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Tue, 04 Oct 2005

2005 Mont Australian 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race, post 1 - 21:41
Most mountain bikers in Australia know, the 24 hour race is on this coming weekend. 2420 riders, 640 teams on track (including 170 solo entrants), around 5000 to 7000 people will be on site in Kowen forest over the weekend. This is the largest 24 hour mountain bike race in the world currently (and has been for the last two years also) if you look at it from the number of competitors all up or number of solo entrants perspective.

aerial campsite photo before the race
Kowen Campsite on the Sunday before the race.

By Thursday afternoon that will almost not be recognisable due to all the marquees and other equipment we have being put up there from today onward. Then on Friday morning we open the gates to the competitors (until that time most of them get in to the course for practice laps by riding 5 KM from one of the gates into Kowen) to come and set up camp, Solo entrants and possibly the pairs category entrants will be able to set up their camps in the open grass area. The schools teams also get to set up in one of these areas specifically set aside for schools. Corporate teams have a marquee provided as part of their entry (with gas heaters in them too) all the other categories (3, 4, 6) set up in the pines forest section on the top right.

The final information letter to teams, what is likely to be the latest map and the current rider list are on the CORC website in a recent news item.

There will be a few interesting items this year but I should refrain from mentioning these until after the race, things that seem likely at the moment are ABC news rocking up to do a piece on the race on Saturday (apparently ABC news is the most watched tv show in Canberra), due to ABC being there Win is likely to show up also, possibly others. SBS people will be around the race also, along with Jim Trail (who does work for the SBS Cycling Central show each summer) who is of course racing and doing various commentary things for us and for others. (on 2CN radio in Canberra tomorrow at about 11:45am Jim will be interviewing Trent Lowe about the event and other stuff too).

The ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope will be out there doing the race start, Simon Corbell (ACT Planning Minister) will be competing in a team. Various Australian Olympians and other highly ranked athletes such as Lisa Mathison, Trent Lowe, Sid Taberlay will be there.

And you know why all this happens? Because it is a whole heap of fun. I will try to upload some words and photos a bit over the next week form the event, I am not competing this year so who knows how it will work out, I will however not have much time in front of a computer until next Tuesday though.

[/mtb/events] link

Shiny new wheels - 18:29

The silver wheel label, changes colour with different light (full size)

The rear hub, showing off the Miche cassette (full size)

Both wheels, the label is in a different light (full size)
Since my road bike front wheel blew up the day before the Alpine Classic this year I have been borrowing a front wheel, first from Alan and then a spare one Ben had sitting around.

About two weeks ago I pulled another spoke hole on the Mavic MA3 rim on the back, I then grabbed the front wheel that had blown up in January and pulled the rim from it to put on the back wheel. However I decided it was finally enough, I really should go ahead and order the wheels I had been avoiding buying for months. Another contributing factor was my rear hub has been getting worse, for about a year now it has made some funny noises, been in need of a serious service and had the freewheel start to fail (both becoming a fixed wheel breifly and not locking until after more than half a crank rotation).

Pictured above, Campagnolo Centaur 32 Hole Hubs (I chose Centaur as they are a whole lot better than Veloce, effectively they are the same hub as the Record hubs), Mavic Open Pro rims (not my first choice, but the price for the complete wheel set was too good to turn down) and DT Competition double butted spokes. The cassette which I have on there is a Miche 11-28 (lots of gear range) 9 speed cassette I purchased with some of the lca2005 gift voucher.

I am a fan of standard wheels, 32 spokes, good quality components, these should last fairly well, the tension feels a bit lower than I expected, however if they go a bit out of true after a few weeks I will wander in and pay Ian Downing to rebuild them, though expensive that would make them far more bomb proof then anything else.

I bought the wheels for AUD $550 (including postage) from BikePro in Victoria. This is a great deal, usually a pair of Centrau hubs is around AUD $350, Mavic Open Pro rims are around AUD $120 and the DT spokes would normally be more than AUD $1 each.

[/mtb/gear] link

We hooked another one - 16:26
Good to see MRD is now hooked on mountain biking. Just a few days left now until the biggest 24 hour race in the world (based on number of competitors, around 2450 people entered, 170 of whom are riding in the solo category) the Mont Australian 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race is on this weekend in Kowen Forest ACT.

Unlike some previous years I am not competing this year and am instead taking on more of the on the weekend event management tasks, after being involved with planning the event for a number of years I thought I should help out Russ and Dave and CORC in general on the weekend too. So I have taken from tomorrow through to Monday next week off work (inclusive) in order to be out at the event centre getting stuff set up. At least all the work will be worthwhile once we see how much people enjoy the race.

There are teams and competitors coming from all over the place so obviously MRD could put this on his calendar for next year as a good goal, get in a team at the Mont.

[/mtb] link

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