Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hot laps and a hotter day at the Vulcaniser

Ollie hot on Tim's wheel as they steam through lap 1
Photo: Aaron Allen

Adventure Events always put on a great show, none more so than the Vulcaniser. While the world class singletrack-fest is situated at the heart of a picturesque coastal sheep farm, riders were not to be fooled the heavenly surroundings would harbour racing conditions hotter than hell!

Fast starter Tim Madgwick got the holeshot up the first climb, with Ventana rider Oliver in hot pursuit. A dusty and loose descent ensued, then on the climb back to the start a bunch of riders swarmed past the early leaders, only a few seconds separating the leading group going into the second lap.

Still in touch with the leaders, disaster struck for Oliver on the second Slimline descent. The loose conditions got the better of him, causing a front wheel washout round a tight switchback and sending him flying off the track.

Dusty and distraught, Oliver nursed his crippled El Fuego round the course loosing a minute as he muscled the mangled derailleur hanger back into place.
Thanks to some next level support from El Toro rider Chris Harte, Ollie regained his composure and busted a set of hot laps to move back up the field.

Ollie cramming all he has into a tiny box on his 4th and final lap
Photo: Jane

Quintessential Christchurch pinner and proud father of recent twin grublets, Dayle McLachlan pulled out a blinding fast final lap to sit on Ollie's wheel into the final time up the Trimble climb. In a move reminiscent of the dirtiest roadie tricks, Ollie stalled on the final pinch, forcing Dayle to dismount and reportedly damage his 'man bits'.

Angering a pinner like Dayle was always going to be a risky move, and sure enough Dayle caught Ollie in sight of the finish and showed determination and mad BMX skills to take the sprint for first in Open Men by a gnats whisker!

Ollie eyes up the hotline
Photo: An awesome anonymous individual

A truly epic race and some great competition, with riders like Craig Tolson, Anton Cooper and Singlespeed nutter Chris Burr shredding the tough and technical course.

Shouts must go out to the Haven MTB crew for marshaling in the hot hot sun, Chris for some amazing cheering/jeering and Jo for her duties as technical hydration officer; a crucial role in the suffocating heat!

Mountain Pedaler out...

Ventana's 09 Pro XC Debut

Ollie shows his eagle-like focus on a drop.
Travel on the Fuego was frequently maxxed out on the technical Wellington course.

In his first Pro Elite hit-out of the 2009 season, Oliver packed his El Fuego into its cordura case and jumped a plane for Wellington. The final of the North Island XC cup was going down on a gnarly Mount Victoria course, and afficianadios of 'real' mountain biking would not disapprove of the course. Highlights included ring popping pinch climbs and all manner of fast descents with drops, jumps and roots thrown in to keep things loose.

Overnight rain left the track greasy as a greased pig but Wellington turned on a stunner with the course packing down and drying out for an all out speed fest in the afternoon.

Hooking a loose line round Hospital Corner at the back of the course.

The start sent riders on a hot lap of the velodrome before sending them up a gradual climb to the summit. With an abundance of young under 19 riders keen to show some pace the tempo was just as hot as the sunny summer Sunday afternoon.

Disaster struck on the first descent with Oliver's drink bottle ejecting, leaving him dry as a prune. Despite the heat he kept his cool, finally finding his feeder Joel on the 3rd lap and downing nearly an entire bottle in the space of 50m!

With consistent pace throughout the race Oliver pulled off a respectable 9th placing in the large field. A great start to the pointy end of the season with plenty of races to fine tune the form before his target event, the Nelson National Championships.

A big shout to Joel the pro-feeder, Rhys for the bed to crash in and Bela for her mean pre-race pasta.

Mountain Pedaler out

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ventana helps you get your build on!

All build kits come with a drool-worth Chris King headset!

The great folks at Ventana USA have come to the party for all those looking to custom build their very own Ventana, offering top notch build kits for the first time.

Available to anyone who orders a frame from Mountain Pedaler, customers can choose from component groups from both Shimano and SRAM.
Shimano groups contain a full complement of either XT or XTR bits, while the SRAM offering also includes the best Truvativ, Avid parts. All groups roll on either WTB LaserDisc trail wheels or the fruity Mavic Crossmax ST Disc, topped with the venerable Kenda Nevegal tires.

Testament to the attention to detail typical of Ventana, all groups come with perhaps the ultimate component; a Chris King Headset, second only to the Thomson bar and stem combo which is also included!
The uber-bling Thomson stem is included in all kits

Customers who opt for these build kits can expect a top notch pick of parts that should keep them happy and riding for years to come.

Lead time is a minimal 2 weeks, and substitutions can be arranged. Forks from Fox, Rock Shox and Marzocchi are also offered.

Get in touch with the Mountain Pedaler for a quote on your dream build!

Mountain Pedaler out...

Simon's El Terremoto

The newest member of the Ventana crew is Simon from Wellington.
His choice of ride is a 2009 El Terremoto frame, built with an intriguing front shifting system dubbed the Truvativ Hammerschmidt.

The system uses some mechanical wizardry to do away with the usual front derailleur setup, and the planetary gears offer the same range of gears as a 34-22 chain ring combination. A built in guide ensues chain doesn't drop and shifting can be done at anytime even pedalling backwards!

Hamish finished off the build with a tasty mix of parts including Fox forks, and a Gravity Dropper; the all mountain rider's best friend.
Keep you eyes peeled for this rig shredding the trails in Wellington. The laterally stiff, and plush sprung Terremoto chassis will no doubt handle whatever Simon can throw at it with aplomb!

Mountain Pedaler out...