The Biggest Day Of My Life

Christie Hamilton is a rad chick. Anyone who has ever checked out her instagram account (@bright.christie) can see how raw, bubbly and passionate persona on full display. She also raced in this year’s Indian Pacific Wheel Race, a 5500 kilometre bikepacking race across the width of Australia. Christie’s race was one of the most captivating, and she became something of a mascot for the event, as she pushed through huge barriers to make the finish. 

This is a part of her story:

It’s 4am, I’m lying in my tent and I can hear Jesse Carlson’s voice.  He’s talking about the race.  I snap out of it, I’m in Quardaring, sleeping by a cricket oval. Chris is nearby and must be watching the recap video of day one in his swag. I understand what’s going on.

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24 hour solo MTB – The Dirty Weekend

Every year Bicycle SA put on the Dirty Weekend Mountain Biking Festival, and it is easily my favourite event on the calendar. Camping out in the forest, riding some sweet single-track, and a killer atmosphere, this race rules. With 6, 12, and 24 hour options for individuals, duos and teams, there are options for all levels of fitness and skill to race.

I’d raced in a 4 man 24 hour team a bunch of times, and always thought I wasn’t quite up to doing it solo. I mean endurance mountain biking hurts plenty, and I always walked away from the 4 man team event pretty sore. But then I went and did a bunch of everestings that went for 24 hours or more, one of which was on a hard tail mountain bike, so I figured what the hell? Plus I had a dual suspension bike now, so I entered.

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Paris Roubaix – Pro Cycling’s Breath of Fresh Air

Less and less am I finding myself engaged in stories around pro cycling. The drugs, the cheating, the robotic tactics and the lies. It gets crazy tiresome, and for the largest part I just can’t be bothered anymore. I find it harder and harder to trust race results, and the romance has gone. There are only brief glimmers of hope that shine through:

  1. Whenever Peter Sagan does anything. Anything at all. He could tie his shoes and I would happily live stream that shit.
  2. Whenever Esteban Chavez wins anything. I just want to cuddle that kid – sweetest guy in all of cycling.
  3. Paris Roubaix.

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Otway 300 – Gravel, double and single track greatness.

The Otway 300 is in it’s second year this year, and I am stoked to have ridden it. It’s a 2 day race, covering 300km and 6500m of climbing, around the town of Forrest in the Otways. Being down by the Great Ocean Road, the scenery ranges from timber forest, to lush tree-fern bush, to open farmland, and even includes some stunning beaches. Riding in pairs, the event has a unique charm, that attracts everyone from elite 24 hour racers, to weekenders looking for a challenge.
My riding mate and I had met only once, nearly 2 years before at a ride I did in Melbourne. Through the socials we realised we had similar interests, and so decided to ride together. I would say ‘race’, but with a somewhat casual build-up, we were a pair of roosters looking for a good time more than anything.

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Gravelaide 2 – Riding a Gravel Grinduro

Riding a drop bar bike on gravel is tops. Like so much fun. The bacon frying sound that your tyres make when you hit the dirt, pushing up steep hills in totally the wrong gear, and enjoying the incredible feeling of freedom when you get out onto quiet country roads. It’s hard, it’s dirty, it’s exhilarating.

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Otway 300 – 300km off road.

300 km on a mountain bike, in 2 days, with 6000m of climbing. Oh, and you get to do it in the Otway National Park, right down by the Great Ocean Road. And to join this baggy pants party, you must be riding in a pair.

Far. Ken. Oath. Where do I sign? DTR (down to ride).

Featured image from the Otway Odyssey.

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Review: 2017 Specialized Roubaix Expert

Specialized have recently come out with a new version of the Roubaix, and thankfully it is a huge departure from the old versiom. The old Roubaix I always thought was a little ugly, even if it has the same name as the mightiest of bike races to be held every year.

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Jason English – World 24 hour MTB champion

Jason English is the current, and multiple, world and Australian, 24 hour mountain biking world champion. 7 time world champ as a matter of fact. 7 times CONSECUTIVE. He is almost unbeatable in an ultra distance race.
I was lucky enough to complete and Everesting with Jason once (read about that here), and asked him if he’d be happy to have a chat about what it can be like to go through what he does.
Interview by Dave Edwards. Photos from Jason English.

Riding Port Augusta to Adelaide in an All-Day Epic

After logging on to Strava, and seeing a mate, Mark Zanker, had just uploaded a HUGE ride, I asked him what he did the ride for. ‘Just because’ was his answer! What a perfect response. Mark and his brother Brian rode 335 kilometres from Port Augusta to Adelaide together on one massive day, and this is Mark’s story from the day.

Words and images by Mark Zanker

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Dads and DINKS – Grit Vs Fit

Riding hard and long (ha, phrasing…) requires a lot of fitness, and mental toughness. It’s not really a surprise to say this, and having a deficit in either category will leave you short of your goal. Yes there are definitely other factors that play a part in determining the success or failure of a rider achieving their lofty goals, but of all points, these are the 2 most important.

So it begs the question, which is more important? I’ve been chatting a lot with my mate James Raison a lot about this lately, and we have some different conclusions, which ultimately are born from our different abilities and situations in life. But this is my website, so sucked in James, I get to write the article…

Words by Dave Edwards.

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