"But it's in the middle of fuck! Where fuck grows!"
As i enthusiastically described a 35,000 acre cattle station for sale in the Northern Territory-
"But it's in the middle of fuck! Where fuck grows!"
Remember that post a week and a half ago where i mentioned i was finally getting out on the bike more often?
Yeah well, unsurprisingly that turned to shit just a couple of days later, it seems some of the slackers at the servo want to have "time off" and "holidays" in the lead up to Christmas, so i'm doubled up on servo shifts from now til Christmas (and probably a few weeks afterwards too for all i know).
With a coworker at the pool shop leaving soon, i was facing the prospect of working from 11pm Sunday through til 5am Thursday in a few weeks time (with the chance of a few naps here and there i should add). They've now hired a temp which negates that particularly horrific scenario, but 11pm Tuesday to 5am Thursday is still mighty unpleasant.
On the plus side though, all of this work has FINALLY started to improve the finances (just in time for Christmas/the end of maternity leave to fuck them up again lol), and i have managed to still do enough riding to halt the weight gain, if not enough to reverse it.
First up, last weekend (yes we're going that far back, i told you the riding was up shit creek) Andy the Fixie Guy went over to Noosa North Shore for a weekend of drinking with the odd bit of 4WDing squeezed in, so i got up early on Sunday morning to try and catch up with him on the motorbike.
Being early, i had the ferry all to myself-
And having never ridden on sand before, i decided that rather than going straight to 3rd Cutting (the route to Double Island Point) i would start by testing out my sand legs on the little used 1st Cutting. This was not as good an idea as i thought, as being little used meant the sand was about as hard packed as air, and a metre or 10 deep. I managed to get out to the beach ok, then as i turned around to go back in, half a dozen 4WDs turned up just in time to see me get bogged and fall over. Luckily the XT is light enough for me to pick up, and the dark visor on the helmet did something to alleviate the embarrassment.
3rd Cutting was a breeze by comparison, and then i was onto the open beach, where i would be able to just cruise along for miles and miles. I've watched the Paris-Dakar, i know what riding on sand is like right?
Well, no. Apparently desert sand is different to beach sand, and i am not Cyril Despres.
It didn't help that the tide was coming in, so the choice was wet sand (and the Pacific Ocean whenever a wave came in) or super soft dry sand. Neither allowed any kind of directional stability whatsoever, and by the time i reached Teewah village (not even a 1/4 of the way to DI) i was well and truly over it, so gave up and turned around.
At least the view was nice-
And at least it meant i had time to help my mother-in-law with her garden (believe it or not my mother-in-law is quite nice).
On wednesday afternoon i managed to get out on the mtb after work, and i headed for an abandoned trail i had rediscovered called Rollercoaster. Back around 2008 i used to ride it fairly often, but was told recently that a flood had destroyed it around 201-11.
Turned out that was right-
But apart from that and another similarly dramatic spot, it's mostly in pretty good nick.
So this afternoon i was set on heading back to have another go. First up i needed to fit the new freehub that arrived, and while that was easy getting the axle back in wasn't. Specifically, i just could not get the axle to sit where it needed to, and it took nearly an hour of swearing and head scratching before i finally twigged that i was trying to put it in from the wrong side.
But with that done i was finally back onto my beloved Velocity/STX RC wheelset, and the bike feels so much better. So much better in fact, that i somehow managed to get 3rd place for Rollercoaster! Sure there's only 15 people on the leaderboard as the track got messed up before Strava really took off, but i'm damn happy with that given i had to do a fair bit of running and jumping on the crook bits. The really interesting thing is there was a bit of ribbon tied to a tree at the start, so there's a chance the local club might rebuild it.
Anyway i'm now off to try and grab an hour or so nap before starting work at the servo. Here's hoping for no ATM failures-
(yes yes i know, it's the only out of order sign i had)
No discarded syringes in the rubbish bins-
(seriously, fuck people)
And most of all, no reasons to have to go into the dungeon under the building at 2am-
I'm telling you if i hear or see anything in there i'll be in orbit before i've turned around.
This popped up on bookface a moment ago and i immediately saw Winnie a few years down the track!
"You know what your beloved white piece of shit did?"
Funny how he's always MY cat when he does something wrong...
Well i'm a long way from getting in enough miles to call it "training", but i have at least managed to keep getting out on a reasonably regular basis.
As i started getting more familiar with the new Secrets track i made a segment on Strava for a loop up Gyndier Drive and down Secrets, and to my very great surprise i was sitting 3rd, behind 2 staff members of a local bike shop (both seriously good riders).
We all know the proper course of action in such a situation, go on the attack!
Being the terrible mountain biker that i am, the only place i could make time was the tarmac, so having smashed it out as best i could with my current (limited) fitness, i was looking pretty 2nd hand by the time i reached the trail head. So 2nd hand in fact that i was barely able to stay out of the saddle, which is a significant impediment on Secrets. I still managed to come out 28 seconds ahead, for my first KOM in a VERY long time.
Only 2 days later though, it was gone, a whopping 43 seconds taken off by an even faster proper MTB rider. And a few days after that, the deficit went up to just under a minute as another bloke entered the fray. That's a massive chunk of time over just 3kms, but the bit is between my teeth now, and i'm looking forward to clawing back whatever i can.
It will be a while coming though, as on a quiet ride last Friday all kinds of hell broke lose in the freehub, leaving me to limp out with a 7 speed fixie.
Now what are the odds of a replacement freehub being available for a 21 year old STX RC?
As it turns out, pretty damn good. While that's on it's way, i've managed to borrow a wheelset from a mate, but i'll be happy when the 3+kg STX/Velocity wheels are back on (they somehow ride really well in spite of the extraordinary weight).
With the ATX temporarily out of action, my attention turned to the long neglected Shiv.
It does have a matching front wheel, but it makes the front end rather excitable in any kind of crosswind, so i opted for something shallower for the first ride.
Other than needing to nudge the arm rests out a touch, the setup is very good, though the legs weren't capable of doing her justice. Most of the ride was accordingly uneventful, with the exception of a tailwind assisted sprint (complete with Cavendish style head bobbing) to catch and keep up with a car doing just less than 60kmh. 1.7kms at 52.7kmh is not a bad effort considering.
With Gyndier Drive closed this weekend for the Noosa Hillclimb, a mate by the name of Andy the Fixie Guy and i headed for the Sugarbag Rd trails at Caloundra. We had heard a lot about the trail work being done down there and were expecting big things. Unfortunately what we found instead was an unending nightmare of rocks, tree roots and carpentry projects.
Now i can see that a lot of work has gone into those trails, and i get that people enjoy a challenge, but when there's barely more than 50 metres of clear track anywhere between all the pallet timber on and over logs (a liability in today's wet weather), the opportunities to actually enjoy riding are few and far between. One whole area was nothing but unrideable North Shore style insanity.
I don't care how many thumbs up you give it, i'm not riding that. (the camera flattens it out a lot btw, the drop there is about 2.5m)
With no flow anywhere to be found, we covered less than 9.5kms in 2 hours, but we still managed to have some fun, and both appreciate the trails at Wooroi more than ever.
Off to work at the servo now, as it's pissing down rain hopefully it will be nice and quiet.