On Saturday I was all excited to get ins one racing at the Sandbox… After staking out the postal worker, I finally got my new Troy Lee Design’s pants and jersey as I was heading to my car. I got to the track and did a few practice laps, then checked out the moto’s when they were posted. Hmm, I’m throw back into the bucket with the bigger fish (Inter)… I figured I’d roll the first couple of races as I expected two of the guys to pretty much walk all over me. One of the guys didn’t appear for the first 2 motos, but decided to line up for the third moto and was in the gate to my right. We got out of the gates about even…
Then going into the first turn I got pushed up the track a little and unclipped to stay upright…
I got clipped back in, got back to where I was at, then when going for a pass on the inside of turn hit the back end of another riders bike and ate it. Game Over. I guess it’s one of those “that’s BMX racing” moments.
Tonight I finally managed to meet up with the man behind Aloha Fixed and get a wee tour of the Morals Fiber batcave… Cool t-shirts and nice folks!
The graphic designer / printing geek in me drooled a little over the screen printing weapons! Pretty freakin’ cool!
After Saturday’s evening of BMX racing (crashing) I had the great idea of waking up somewhat early on Sunday and going on a hike. I have this bad habit of selling hikes as “Oh, it’ll just be a 15 minute hike in, and the same back out”… The last time I said that it ended up being a 5+ hour hike with a severe lack of nutrition supplies or hydration. Oops. This time, my 15-minute hike lived up to it’s reputation. It ended up being a 3hr mini-adventure through the jungle guided by chicken scratch on a piece of crumpled paper… Multiple stream / river crossings… Hanging buckets with arrow’s lodged in them (in one side and sticking out the other!)… Pig tracks… Getting slightly lost… But eventually making it to the target point we’d set out to find.
The reward? Getting to the foot of a waterfall that makes Manoa Falls looks like a puddle in comparison. Part I of the hike is complete, but Part II has to wait until a later date. Part II is actually the 15-minute hike that I had planned for this time! You’re not going to get Abs in 5-minutes and you’re not going to complete one of my hikes in 15 either!
After a 55 mile warm-up ride in the morning, I spent some time working on one of the papers for my masters before heading over to the Sandbox BMX Track for Race For Life – A charity event for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The first moto was probably the most spectacular… With the extra dose of race speed I ended up jumping more than I had planned. Sketchy, but I stayed up right. However, one of the guys in my moto attempted one of the jumps before the rhythm section and hit the ground pretty hard. It happened right in front of my so I had nowhere to go and ended up riding over his bike… I looked back and he seemed alright, so I kept on trucking and took the win.
The second moto wasn’t so eventful… I got an OK start and held on to take the win.
The Main was a little more intense… I maybe practiced a little too much between the 2nd moto and the main, which in combination with the morning’s 55 mile ride, started to catch up with me. I got an Ok start but then lost some ground and dropped back… David took the high line around the first turn so I decided to take the inside. Not sure what happened behind, but I got back in front and kept things under control to the finish. Phew.
What was really cool was the unexpected appearance at the track of none other than TROY LEE! Holy s**t!!! I’ve drooled over his amazing airbrush talents since the days of his John Tomac eagle helmets… So cool to finally meet the legend.
I got home just in time to catch the tail end of the Australian Grand Prix and see my friend Jenson Button taking the win ahead of Vettel and Hamilton. What a cool day in some many ways!
After a couple damn good days of climbing, I decided to head back over to the Sandbox and get over my fear of the first jump. It’s not THAT big, but I crashed pretty hard on it a few weeks ago, so the fear level had increased. Having a regular crosswind doesn’t really help things either. Taking off from the gate is ok, but half way up the jump you get a blast of wind and the common reaction is “Woah, F**k this…” and scrub some speed, then roll over it. After a few aborted jumps I decided I just needed to commit and do the damn jump. It’s when you half-ass it, things end up going wrong. All or nothing. The first few jumps I came up a little short thanks to still having some caution floating around, but I started just going for it, and clearing it… A few slightly sketchy landings, with one where I felt the back fire buzz the arse of my jeans, then I started to get smooth landings. I’m probably still getting a little too much air and need to keep the bike close to the ground, but just getting my arse over the jump is a step forward. Once I had that jump nailed 15-20 times, I felt more comfortable tackling some of the smaller jumps around the track. It’s definitely not as easy doing this stuff at 32-yrs old than it was when I was 16, but I’m getting there.
When you’re trying to large chunks of rides spent north of 500 watts, it can make you feel like you’re not that strong… I guess sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that 500+ watts isn’t the easiest amount of watts for a not so large cyclist to sustain for a long time. Yesterday’s intervals susprised me one at a time until I said “F**k… NO MORE OF THAT!”… I literally wanted to get off my damn bike and sit my arse down on the curb.
Today, I decided to tone down the watts a little, but aim for more time… It started of pretty damn good, but I was expecting my power to deteriorate to a more reasonable output. The deterioration / detonation never arrived… Wow. That had to be one of the best climbs I’ve done in a LONG time… and I’m not talking weeks, or months either. Sure, there are plenty other people out there that could out-climb me any day, but in my own little climbing bubble, tonight was a huge step forward and aI bloody liked it. So much so, like a kid in a candystore, I went back for more!
Oh, and yeah… That’s someone skateboarding down Halawa Heights. The photo doesn’t do the steepness of that last section of road any justice. Nuts!
I seem to have pretty good success with making electronics last a LONG time. From as early as being given a TV when my age was single digits that was expected to only last a short time. I think my uncle bought it for about £10. That TV kept on trucking for MANY years to follow much to everyone’s surprise. These days, I almost never ride without having music plugged into my ears. And before I get lectured on the dangers of listening to music while riding, and how it interferes with a cyclists awareness of what’s going on around them, Shhhh! The times that I have been hit by a car, I either wasn’t listening to music, or if I was, it wouldn’t have made any difference. Anyway… So, my trustworthy iPod Nano 16gb 4th Gen decided that 50,000 miles of training was it’s limit. It started limiting itself enough energy for 1hr of riding before giving me the “Plug me in NOW” icon, followed by the black screen of death. Apple don’t have more money than Poland because they make products that last forever!
I headed over to Ebay and sourced the appropriate replacement battery from China for a few bucks. Funny how a $200+ item can have such a cheap battery. Anyway, the battery arrived, I got the iPod mostly disassembled.. then CRACK! RIP iPod Nano screen.
Roll on a few more days and a replacement screen (sourced from Ebay for $8) arrived in my mailbox.
After some finicky work, and soldering the miniscule battery connections, I had it all back together, the screen turned on… headphones in…
I thought that my next race wasn’t until mid-March but realized on Saturday afternoon that there was racing scheduled for the evening. I gave the bike a clean, made sure it all works as I hadn’t checked it since my crash last week, lubed the chain, stuck on my numbers and headed to the track. When I got there I rode around and my back still wasn’t feeling 100%. For most of last week I could barely get in and out of my car as that seemed to put me into the perfect position for excruciating pain. It’s better than it was, so at least it’s healing. After a few laps and a lot of waiting around the moto’s were posted so I went to check them out. I was susprised to see my name listed against Roland Ingano and Jaiden Bing in the Intermediate class. Novice to Inter in a week… I guess that’s what happens when you win 3 races. I’d seen Roland and Jaiden race and they are both FAST and jump way more of the track that I have so far. Needless to say, initially, the thought of racing them wasn’t what I’d call appealing.
After a bunch of the moto’s were run, I lined up in the gate with Roland and Jaiden. I got out of the gate somewhat OK. Not fast, but I think I’m improving. Jaiden took off with Roland close behind, and me sitting in third. Right now my skill level still needs to improve so I have to rely on my strength (pedaling!)… Which isn’t always the smoothest of techniques. Roland sat up a bit after the rhythm section so I went past to take 2nd.
In the second moto, I got a better start and was pretty close to Jaiden and Roland. Jaiden had an issue with his rear brake so he faded out of contention, Roland took the win, and I took second not far behind.
In the main, I had a pretty crap start and got left behind early. Jaiden looked to have upper hand on Roland but the race wasn’t exactly over… At the end of the rhythm section Jaiden crashed hard. Roland and I stopped to make sure he was alright, then Roland rolled in for the win and I took 2nd. That last section of the rhythm just doesn’t seem to flow well and has already caught out a few riders.
Last week I got my USABMX membership (ABA and NBL combined) and my race number 373. I thought I didn’t have another BMX race until mid-March but found out earlier this morning that there’s racing today. Time to hunt down some caffeine!
I frequently get emails and phonecalls asking me what races are happening, and when they’re happening. After a little trawling around the internet, here’s some info via the Team Core Hawaii – Cambio website. Hopefully this makes finding out about Hawaii cycling events a little less frustrating.
Please note that I am not responsible for the accuracy of the race information below. To confirm race details or if an event will still happen, please contact the event organizer.
DATE / RACE / ISLAND / ORGANIZER
02/26/12 – Makaha Time Trial (O’ahu) – Team Core Hawaii – Cambio
03/04/12 – Castle-Hanauma Time Trial (O’ahu) – Boca Hawaii
04/15/12 – Tantalus Time Trial (O’ahu) – Tradewind Cycling Team
04/28/12 – Maui Stage Race (Maui) – Tradewind Cycling Team
04/29/12 – Maui Stage Race (Maui) – Tradewind Cycling Team
05/27/12 – Pedal to the Meadow (Kaua’i) – Tradewind Cycling Team
06/10/12 – Malaekahana Time Trial 40km (O’ahu) – Quick Release
06/24/12 – Simple Green Hawaii State Criterium Championship (O’ahu) – Simple Green
07/15/12 – Olomana Road Race (O’ahu) – Tradewind Cycling Team
08/05/12 – Hawaii State Road Race Championship, Pineapple Hill (O’ahu) – Simple Green
08/11/12 – Sea to Stars (Big Island) – Hawaii Cycling Club
08/25/12 – Cycle to the Sun (Maui) – Maui Cyclery
09/02/12 – Dick Evans Memorial Road Race (O’ahu) – Hawaii State Cycling Association