Monday, February 22, 2010

Coppermine 2010 - It was Epic!

Coppermine, great course, great weather, great people, great bikes....and some great beer.
This year's Epic winner Robin Reid, got in quick before the beer queue got too big.
T-Rex 2nd place, "I'll be back"
















Ethan Glover, 3rd place with a puncture...just trying get get in before the queue for food was too big!
Andy Reid, 4th place, Nomad, Single Chain-ring and so close to riding all of Boulder Valley.
Don't forget he got 2nd at the kiwi brevt just over a week ago.
Harriet Harper, 1st women....and probably a lot faster than you think.
Current National DH Champ too.
Susy Wood, 2nd place, a lot faster up hill than you could possible imagine.
Ask James Hufflet.

Coppermine 2010 - Harriet Harper reports (from the podium!)

2010 Santa Cruz Coppermine, done and dusted.  First report through, from women's winner Harriet Harper. 

I always knew entering the Coppermine was one of the things I “had to do”. It seemed like a race with everything in it I love the most: Steep slightly tricky climbs, and big downhill sections. I wasn't even expecting beer! Every year it seems summer isn’t long enough however, and after three summers of committing to the downhill race season, it was time to do something a little different. So I got a SantaCruz blur LT carbon and forfeited the north island DH series. At first it didn’t seem like too many women would enter, but as time went on, more and more of the “big names” entered, and I must admit, I felt more than a little nervous! And then the council bulldozed the Boulder Valley part of the track. My downhill background was now going to count for fewer precious seconds as the rough, rocky descent was now smooth, freshly groomed walking track.

Race day was perfect. Just cool enough and the mist had burned off the 800m high pinnacle of Black Diamond ridge, a little rain in the days before to keep the tree roots and rocks greasy and tricky. Excellent. We lined up at the start, my race tactics being; wear BMX shoes (comfortable, with soft rubber), keep your tyres soft, get ahead of a few people for the first bit of single track…. after that I had no plan other than turn the pedals, rail the corners and keep bicycle components attached to bicycle. I had my Peak Fuel strapped to the top tube and tuned my gears. Just at the start of the steep climb (the "Classic") I passed two women- Cathy Hamer and (with daunting looking leg muscles and a very shiny Ibis Tranny) Anja McDonald. Then some pushing, and I passed some men struggling with their xc shoes on the rocks, back on for some more hard pitches, past a man with a flat tyre (on the uphill?) and before I knew it, I was at the beer station. I knew I would look too serious not having one, and who turns down free beer?

Black Diamond ridge was greasy and all I could smell was beer. I could feel it in my quads for the first big push. I passed “some guy in the pink shirt” (which turned out to be Suzy Wood once I got close enough to see her ponytail-She must have left skid marks up the classic!) just before the last big uphill push and then onto the awesome bit of downhill back to the rail trail again. That was when the Ventolin wore off.

I couldn’t believe my good fortune when at the start of the next (and the big) downhill the others were nowhere to be seen. It was pretty much easy from here wasn’t it? The boulder valley bits left from the old track were lined with people on hardtails, just to add another element of danger and surprise. It was so much fun!

By the time I got to the 4wd track I was making strange sounds trying to breathe, there was a headwind, and it didn’t seem to end. But just to add salt to the wound, it was back to the singletrack section again to finish; up, down, up, up, then into the finish paddock. Thank goodness! I managed 13th overall in the epic, first woman home in both epic and enduro, and comfortably made the “under 3 hour club”.

So Santa Cruz bike riders took the top 3 Mens and Womens spots in the overall- I have been asked where the “secret tunnel” shortcut was… you’ll have to get a SantaCruz and find out next year! Thanks to the organisers and sponsors for the event- a job very well done! (And can you leave the beer station at the top permanently?)
Harriet Harper

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kiwi Brevet - Andy Reid and his Stigmata.

Andy looking fresh and relaxed after doing about 150km off road
"Too much information" and I'm not talking about the coverage from the Kiwi Brevet, you can't really fault the coverage at all. I found it oddly addictive, there was there was the live tracker (see below), the blog, posts on Vorb and Spoke.  The "Too much information", comes from the entrants now talking about how sore their arse's are and the current condition it's in.  Hopefully no pictures to come.

I think everyone that completed the event, stated they were glad to do it, but would never do it again.  I think Andy is even quoted saying that.  After a couple of days to recover, he told me it was the best event he's ever done and is already planning for next year.



Of the 55 riders to complete the challange, Andy Reid completed the event in 4 days, 4 hours and 14 minutes.  He was the second rider to complete the event with Oliver Wally 4 days, 2 hours and 9 minutes.

Andy's report on the Kiwi Brevet and the joys of riding a Stigmata for the event.

A cyclocross bike is designed for getting amongst 1km laps with a bunch of skin suit clad Belgian maniacs cheered on by a crowd of beer swilling lunatic spectators. I decided to bolt on a carrier and take it for a 1200km lap of the top of the South Island with a bunch of equally maniacal bike riders (no skin suits though), only saw one beer swilling lunatic at a lunch stop at the Hurunui hotel.


The Stigmata really is an awesome solution for this type of event and surprised me with how versatile it was. It handled most conditions well and really excelled on long gravel climbs where its solidness showed through. It’s light weight and stiffness help me to get to the top of most climbs without going too deep. Even on steep technical climbs it never really seemed to lack traction (aided of course by the weight of a loaded carrier). Only in the dampest conditions did things get a bit loose. Shingle descents were also good times where it seemed to really hook up on corners. Full carbon forks combined with extra silicon padding under standard road bar tape helped to smooth out corrugations and rougher sections. The shingle descent after Big River-Waiuta was an epic 15 minutes of blazing high speed fun.

The simplicity and reliability of this bike is also suited to this type of event. I did not experience a single mechanical or puncture. All that was required was daily lubrication of both chain and cables.

Of course, as with every bike, it did meet conditions that were not totally ideal. Long flat rough sections, like the end of the Wharfdale track, or Isolation flat in the Molesworth, did require a fair amount of patience and suffering. However I think this could be alleviated some what by running a slightly higher volume tire (say 40C) at a lower pressure. A compact crankset could have also been a smarter idea. Running a 38-29 did dish out a fair amount of pain on some of the steeper climbs.

What I was really surprised with was how much fun I was able to have on the single track sections such as the Wharfdale and parts of Big River-Waiuta. On low angle climbs and descents that were mostly free of roots and rocks the Stigmata really dished out some good times. I wasn't pinning it trail bike style, but some of the flatter single track did bring a smile to my face, you just kind of get lost in your own little sleep deprived world and even though you are only going 10-15km/h you are gripping it and feeling the buzz. Parts of track that I normally would have considered “boring” on a bigger trail bike became some of the most memorable sections of this race.

The Stigmata is definitely well suited to this type of racing. It handed out it’s fair share of punishment in places but also provided some (unexpected) good times.

Big Thanks Yous must go to Mike Stylianou at Santa Cruz NZ for continued support of a guy who’s “best days are behind him”. Also Norm Wilson at Peak Fuel for the providing me with the best sports nutrition products available and Cactus Climbing for the good deals on the belts.

Andy Reid.

FYI - Andy Reid is one of the fastest guys I know on a bicycle, road, mtb or even cyclocross.  He's the guy you want on your team, he'll smash out the fastest lap at a night race.  He's seems to be one of those guys where the pain barrier is when he starts to warm up.  He's pretty handy on his Nomad too.
Below are a list of some his results the past couple of years;  Look out for him at this years Coppermine too.

• 2010 Kiwi Brevet – 2nd
• 2009 Kaiwara Classic – 1st (new race record)
• 2009 Brake Burner – 2nd
• 2009 Mt Isobel Challenge Duathlon – 1st
• 2009 Molesworth Muster – 3rd
• 2008 Moa Beer Moa Hunt – 3rd
• 2008 Kaiwara Classic – 1st
• 2008 Mt Isobel Challenge Duathlon – 2nd
• 2007 Moa Beer Moa Hunt – 1st
• 2007 Kaiwara Classic – 1st
• 2007 Kagan Memorial Trust 4 day International MTB Tour Pakistan – 4th
• 2007 Crater Rim – 2nd
• 2007 Motatapu Icebreaker – 2nd

TwentyNineInches.com interview Mike Ferrentino

Tallboy, Tallboy, Tallboy...........still need more info?


The guys at twentynineinches.com pick Mike Ferrentino's brain about the Tallboy, you better click here;

I think the guys at twentynineinches.com might be 29er fans, not sure though.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dirk Peters - A couple of MTB cup reports

Thanks to Russ for the Picture.

 
FYI; This season Dirk's focus will be racing the World Cup rounds in preparation for the World Champs.  So he's actually spent more time digging trails (in Portugal) instead of riding on them.
Anywho, here's a couple of updates from him, he's currently sitting in 3rd equal in points for the North Island cup.

North Island Cup Round 2 Hamilton.

Hamilton was a new venue for me and presented an interesting challenge with its unique terrain.
Unlike the usual hilly undulating courses we are normally faced with at a National round, Hamiltons almost totally flat track was quite different and turned out to be a very intense and challenging race.


Although it was based in quite a small area the track made the most of it winding back and forth and more than living up to its nickname of Pukete spaghetti. The spectators enjoyed being able to see so much of the racing at close quarters and there was a great atmosphere which certainly helped in the latter stages of the race when the hurt really kicked in.


The hot and humid conditions made for tough racing and combined with a course that gave zero opportunities to rest, meant that I was absolutely shattered by the finish. I had a fairly solid race riding in third for the majority before getting over taken on the last lap as the pace of the leaders took its toll. A 4th place finish once again, something I am determined to improve on at the next one.


North Island Cup Round 1 Tokoroa.

It was a beautiful hot summers day with a good turnout, all the big guns were present and I was looking forward to my first real hit out of the year. Being pretty fired up I had an awesome start from the gun and got the hole shot through the first corner before getting swamped and unceremoniously spat out the back. It was a bit of a tough re introduction to nationals level racing.


The first few laps were a bit of a grind but gradually I started to catch riders as they lost touch with the front. The course was a good one with a couple of steep climbs and some good tricky downhill sections which were good value for the spectators, but the toughest part was probably the last half with an undulating rollercoaster section and then a climb out in the blazing sun that was an awkward gradient and hard to get a good rhythm going on.


Any way I had made my way up to fourth with 2 laps of 6 still to go when I was caught by Patrick Avery through the start finish. I had passed him earlier on so I was a bit worried that I was fading with the finish still a while away. We rode the penultimate lap with him setting the pace while I tried to save some energy for the final lap were I planned to have a shot at dropping him on one of the climbs. Coming into the last Lap I was feeling the effects of the race and I could tell Paddy was tiring as well. We hit the first of the climbs, it was a slippery surface and we both struggled to the top. I managed to get in front and deciding it was now or never I went for it gaining confidence as I saw the gap slowly opening. The finish line was a welcome sight at the end of a difficult race and I was reasonably happy with fourth place but definitely keen to improve, bring on the next one.


Thank you to: Santa Cruz Bicycles, Bike Culture, Interior fittings Ltd and Julbo.


Dirk Peters

Coppermine 2010 - Entries Close Tomorrow!



Coppermine Entries close tomorrow, probably the best race you'll ever do AND you could win a Heckler AND there is Beer AND the course rocks!

Stop mucking around, go to http://www.coppermine.co.nz/ NOW!

MTBR.com review the Tallboy



For you folks that still need more info on the Tallboy, here is more.

More Made - Steve Peat and Josh Bryceland



I really want to get Cullum Swifts new movie, but don't where from.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Santa Cruz Syndicate partner with Edge Carbon Composite for 2010

Photo: Sven Martin off VitalMTB.com

VitalMTB.com have some nice pictures here;

More info at the Santa Cruz website here;

And you might want to check out what Edge Composites do, here;

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Steve Peat talks about V10's on VitalMTB

Click here;

I might post a picture of Steve Peat later, I'm sure I have a good one somewhere.

TwentyNineInches.com get a Tallboy to test.

If you're a 29er fan, you probably have heard of http://twentynineinches.com/, well they've got a Tallboy to do some long term testing.
Picture from twentynineinches.com

Anywho, click here to see what they have to say so far.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Thinking about the Coppermine Heckler Give-Away Bike

With the best laid plans, by now, I would have hoped to have the Coppermine Heckler that is being given away, to be in NZ, assembled and on display somewhere.

Well that was the plan.

This year I wanted to do something a little more special with the Heckler give away, it's going to be Coppermine Orange and have a nicer build kit than before.


The Santa Cruz Coppermine Epic is on the 20th Feb, I assume you guys have your entries in by now......if not, why not?
Check out http://www.coppermine.co.nz/ for more info etc.

The Santa Cruz Coppermine Epic is more than just a race, it's pretty much up there in rides to do.

Malcs posted on Vorb that's it's his No. 5 ride, in his Top 10 favourite rides in the country, looky here;

So you guys now have to pretend that the pictures of the Heckler are Orange and has Fox forks, because that's what the give-away bike will look like.
Not that there is anything wrong with Sea Bright Blue, actually, I like it.  Note to self, make sure I get a Sea Bright Blue Santa Cruz one day.

Laurence Mote, A Hard Life working for Ground Effect


It's a BIG ask to quickly adapt to altitude, get to grips with borrowed new Nomad, ride in Downieville and hang out with the likes of Mark Weir, Mike Ferrentino and  Scot Nicol. 
I was really feeling sorry for Laurence when he rang me and told me what he was up to and having some problems with excess bike luggage and if I could help.  (I was in Nelson, New Zealand).

Anywho, check out his report here; It's worth reading.

If you're not into reading, here are some exerts so you can understand what Laurence had to endure on his trip to San Fran.   I was glad I stayed at home to work, sounded terrible.

"My host in California was all-mountain poster-boy Mark Weir. We did a kiwi road trip a couple of years ago, got on well and stayed in touch."

"SBTS President and owner of Yuba Expeditions, kindly placed a newish Santa Cruz Nomad at my disposal"

"Friday night was the big party. As the Margaritas flowed, I chatted with NZ born journalist, and now Santa Cruz marketing manager, Mike Ferrentino. He’d like to spend some time riding the new trails around Nelson. A curious twist had Scott Nicol, founder of Ibis bikes, on the same couch."