sydney – Awesome! The men’s race was just as good with great racing and local rider Shaun Lewis dominating.

So it’s back to the desk, the routine and having the roads to our selves. Looking forward to some great local racing and working towards some goals for a little later in the year.

I would like to thank all the people that support what I do; being able to run top notch products with such low notch talent makes me a very lucky person!

Thanks to:

Giant Bicycles Australia - Liv/giant

Giant Cycling World Adelaide

SRAM Australia

4Shaw Agencies

Adidas Eyewear

Torq Nutrition Australia

See you out on the trails or road soon, especially on some pre-dawn ginger-safe rides!

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