Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Great Scott!

It's time to go back to the future!

Doc Richardson and Aaron McFly are back in a all new adventure.

Yes ladies and gentlemen roll up, roll up for the greatest show on earth again. Like Back to the Future II and it's cousin Back to the Future III I'm back baby for another year of p-far making madness!

Now how did this fantastic turn of events come about. Whilst riding Betty around Brisbane and down in Evandale she kept mentioning she'd like a sister. Not just any sister oh no that wouldn't do for Betty, she wanted the 6 Million Dollar Man version with greater technology enabling her to go further and faster. I looked into her dark eyes and how could I say no.

So it was decided I'd go back and build a penny using cromoly steel and stronger velocity rim. Which I'll talk about in future posts.

This weeks class was a great event meeting my fellow class mates, watching a video and then they got their hands dirty profiling a rim. You'll notice if you look carefully at the picture below there is always one in a class!

Whilst they were doing the rim I went off to show how to head the spokes. There was of course a couple of slight problems with that considering last time it was like asking Gomer Pyle how to clean a torpedo. Bound to go wrong. Which of course it did I couldn't find one of the spacer washers then after 15 minutes of searching found it, then moved the machine out of the way of the rim going through the doorway and lost the washer again essentially bring the spoke heads to a halt. Well can't say I didn't warn everyone! Got a bit of home work doing the cotter pin connection for the axle and looking for a set of rear forks I've got one set that will do but will continue to look to see if I can find something else.

Great Scott x13!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Big wheels in little Evandale

An All-Australian Bureaucrat got dragged into a centuries old mystical battle in Evandale, reminds me of the movie Big Trouble in Little China  . The big weekend was here Betty was psyched I've never seen her so excited and full of pip and vigour for her first road racing (i was also mildly looking forward to it). It was a beautiful fine day in Evandale predicted temperature hitting 32 degrees a nice dry heat. On Brett's advice I entered basically all the events except the biathlon my knees are so not up to that kind of torture it's why I ride and not run.

There were 68 competitors from across Australia and from NZ, Germany and Canada. I was number 66!

Event 1 The Slow Race 
The slow race rules are simple the slowest person across the line who continues to move forward wins over 25m. I got to the line nervous mounted and almost immediately was in trouble the camber of the side of the road caught me by surprise. I lost my footing turned, over corrected then my feet hit the wheel and I stalled (all at about 0.0001kmh) and I decided to jump off the back rather than fall off the side. FAIL. See it in it's glory below. Jeff has exceptional bike control as you'll see!

Event 2 The Slalom
Fastest around 10 cones I think over about 100m or so.
Lined up terrified my primal fear of this event was based on not wanting to hit a cone and crash. From my vantage point the cones looked about 5cms apart. I decided discretion was the better part of valour and to take it easy, really easy. I comfortably mounted and weaved my way through them in no danger of even coming close to the other competitor or the cones. As you can see below. The highlight for me was the commentator even knew Betty's name! Worth listening with the sound on.

Event 3 The Novice Race
Two laps around the course. As you can see below the course is chock full of corners, not just any corners rather sharp corners.
So approximately 10 of us lined up for what could be one of the most dangerous starts/races of the day a bunch of novice riders racing! Off we went without incident. I started at the back row and slowly worked my way forward towards the front half of the group over the first lap by honking it down Russell st. My cornering speed was slower than a disabled sloth but in the straights I tried to make it up. Heading into the final corner I was 4th and put my all into the final straight and managed to snare 3rd! THIRD. Hooray my first placing at Evandale I was super excited but mostly I was happy to have not crashed! 
Gokulan showing me how to corner with me in the distance behind him!

Event 4 The Launceston Airport Relay
4 laps one lap each. I didn't know I was entered this in fact it was a couple of other QLDers Sally and Peter who tracked me down and we made a QLD team. I was second off and with my participation we were in no real risk of a place in this event I have no idea where we came but it was a bit of fun.

Event 5 The Sprints
A straight out drag race over 200m first person over the line wins and goes to the final.
I was looking forward to this one as there were no corners. I took off and another person got ahead and I was in no real danger of catching but I forgot that it was first over the line only so I kept sprinting to the end and came second in my heat. Which frankly meant nothing but it was fun. Wee!

Event 6 the Obstacle Race
Run, Carry bike, Wheel bike and ride over about 200m in the straight.
Now I knew I was not going to do any good at this as I despise running with the white hot intensity of a million suns. I hatched a plan, a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a fox. Lining up I got down into the sprint position much to the amusement of everyone. It was part of my psychological plan to put the others off in the hope they would all quit. I took off and ran as fast as I could I was first to my bike and realised three things.
1. This was exactly as far as I could run
2. I forgot about the picking up the bike and didn't know how.
3. They didn't quit the race.  
I picked up the bike somehow put my elbow through a spoke and pottered back, pushed the bike back and rode it back I finished the race around last I'd imagine. I was known as 'the sprinter' after that little episode.

Technique was everything!

Event 7 National Championship Race
4 laps and first 2 into final. I was in heat 2 however I had to race back to Di and Michael's to fix my spoke. Sometimes I can take a minute to replace other times a lot longer. I was in a real rush. Guess which one it was? Yep with much swearing I changed the spoke I missed my heat but luckily Rachel organised me to be in a later one.
Lined up a bit puffed and stressed. I got on and to be honest the race was a blur I appear to have come 4th in my heat.

Event 8 Parade

Event 9 The Miss 'n out (b Grade)
Last 3 in the lap are out.
There were approximately 24 starters in this race so we needed to do around 8 laps. Having learnt from the Novice race I decided to try and start on the front row in this one. I got a nice position close to the corner and off we went to the sounds of crunching and grinding. We got a little down the road and were told to stop so we slowly rode around the lap for the restart (turns out someone fell mounting and someone ended up putting their foot through other wheel to catastrophic consequences to the wheel). I got off to a good start in the second start and was riding in the top 5/6 riders after a few laps I got up to around 3rd or 4th. At around 3 laps to go I thought I'd better make sure I was in the front . I accelerated in the straight to the front expecting the others to sit in behind but I got ahead. I continued on with as much pace as I could around the corners and extended my lead until I was comfortable and won the race. WINNAH!

Taking the corner at scary speed.

Phillippe, myself and Jeff

Event 10 The Handicap
4 lap race in the opposite direction with people starting on go, 10secs, 20secs and 30secs.
Now this was a mind game as I was finally getting used to the corners and now they throw my brain out by reversing the direction. I took off in the 10 second group. I have no idea where ended up I think it was OK somewhere in the top ten at a guess.

Event 11 The Celebrations
A great dinner in the hall reminiscing about times past some as long as 8 hours ago.

What a day! Got to meet and spend time with fantastic people in beautiful surrounds with Penny Farthings! I *heart* Evandale. Next post will be about the Clarendon Road Race.