Adam was in some good company last weekend, and lucky enough to take the GMX through some of Tasmania's spectacular terrain.
My weekend in Tassie was a win! Here I was, feeling pretty lucky with an invite to come and ride Tassie thanks to local Launceston rider Scott Mattern (via Tourism Tas). The other rider on the invite list, was none other than the famous bike blogger, John Watson, aka John Prolly aka The Radavist. Our task was pretty simple, get from Launceston to the Central Highlands and back in a couple of days and share this “Credit Card touring” experience with you all.
It was set to be a “big tyred” weekend, we all wanted it all - the rugged trails, the beautiful winding bitumen and everything in between.
Scott and I were on Curve Titanium GMXs with 29x2.2 tyres and John was on a 44Bikes steel off-road tourer with some oversized 27.5 x 2.8s built by New England, USA. All our chosen wheelsets were carbon.
Our day 1 destination was the Thousand Lakes Lodge; Being 100kms+ from Launceston it was nothing too strenuous by normal Curve standards, but still plenty of gravel, vert, and silky roads to work over the legs and earn a good feed. The Leafy Fall climb to the plateau included some lovely tree lined roads and some steep gravel pinches, which was rewarded with stunning vistas, crystal clear lakes and the ancient geology that the Tasmanian highlands are known for.
An oasis in a barren landscape, our accommodation was was spot on. The Thousand Lake Lodge was a former Antarctic training centre, and was recently converted into a stunning lodge by racing car legend Marcos Ambrose. Lush couches, some bloody amazing local beers, wine, a nice feed and then a comfy bed to sleep in.
The ride back was just as nice, albeit with a rather adventurous downhill to finish off the day.
This section of the Tassie Trail was pretty smashed, littered with huge rocks and washed out areas saw us walking much of it, when you could mount the bike it was pretty wild ride. There were plenty of ways down the hill, and Scott was a little worried about his chosen route - but we didn’t give a shit, in fact the whole thing just added to the smiles and adventure.
This weekend and the company I shared, sums up about what I love about cycling;
Hanging with John Watson was pretty damn cool. He may be “world famous”, and “living the dream”, through the sharing of his two-wheeled stories, but down to earth nature and his fame doesn’t come without awesome talent and hard bloody work. He is on a mission to promote cycling and has taken big risks in driving his opinion to support those who give back to the industry. Chapeau!
Scott on the other hand is not in the cycling industry, he is a full time scientist, a Dad, a proud Tasmanian, and an all-round good bloke who just dead set keen to share his home turf with the rest of us. He gambled his valued time to help create this ride to help get Tassie on the cycling map.
Then there is me, the guy representing Curve. I love sharing the good vibes that these rides bring and get a real buzz from hosting rides that put the “awe” in awesome. But, ultimately we risk it all to make sure our products are worthy of the race you doing, the ride you are about roll on, or the adventure you seek.
So here we have three pretty different riders with more-or-less the same goals; to share and enrich others through this awesome pass time we call cycling.
There were plenty of other cyclists who helped make it awesome, so a huge thanks to Scott for organising it all. Thanks to John for the insight, Enduro Ben for being so chilled. Rob for the trails and Troy and Co from Sprung for the wrench. Thanks to Will from Van Dieman's Brewing, for the Pork, Lamb and Beer!
They are off and riding... Starting from Victoria Square in Adelaide's city centre 20 brave riders have committed to packing their bikes for a 2300 km solo adventure into the great Australian outback. Ranging from early 20's to early 70's the age range is huge. It's a male dominated ride with Sarah Hammond being the only female.
I arrived at 5:15am September 3rd 2016 to the start point for what was to be my first experience in real life as to how an ultra endurance race event starts. Photographer Lana Adams emerges from the darkness, followed by participating rider Ty Domin. By 5:30am, 5-7 riders arrive. By 5:40am, another 10 or so appear. There is a mix of excitement, nervousness and curiosity. Everyone is checking everyone else's bike, meeting and greeting eager to get going. I try to meet all the riders as they arrive and take a pic of their bikes. Bikes are in no particular order, and not a complete gallery of every bike. (Apologies for not attaching riders names to each bike.)
At 5:45 Jesse and Sarah arrive and the starting group is quickly gathered for a obligatory group photo before commencing at 6am sharp.
Once the group shot is taken and 6am arrives, everyone gets moving. Having insight to Jesse's plan on day 1 (His whole race schedule for that matter.) I wanted to ride out to the outskirts of the city and into the hills to get an idea of the pace the leaders will settle into. RCC members join us as the meandering bike path turns into bitumen on Gorge Road, then takes a sharp climb of 10-15% into Batchelor Road where the group gets split up. Jesse, Justin and Gunther were nowhere to be seen. They accelerate once the tight bike path opened up and off they went.
30kms from the start point, I wave goodbye to Sarah and the rest of the riders as they begin day 1 of their journey that is Race to the Rock.
Im happy to have shared the morning with the riders and wish all of them luck.
With only a week until the 2016 Trans Am Bike Race kicks off, I thought it would be good opportunity to preview the 2016 event and focus, in particular, on the women's field. This year the women's Trans Am Race field is looking strong with some very tough riders lining up for the challenge. It could be a international battle between the U.S., Australia, Italy and the U.K. Read on to find out more about the riders to watch.
Designed as a CX race weapon, the Curve Cycling CXR is living life as a versatile adventure machine. Sure it's sweet spot is on the cross track but the CXR is being used for so much more.
Late in 2015 good friends of Curve, John Griffiths, Liam Crowley and Gareth Pellas attempted to ride from Canberra to Melbourne, mostly along the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT). It was an ambitious plan to cover around 1,000 km over an extended weekend through some tough terrain. We asked John to pen a few words to tell us about their adventure. Read on to check it out.
We just love hearing stories of the adventures that our bikes have been on. In 2015 the Curve Cycling team had some great adventures of their own, but so did a lot of Curve Cycling Grovel frames out there in the field. Here's the story of one of them, a trip from Darwin to Cairns by Ben Hirons.
You’re not really doing that alone are you?
That was the question I fielded most often during Christmas catch-ups pre-departure, and then in coffee shops and camp kitchens as I rode my way down down Tasmania’s east coast.
What a day it was to be riding around the Beechworth MTB park. Sunny all day, a great course, nice people and a good fun vibe
In September 2016, I'm (Jesse C) riding unsupported 2,300km from Adelaide to The Rock (Uluru otherwise known as Ayres Rock) via the Mawson Trail and Oodnadatta Track as fast as I can. The route covers some rugged, remote country in the Australian outback. Different to a lot of bike-packing adventures, this is not a "yeah two bottles will be fine" sort of a ride. The route demands respect, research and some caution. You're welcome to ride it too, but you'll also be on your own, and I will try my very best to get to Uluru before you!
Curve has built and sold quite a few road wheels with disk brakes now, and we can see that an increasing groundswell in consumer demand.
We recently asked our Facebook audience about what they thought of putting disks brakes on road bikes, and other than a few traditionalists, the overwhelming majority were in favour of the move to a disk. Some pointed out that maybe only the front is necessary, but most were happy to embrace the move.
From our point of view and with the increasing popularity of carbon wheels, equipping your bike with a disk makes more sense for performance and safety. The carbon wheel is a high performance piece of your bicycle, and its weight and stiffness put aluminum to shame. For a long time now braking manufactures have been improving aluminum rim brake performance, yet we had to start again when it came to carbon and riders have had to sacrifice braking performance, especially in the wet, to gain its extra improvements.
One of the biggest problems with carbon when designed for a bike rim, is that doesn't like too much heat. Granted, the heat retardant resin, the carbon layup along the braking strip and carbon brake pads do a great job, and it takes a lot of heat for the carbon to begin to de-laminate - but the fact is, it can happen. If you are riding your brakes down an alpine decent for an hour, you will generate a lot of heat, and that heat goes into the carbon.
Introduce a disk brake - and hey presto, the heat is all transferred away a from wheel, into the disk itself eliminating any carbon heating risk... and for anyone who has ridden a MTB with disk brakes, then you will know how quickly and safely you can stop in the wet or dry with a disk brake.
But how about the extra weight that a disk introduces? This is what Steve, the Curve founder and product developer had to say"Firstly, there isn't a huge difference in weight and it's only going to get better as brake manufactures get behind it and also from our point of view rims are going to get even lighter by eliminating the bulk of complex layers and resin that build up and reinforce the brake track"
See the article here http://bicyclingaustralia.com.au/2014/02/uci-becomes-more-progressive-towards-bike-technology
Also, one of the big influencers in the lack of change has been the UCI, they have historically taken a very conservative approach to change, especially in road racing. Currently you are not supposed to ride a UCI sanctioned race with disks fitted. But do not fret - it looks like the UCI might finally be coming around - as bicycling australia recently reported on that a more progressive UCI is now here and are fast looking into disks and other technology.