Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A celebration of a life.

I want to just share some sad news of the passing of a friend and riding buddy and just briefly celebrate his life through my fond memories of him. Pete or "Big Turtle" was a generous soul, a ready conspirator in any fun and a true gentleman. Pete and his lovely wife Jenn are responsible for the best race memories I have and I know I'm far from alone in this. Words can't ever portray how enthusiastic and giving Pete was to those around him and how much he loved life. I figure a few photos may show just what I mean better than me rabbitting on. Have a look, spare a thought for Jenn and Kristen and remember what Pete would have told you. "Live your life, you only get one of them...."

All the following photos are of the Insomnia 24 Hour Race, 2008. A triumph to the McMillan clan.

The Turtles organisation. Our camp rocked.

Pete making sure everyone was fed in between laps.
He broke a LOT of stuff! Fixing a chain at stupid AM in the morning.
The Cranky Old Bastards. Pete really wasn't...
Pete doing what he did best. Just like in life, stomping along and loving every minute of it.

Mate, you'll be missed. I hope the trails are fast and the laps fast. Roll on.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Super V X 2

I must say I was pretty nervous about taking off on a 100k epic with a whole lot of hills thrown in this morning. I haven't done anything like that since getting back from the Terra Australis. Any worries that I had last night about the weather were blown away by the view out my front door! Perfect. It stayed perfect all day.
I met Rients at 6:30am and we took off along the Pony Trails to the base of the Goat Track. It was a nice warm up as the Goat Track is a steady climb with no real pinches to blow you up. There is a long bitumen haul over to the top of Lawton Road past Mount Glorious village we had a little chat along the way, drank some water and cruised along. You must realise that from home it's about 35km and over 1200m of climbing just to reach the trail head. It's a tough little haul to start a ride!
When we got to Lawton Road I was stoked to see Meg! Rients hadn't told me that there was a chance of catching up with her and another rider I hadn't met before. Nick, not the Nick I normally ride with, was a nice guy who we met along the Joyners Ridge Road as he had already knocked out lap of the V before we got there. So off we went. The four of us chugging along the road up to the Lawton Road turn off. From there its a long fast descent to the first of the climbs on the Super V. While it has the profile of a descent there is still a lot of steep climbing to be done in that descent. As well as spectacular views. You can see all the way to Esk and Wivenhoe Dam and today was no exception. It was clear and cool and it had us all commenting on how it was a perfect day for riding. We all just kept rolling the legs over and eating up the K's until we hit the next descent off Northbrook Mountain.
Climbing! Thats what you do for the next 10k's or so. It starts in the lush forest along England Creek Road and slowly makes it's way up through the eucalypt and into the the semi temperate rainforest with massive trees and lush undergrowth. You do work for it though. It pinches up to about 18% in a few places and the loose surface means you slide around on the saddle a lot to try and keep traction. That coupled with 10k's of up makes it an achievement to clear the climb without stopping. Meg and Rients were barreling along at a great pace. It wasn't blistering but it was certainly consistent. a couple of times I caught Nick and we chatted about life, riding bikes and how lucky we were to be out in an amazingly beautiful area right on our doorstep.
I reached the top of the first lap. The big drink and a couple of energy bars were welcome by that stage as was the chance to stretch my back and legs and just catch my breath. I have to admit I wasn't to keen on the second lap. I just knew I would feel disappointed in myself if I didn't.So off I went. Slowly but surely at first but as the lap went on I got better and better. Not much to tell from there. I got to the top and felt really good about it. We all headed up to the cafe for coffee and a burger. All there was left to do was the butt clenching descent down PEI Road and the 20 k's home. I got home shattered.
Check out the profile. It tells the story best.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Writers block.

After three days of trying to write about whats been going on in my life, I decided to just go with the guts of what I wanted to say and leave the rest for another time. I have had a pretty ordinary time lately. My depression crept up on me and made life really hard work. There are heaps of little reasons and none that were big enough to make the radar on their own but add them together and you have trouble. I'm back on an even keel now and i want to say thanks to the people around me that helped me along. Whether they realise or not, it's important. Their input and understanding is the antithesis of the little troubles that build up and stump me because just like the troubles, a kind word or a quick call or a ride on the bikes put the smile back on my face and reconnects me with the world.
I have to mention my family first. I have two awesome kids that continually amaze me and make me laugh. The little monkeys are like the Duracell bunny on red cordial! and then theres my wife. I still wake up most mornings and wonder what the heck I did so right to end up with her. She listens to me when I need to talk and offers common sense when I can't see the wood for the trees. I am eternally grateful.
Now in no particular order and with just a brief explanation why:
Steve. Thanks for being supportive and understanding and not scared to tell it like it is.
Adam. Been mates for years and it's still great to catch up and chat.
Nick. Thanks for giving me that gentle and not so gentle push I need from time to time.
Ricki. Keepin' it real.
Paul and Leanne. You will probably never know how much a quick visit one afternoon meant to me.
So there you go. Finally I got it out there. Cheers you lot for just being you.