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The Final Fling

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A fun but sad weekend in Bundanoon for the 13th and final edition of the Highland Fling. Did the full camp out in the paddock thing. Registered and got my string to tie on the number and a couple of free CO2 cartridges (small). Ate food to support the local primary school. Woke early, so I was already in the dunny queue when the piper hit the paddock. Queued for coffee with my own cup in compliance with the Fling's waste minimisation approach. Breakfasted, prepped the bike, watched the Full Flingers take off and then kitted up and headed out for a short warm up before the Half Fling.

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Wollombi Wild Ride 2017

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After having to cancel a long road trip to WA to do the Cape to Cape (going via Alice Springs, the Pilbara and the Coral Coast), I decided to revisit the Wollombi Wild Ride after a few year's absence. Signed up for the Long version (58km).

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W2G 2017

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Beautiful day for this one. Interesting start in age group waves meant that for the first part at least, I had an idea where I was in my category. Position varied from 4th onto the dirt up to 2nd then drifting to fifth as the uphills slowed me down, then back up to 4th at the finish. Lost time when the front der wouldn't change down on BMX hill and with an ill-advised and unsuccessful overtaking manoeuvre in the run down from the helipad. Finished 81st out of 250 odd overall and 4th out of 20 in over 60's.

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Convict 2017

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Preparation was a bit disrupted by a 3-week trip to the US for my son’s wedding during April. Only one flat ride early in that trip meant there was a bit of catching up to do once back in Oz the week before the race. After a few rides that week, I felt pretty good on the lead in and was hoping for a better result than last year’s 6th in the really old blokes’ category.

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Wet Willo

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The weekend weather forecast had been foreboding, but reports from Wingello indicated it wasn’t looking too bad on Saturday afternoon. After waking to heavy rain early Sunday, a quick check of the BOM radar and the NOBMOB weather page convinced me that heading off into the wet darkness was right thing to do.

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Another rocky tale...

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After the late transfer from a wet Mt Annan to Awaba, a wild, wet and windy Friday night in Sydney had me thinking it would be a rough day. Obviously many others did as well, as the field was pretty thin. Hadn't been to Awaba for a few years, so rode the first lap blind. At my pace that's not too much of a drama. Decided to save the knees a bit by taking what I now know to be the much longer B line up Camelback the first time, but lost a lot of time and spent most of the rest of the first lap catching up to those that I had been riding near.

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Nice track, ordinary ride

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Preparation for this race was abysmal, with 3 weeks overseas without a bike or even a hotel gym to work with. Got into Sydney at 6.00 am Wednesday after an overnight flight, so dealing with jet lag and lingering gastric problems from some dodgy seafood in Singapore. Quick spin on Wednesday after a nap, then up to Ourimbah for a couple of laps on Thursday, because I hadn't been there for a few years. Felt OK, so got my entry in. Went for another spin on Friday morning and felt really flat. Put it down to the fact that it was really cold and started raining just after I went out.

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Ya shoulda been here last year....

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I think I must have been born a year too late…..

I missed last year’s initial reverse Convict due to a prior travel commitment. I had given up doing the 50km version a few years before due to it feeling a bit boring so I knew I had to give the new 68km version a go this year. I would have been a few months too young for the “Grand” masters last year, but after looking at last year’s results in the 68km version, I thought that if I could get in under 5 hrs I’d be reasonably competitive in my new age category. But that was last year’s results….

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Bali mtb ride - Batur Crater to Ubud

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Did this ride with Infinity (Infinitymountainbiking.com) while in Bali last week. A full day out with transport from and to my hotel in Seminyak, full suspension bike hire (+ helmet), water, electrolyte drinks, balinese snacks and a buffet lunch at a crater-rim restaurant for 1.25 million rupees (about A$125). Two customers and a guide, plus a driver. My bike was a 26" Specialised FSR. A little disappointing because I had specifically gone with these guys when they said they could supply an XL sized 29er. The 26er was XL, but was a little cramped.

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Myall River Track - Hawks Nest / Mungo Brush

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I tried to walk this track years ago, but it was closed due to flooding. So this week, I took the trusty Niner and an adventurous mate out to see what it was like.

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