ON THE HAMMER
Issue 2 – November 2008
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR:
Welcome to the November edition of ‘On The Hammer’. Time flies when we’re having MOUNTAIN BIKERS
fun, and I hope you’ve all been hitting the trails and enjoying your riding since the last INCORPORATED
Incorporated in NSW
Firstly, a huge congratulations to the new Mr & Mrs Spinelli – Brad and his lovely wife
Lisa tying the knot on Fri 14 November. I’m sure you’ll all join me in wishing them
health and happiness for their life together. PO Box 61
ALBURY NSW 2640
There’s been plenty of racing since the last newsletter as well – the Dirt Crits have
been attracting a great crowd every week, and the mixed formats have been really www.alburywodongamtb.org.au
popular. Special mention to Marcus & Alan for arranging the Coconut Cup – a brilliant
format and one that I think has potential. Special mention also to the Boyalls for their
short course handicap race – with the network of trails we have, there are some really CLUB EXECUTIVE
fun loops that can be put together.
Last weekend was the BICYCLE SUPERSTORE Gravity 12 Hour – and heaps of you made
the trek up to ride, watch, or man the pit stations. Some awesome results – Damo Brendan Stewart
deciding a 24 Solo effort wasn’t enough, so giving the solo a crack, the Bicycle ph 0410 511 293
Superstore team dished it up to some of the elites in the Men’s 4 category, and heaps
of other great efforts too. Word is Danny has been taking a few extra of the ‘harden Vice President & Secretary:
up’ pills (a result of all the sledging on the forum for the last few weeks?) and pulled
out a triple night lap to clinch 1st place for his Open 6 team. Good work Tiger! Brad Spinelli
ph 0402 245 581
Season II starts this week – Grant & Pete have something special cooked up, they won’t firstname.lastname@example.org
tell me what’s going on – other than they plan to ‘mix it up a bit’ Could be interesting?
Club Championships coming up also on the 29 November – Race III of the series
attracting a 50% points bonus. A very important race, especially if you’re in the mix on
ph 0408 116 454
the points table – a good race may shoot you to the lead.
As I write this, the inaugural Bright 6 Hour is being run – with hopefully a heap of our
local riders making the drive to sample some new trails & show our dominance. I look
forward to hearing the race & trail reports. (STOP PRESS: Damo 2nd in Solo mens, Jukka Mark Sullivan
2nd in solo 40+ - guys, you are both absolute machines!) ph 0416 222 080
Plenty of reading this month – some trails news, some sponsors news, and the chance
to get into the head of our Solo gun rider, with Damo writing about his Solo 24 & Child Protection Officer:
Gravity rides. Excellent reading!
And a reminder about upcoming events – BICYCLE SUPERSTORE downhill race next ph 0419 126 259
Sunday, Dirt Crits, Swap Meet (clean out your sheds!), Club Championships, and the email@example.com
Christmas Social Ride & BBQ.
FOR FULL COMMITTEE
And again – if you’ve got anything you’d like to see in this newsletter, please email it to CONTACT DETAILS, PLEASE
me at firstname.lastname@example.org REFER TO OUR WEBSITE
SO THIS IS WHAT 24 HOUR RACING IS ALL ABOUT! – DAMIEN GILLARD TRACK NOTES
In January this year I entered and paid for three upcoming local races. The morning after Trail Access Issues
entering these races, I found myself in Albury Base Hospital, nursing a broken collar bone
As Bren mentioned at the last
after suffering a ‘brain fade’ on our local downhill track.
meeting, we have been
After a very slow recovery and 5 months off the bike I was looking for a new challenge. I contacted by NSW Department
called Grant at the Bicycle Superstore Albury and asked how he felt about helping me out of Lands, regarding mountain
in the Scott 24 Hour Australian Championships; my first go at a 24 hour race. He was bike trails on Nail Can Hill.
keen, which was just as well as I had already entered a couple of days prior and had put
The Department appears to have
his name down as my “pit bitch”. So there I was, 85 days out from Scott and lacking any
some concerns, which have
real base or competition hardening from my enforced lay off.
come to light since the recent
I set about rebuilding my body, mind and Trance X0 which had all taken a hiding during illegal trailworks were uncovered
the lead up to the race. Along the way I managed to secure an overall win in the RAMBO and reported to them.
(Riverina, Alpine Mountain Bike Open) Interclub Series. I also won a few local club races. I
At this point, we’re not quite
was starting to feel comfortable on the bike again.
sure what is going to happen.
After a hectic lead up, a week of packing and repacking and building a new Anthem X0 for We’ve taken some pre-emptive
the race, we eventually got to the start line in Canberra at midday on October 11th feeling action, including meeting with an
confident that this “monster” was an achievable thing. independent Environmental
consultant to give us some
I set out on the Trance X0 for the first two laps to get a feel for the course. At the end of advice.
the second lap I pitted and got onto my shiny Anthem X0. 15 minutes later, my race took
a turn for the worse. A less than confident rider came down in front of me whilst We have now submitted to the
negotiating a dip on a fire trail. I had no option other than to go over the top. I landed on Department a letter outlining our
his bike with the Anthem on top of me, my hand caught in his front wheel, Grant’s new interests in the Nail Can area,
Shimano sunnies snapped in half and my left ankle and knee banged up. When I got up, I and the importance of
noticed my right knee was sore and puffed up. The rider asked if I was OK. After looking continuing to develop and
at his bike, all I could think about was the fact that my rear derailleur was worth more maintain a legal trail network.
than his bike. I wondered what I had done to deserve this. Given the state I was in, I
Now that the spotlight is on
concluded my race was done. Two and a half laps… that was it. All that hard work for two
mountain biking, it is extremely
and a half laps. No Way! I told myself to suck it up and get back on the bike and circulate.
important that we respect the
I had plenty of time to ride and get back into the race.
trails and look after the Reserve.
From that point on until 5am, things went reasonably smoothly. I forgot about the pain
Please ride safely and
from my injuries. There were plenty of ups and downs along the way but my crew
responsibly, alert Bren or Brad if
managed me wisely. I rode back into the top twenty and was circulating relatively well.
you come across any illegal trail
At 5am I decided to have a power nap for 30 minutes to regain my composure. I fell
work, and please don’t
asleep quickly and woke up bang on 30 minutes later but made the mistake of not taking
undertake any works yourself.
my riding gear off before sleeping. My core temperature had dropped and I was freezing.
Grant and my wife dressed me in whatever gear they could muster. They warmed me up We will do our best to keep
then fed me breakfast. Cocoa Pops, Red Bull, Coke and a banana. This combination everyone informed as to
proved to be lethal, and breakfast came back up as soon as I stood to move to my bike. happens from here.
Grant thought this was the end; time to call it off and hit the showers. I told him to give
me my bike and I headed out once more with 6 hours of racing remaining.
(…continued next page)
SO THIS IS WHAT 24 HOUR RACING IS ALL ABOUT! - CONTINUED TRACK NOTES (CONTINUED)
Upon becoming coherent again, I checked out what my crew had dressed me in. A Time for the first AWMTB Swap
bloody clown suit! I looked like a circus freak. A mish mass of whatever crap they Meet!
could find. “I’m not going around in this getup” I thought. Next lap I’m stopping and
putting my Superstore gear on.
Tuesday 9 December – 6pm
The end of that lap would prove to be one of the most memorable moments of the
24 hours. Nature called and it was loud and clear. By this time I had ridden back into
Clipsal – 303 North St (right near
the top 10. Grant raced to the dunnies where a long line had formed. He announced
that he had a top 10 solo rider coming in who needed a nature break and asked if it
was OK to jump the queue. No worries! So I dismounted the bike in my clown suit, How:
bent over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame and headed for the disabled throne. I Set up at 6pm for a 6:30 start.
could feel all these eyes upon me. There was nowhere to hide. Grant helped me Buy, sell or swap as much of your
into the throne room then left. I quickly realised I was in too much pain to get my excess gear as possible.
gear off so I called out for Grant to come in and help. It will be the first and last time MTB, road, track, clothing, shoes
I ever let a fully grown man undress me! – it’s all fair game. Bring it along
& make your trash someone
I got changed into some respectable Superstore gear then headed back out onto the
course. My race plan had always been to survive the night as best I could then turn
the last six hours of the day into a race. My condition improved as time went by. The And then:
Red Bull I consumed had given me wings and my lap times were becoming Pizza dinner at 7:30pm ($5 per
progressively faster. I calculated that if I maintained a certain pace I might get back head if you want in), then MTB
under the 24 hour mark, allowing me to head out for one last jaunt around the dusty movies in the Clipsal Theatre
slopes of Stromlo. I got home with ten minutes to spare. So out I went again. My last Room (BYO beanbag)
lap was my fastest for the 24 hours and with it, I thought I had secured a position
close to the top 10. We had calculated 11th. CLUB SPONSORS:
It wasn’t until we returned to Albury a day later that we learnt that I had ridden We have had an outstanding
myself into 7th place. We didn’t really believe it, and had to wait for the results to response to our call for Club
become available on the net. When they did, we were jubilant to say the least. With Sponsors.
85 days of training, I expected just finishing would be an achievement in itself. I
We were originally seeking 8
thought if I rode well that a top 20 might be attainable but never expected to finish
sponsors, but we may well end
up with as many as 10.
I could not have gone 24 hours solo without the support of my wife Carolyn, Peter
Details are being finalized
Colbert, Grant Norton and the Bicycle Superstore of Albury. The memories and
presently, and we will be in a
experiences shared will last a lifetime, although I am more than willing to forget
position to officially announce
some of them. I suspect Grant may share the same sentiments.
the AWMTB Club Sponsors
The upshot of my result is that I have qualified for the World 24 Hour Solo shortly.
Championships. We are waiting to find out when and where they are on. No matter
I would urge everyone to do
where they are, I’m going to give myself every opportunity to train hard and smart
what they can to support our
and do the best I can. I know my wife Carolyn, Grant Norton and the crew at The
sponsors – they have shown
Bicycle Superstore Albury will be there to support me all the way.
great faith in us as a club, and
the least we can do it return the
favour & support their
businesses with our patronage.
DOING THINGS BY HALVES! – DAMIEN GILLARD TRACK NOTES (CONTINUED)
12 hours. That’s 12 less than 24. Should be no worries, or at least that’s what everyone Downhill Race:
joked when I told them Gravity 12 hour was coming up. You don’t have to be a rocket
scientist to work out that half the distance does not equate to half the effort. I was Mark is still looking for
under no illusion as to how tough 12 hours in the saddle was going to be. And when I volunteers to help out with the
woke up barely able to move from back pain on Thursday morning, I knew things had Downhill Race next weekend.
just become a whole lot worse. Please drop him an email if you
Saturday morning came around and I was no better. My back was probably worse given are able to help out, even just
Grant and I had spent 5 hours setting up tents and Superstore stuff in the rain the night for a couple of hours.
before. I got my pit set up, explained the ropes to Doug who had stepped in as my pit Some of the jobs up for grabs
crew, then headed for the start line. ‘A running start,’ I thought, ‘that’s not good!’ I
are on the forum.
have not run more than 100m in the past two years as I have suffered from chronic
Achilles tendonitis and have only just got on top of it. Ian Franzke, an excellent distance If the last two races are anything
runner, stood beside me on the start line. “What’s your best time for 800m?” he asked. to go by, it will be an awesome
“Don’t worry about me mate I’m past it” was my reply. day out!
Paul Fitzgerald sounded the siren and we were off. ‘I’m running,’ I thought. So why was WEEKNIGHT ORIENTEERING IS
everyone getting away from me? The answer was simple……one of my favourite sayings BACK!
came into play, ‘the older I get the better I was’. No worries, this is not the ironman
AWOC have started their
triathlon and I had 12 hours to pedal my bike and catch up to those 2 legged whippets.
Summer Street Course series
I was feeling very good after my first lap. My back was fine; as long as I remained bent again. Suitable for all ages and
over the bars and planted on the saddle. I had found good rhythm and speed at a abilities, you can complete the
relatively low heart rate. ‘If I can maintain this for 12 hours, I’ll be right’ I thought. Not courses on bike or on foot, solo
to be. At the end of the 7th lap my stomach started to cause me grief. I decided to stop or in a group, and you can even
eating and consume water for a couple of laps to let things settle down. At around this bring the kids along!
time, another favourite saying, which I have commandeered from Grant, had to be
The series is on now – details
invoked. ‘Suck it up Princess!’ I told myself.
are in the Event Calendar at the
My wife Carolyn, who had arrived later in the day, fed me some chicken chippies. As I rear.
reached in to my jersey to pull them out, other riders going by commented on how
Contact Julie Knorpp for more
good they looked. They were good and I was not about to give them up. They got me
back into the race. I found a good tempo which was a bit slower than my first seven info.
laps but still felt reasonably quick. I worked on keeping a high cadence and then started CLUB KIT:
swapping positions within the top 5.
You’ve placed your orders, and
I was buoyed by the fact night was approaching. I have always enjoyed riding under we’ve place one big momma of
lights and thought it would be here that I could maintain consistency and maybe hold an order with the suppliers –
on for a good finish. Grant and Carolyn had been telling me my position throughout the nearly $7000 of club kit will be
day. At times I thought they were lying just to keep me motivated. “You’re running 4th. coming our way shortly!
3rd is just up the road one minute ahead”. ‘Bullshit!’ I thought. When I got past the
tents and looked up through the cow poo paddock I couldn’t see anyone. Then I We don’t know precisely when
thought ‘maybe I’ve got 3rd and they’re just keeping me on my toes’. It was this thought they will arrive – hopefully late
which I used as motivation to push for home. December.
As soon as we get them, so will
you! And they are gonna look
DOING THINGS BY HALVES! – CONTINUED
Danny King came scooting by with one and a half hours to go. He asked how I was going. I told him ‘I was about one
minute down on 3rd ‘. He said “it’s there for the taking if I wanted it bad enough”. I led him down Gravity Drop then
made way for him to go by on Heartbreak Hill. His words of encouragement got me going but I knew there was still a lot
which could happen in the remaining time so I eased off and kept everything in check.
With the end in sight I decided to give it to myself. I was not going to let anyone go by me on the last lap. Some dude
came by in a green outfit with long white socks. ‘You’re not riding away from me you bloody joker’ I thought. So I stuck
with him for most of the last lap. I ended up coming home six seconds slower than my fastest lap of the day. And I paid
for it when I crossed the line. I was a spent unit! But it was worth it. 3rd place was mine. And with that I was very satisfied
with my 12 hours of EASY (yeah right) racing. The cash prize was very nice as well; it just about covered my food bill for
On the eve of Bright 6 hour I know I’m still paying for the effort. The body is not recovering as well as it used to. But hey,
6 hours is only one quarter of 24 so Bright 6 hour should be half as easy as the 12 hour and 4 times softer than the 24. If I
keep doing things by halves I’ll be chasing a three hour next race which should be a walk in the park. At least the naive
can think this way.
NEXT CLUB MEETING:
Tuesday 2 December – 6:30pm. Commercial Club Albury. Enter via the gym (same level as the bowling greens).
Come along, find out what’s going on, and have your say! Got any ideas or concerns, this is the place to discuss them.
19 November AWMTB Dirt Crits SERIES II – Range Rd 6:00pm Nailcan Hill, Albury
23 November AWMTB - Bicycle Superstore Downhill Race Nailcan Hill, Albury
23 November Vic XC Rd 1 Geelong
25 November AWOC Street Orienteering Thurgoona
26 November AWMTB Dirt Crits SERIES II– Range Rd 6:00pm Nailcan Hill, Albury
29 November AWMTB Hammer Time XC Nailcan Hill, Albury
29-30 November MTBA XC XCC DH 4X Rd 2 Gold Coast
29-30 November FGP Kona 24 hr Forrest
2 December AWOC Street Orienteering Lake Hume
2 December AWMTB Monthly Meeting – 6:30pm Commercial Club
3 December AWMTB Dirt Crits SERIES II– Range Rd 6:00pm Nailcan Hill, Albury
9 December AWMTB Swap Meet – 6pm set-up for 6:30pm start Clipsal - North St
10 December AWMTB Dirt Crits SERIES II– Range Rd 6:00pm Nailcan Hill, Albury
13-14 December MTBA XC XCC DH Rd 3 Geelong
14 December AWMTB Social Ride & BBQ Albury
21 December Vic XC Rd 2 Upper Beaconsfield
WHAT TO GET A CYCLIST FOR CHRISTMAS…
I’m a pretty disorganized buyer of gifts – often leaving Christmas and birthday gifts until the absolute last minute.
And cyclists are probably the hardest people to buy gifts for. We’ve all got brand, size and fit preferences, and the
array of accessories is mind boggling, especially for a non cyclist.
A while ago, I came across www.fatcyclist.com – a cycling blog written by a cycling tragic. Every year he publishes
a Christmas list to assist hapless gift buyers. Below you’ll find an extract of last year’s letter.
If you’re buying for a cyclist this year, you might find it useful. If you’re expecting a cycling-related gift, maybe you
can leave this lying around, casually open, with a couple of paragraphs circled in red pen…
So, what do you get a cyclist for Christmas? (Courtesy www.fatcyclist.com)
A bike. Last year, I argued you should not buy a cyclist a bike. This was because really awesome bikes are too
expensive to be gifts for most of us, plus most cyclists have a very specific idea of what bike they want, and the
chances of you buying that bike are — let’s face it — poor. However, my line of reasoning assumed you wanted
your gift to be a surprise. When you think about it, though, which do you think most cyclists would rather have: a
surprise, or the bike they’ve been lusting after? So, do this: gather all the cyclist’s friends and family together and
agree that instead of each of you buying individual presents, you’re going to band together and buy the one thing
the GR (gift recipient) really, truly wants (or some portion thereof, if the GR has expensive taste). Trust me, the
surprise that you’ve organized everyone around buying the GR’s fondest desire will far outweigh any possible
surprise of a lesser gift.
A floor pump, even if the GR already has a floor pump. File this under “Things I’m listing specifically in the hopes
that someone will pay attention to and buy for me.” Most cyclists have a good floor pump, but they’re constantly
having to move it from the car to the shed and back again. I would love to have one floor pump to keep in the
shed, and one that lives in my car. That way, I have one fewer things to keep in mind when I’m loading up to go on
a ride from a trail I have to drive to. And you know what? If I had a third floor pump, I’d still be happy, because
then I’d have a pump I could keep by the rollers in the exercise room. And if I got a fourth floor pump, well, I can’t
think of a good use for a fourth floor pump, but I haven’t really put my mind to it yet. To choose a good floor
pump, just go to your local bike shop and tell them you want to see the floor pump they use in the workshop. If it
works, you know it can stand up to whatever your GR can dish out.
A really, really good pair of bib shorts. Until this Summer, I had never owned a pair of expensive, top-quality bib
shorts. Thanks to a nice bonus at work, I treated myself with a pair of DeMarchis. They are wonderful. But I think
most cyclists hesitate to spend so much money on shorts. It seems self-indulgent, wasteful. So do it for them.
Spend the $150 - $200 a great pair of bib shorts costs on the GR. They’ll say, “You shouldn’t have,” but deep
down, they’ll be incredibly excited to find out if there’s really a difference. And then they’ll be excited that there is
in fact a difference. And you’ll get to be pleased by the fact that the shorts you bought are the ones the GR always
picks for race day. Brands to consider: Castelli, Descente, DeMarchi. Those are quality brands that aren’t on the
wrong side of the law of diminishing returns.
A really nice helmet. Here’s a trick to surprise and delight your cycling GR. Find out what size and brand of helmet
they wear, then buy a new helmet — same size, same brand — but top of the line. Most cyclists need a new
helmet every couple years, so even if the GR doesn’t need one right now, s/he will soon enough, and then s/he’ll
have a really sexy one, courtesy of you.