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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Can't Let Go

I should be writing an essay but thinking about cyclocross is much more fun. The essay is about cycling and women's mobility in Melbourne and Montreal so I am not straying too far off topic (she says not fooling anyone but herself). Back to CX ...

Spring is upon us and even though I am excited about the prospect of warmer weather, leaving winter behind also means that my Melbourne cyclocross season is almost over. I could venture to Lysterfield or out of the state with the DDCX contingency heading to Adelaide but the reality of a looming thesis deadline means the Victorian Cyclocross Open will be my last race of the season. Bummer.

I just don't feel ready to hang up the pink flames until next year. There are a few reasons for this:
  1. I missed DDCX round 2 on account of being in Montreal (see above) so I don't feel I filled my fun quota for the season,
  2. The North American CX season is kicking off and I am getting inspired all over again by Heidi Swift's excellent blog Grit & Glimmer,
  3. The "enabler" has been at it again and I have a new cross frame on the way. Squeel!
I imagine I will not be alone in experiencing the post-cross blues that is due to set in around October. A few people have already expressed their interest in some spring/summer/autumn training so they are ready to go once the 2012 season kicks off. Now that's the spirit!

So if you, like me, are unwilling to let go or if you were watching from the sidelines in 2011 and want to get amongst it in 2012, get in touch. We could arrange some group rides, skills sessions - whatever you like. But not before I get the evil thesis monkey off my back at the end of October. If you would like to do something before then I can put you in touch with other keen beans. Email me: katelansell@gmail.com

OK, back to work (read watching Lucinda Williams on you tube).

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Super Disco Breakin'

EDIT: Now with the correct day!

Word from the north of the state:

THE WANGARATTA CYCLO CROSS will happen on Sunday September 17 at the club rooms, (Shanley St, Wangaratta.)

It is more of a trial, to see if an event will be supported around here, if successful then there will be a series with perhaps 2 races in wangaratta, one in albury, and one in bright/mt beauty.

The course is basic, fast and flat. It's a bit boggy in places.But can ridden on a 42 chainring.

There are no sponsors, so prize money will be dependent on entrys.

Consider yourselves all invited... unfortunately the 'cross racing component of DDCX HQ will be inter-state seeing how the croweaters run their races, (apparently with less mud).

In other updates this summarises why I like riding my cross bike with fast friends on the weekends rather than racing on the road (for now). I also predict it will also spur Brendan to tease me about it as well.

Friday, 26 August 2011


And, while I have your attention, the 4th ever Melbourne Gravel Grinder is taking place tomorrow. That's a windy part of the world right there. Dirt road echelons, anyone? Perfect base miles for the next Cross Melburn race, or the CX Open mentioned below.


Win a Dirty Deeds race and you get a fair amount of glory, notoriety with your peers and an envelope from Blakey with fifty bucks in it. Win the first ever Victorian Cyclocross Open and you will win copious amounts of glory, notoriety with your peers and three hundred bucks! That's awesome!

I've heard a couple of key things about this race. The first is that the starting grid will be based on your ranking in the Dirty Deeds Aggregate, just like a UCI Cyclocross World Cup event. That's right, we play like the big boys.

And the second is that this race is a precursor to a Victorian Cyclocross Championship, so get out there and support it. Because once we have a Victorian Cyclocross Championship, we're ready to have a National Championship. You get the picture. We love our little races, and we love how anyone can enter and have bucketloads of fun, but just imagine if riding your bike through mud for an hour could result in you wearing the green and gold stripes. For Real. And then... wait for it... go to the Cyclocross World Champs.

Oh man, that's full on. Seriously. I'm having trouble believing that this little community, that started on a hot February night with Matty Bowen drawing lines on the ground around the Hawthorn Crit circuit, is turning into something this big. I gotta say, I'm proud of my part in it. And I'm proud of all of you, for making it as awesome as it is.

I think I'm blushing.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Read, Dummy!

As you may have noticed, I'm a wordy individual. So it should come as no surprise that I like people's race reports as much - if not more - than all the photos. They're starting to come in, like this one from Ross, or this one from Greg. Incidentally, Greg's booboo represents our first broken bone. I'll check with Blakey, but I think we may have a couple of spare musettes - if we do, Greg, you just earned yourself one.

If you've written up a report, send it in!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Check! Check!

Some issues with the blog at the moment. We're working on it. Apologies for any inconvenience.

Edit: The problem seems to be with Internet Explorer. Please use a different vehicle for enhanced Dirty Deeds viewing pleasure.

Think I Was Born In New Jersey.

In a shock turn of events, 2010 series champion Lewis Rattray has had the 2011 Dirty Deeds Urban Cyclocross series wrestled from his hands, being defeated in the third and final race by Red Shift Racing’s Andrew Blair.

Blair had once again flown down from Canberra for Sunday’s race, and seemed eager to make amends for his below-average showings in the first and second rounds. And as the sun shone bright on Brunswick’s Harrison Street Velodrome he was finally able to display the form that has taken him to podium places in mountain bike races across the globe.

He didn’t have it all his own way, however. Two riders from IRide bikes were keen to make an impression in the first few laps, and gapped the field before the first trip through the mudpit. Perhaps keen to get some impressive footage for his helmet-cam, iRide’s Mikkeli Godfree seemed to dig himself into a sizable hole in the first ten minutes, staying away for the first lap before fading to a mid-pack finish. When he was eventually reeled in it was by a blue-ribbon group containing Blair, Rapha-Condor-Sharp’s Casey Munro, Kosdown Racing’s Cam MacKenzie and former Australian Road Race Champion Alan Iacone. Eventually Rattray was able to latch on to this group, pulling My Mountain’s Mat Gray with him, but expending a great deal of energy in the process.

As Blair stretched the elastic it was only Munro and MacKenzie who were able to go with him. The pair, both riding borrowed bikes from Melbourne Cycling Edge, swapped places a number of times, with MacKenzie able to gap Munro on the paved sections due to the latter’s lack of gears, but Munro making up ground through the stickier mud sections of the course.

In the final ten minutes of the race Blair skipped away from his two pursuers, making the race his own and throwing the battle for the series title into disarray. Behind him Munro and MacKenzie continued to trade blows until the bitter end, with former the former Brunswick Cycling Club clinic kid Munro using his experience on the velodrome to pip MacKenzie at the post. Iacone continued to improve his placings with a fourth, with Rattray sprinting to get around Gray for fifth.

Organizers and spectators alike were downright stoked to have a number of women racing in A grade, and they did not disappoint, fighting heroically through the mud and slush, and giving a number of their male counterparts a run for their meagre monies. Amy Bradley took out her second CX race for the season, eventually stealing the win from Nadine Le Mescam in emphatic style.

Former source of hilarity Tom “The Man In White” Coltrain took the final Dirty Deeds race much more seriously this time around, and in the process took the win from a fine B grade field. Previously known for wallowing in the mudpit sans bike, Coltrain proved that his CX talent is no laughing matter with an emphatic victory from Jason Butler, with Brunswick Cycling Club’s own Andrew Blake coming home third.

In the women’s B grade Diane Nelson once again proved too strong for her fellow competitors, arm-wrestling Port-Adelaide’s Gemma Kernich and local favourite Laura Choong into submission. Diane’s demoralizing win has surely earned her an A Grade start when the muddy season starts again next year.

The Boy’s race saw some of the closest racing of the whole series, with Liam Jeffries and Sam “the 35-Year-Old-Teenager” Wilson, both representing Trailmix, clinging to each other like limpets throughout the entire fifteen minutes. Taking a significant lead from the field early, the two duked it out until finally Liam emerged triumphant, with Sam resigned to second. Adam Blazevic, a number of years their junior, flew into third place.

In the Girl’s race Brunswick Cycling Club’s Emily Hughes once again proved both her mettle and her good sense, flying off the front of the bunch in the first lap, but wearing a pair of gumboots to avoid ruining her good cycling shoes. The irrepressible Georgia Wilson kept the dancing to a minimum but still smiled her way into second place, with Bairnsdale Cycling Club’s Emily Jackson taking out third.

Merida Flight Centre’s Adrian Jackson had been equal leader of the series aggregate going into this race, and a win in the Open Men’s Category (no bike restrictions) guaranteed that he would be standing on the aggregate podium come presentation time. And win he did, lapping almost everyone else in the field. When the news finally came that Lewis had finished fifth in the CX category AJ, with three straight wins, realized that he had clinched the series, without ever racing the bloke who came second. Such are the quirks particular to Dirty Deeds. Behind him Stuart Brown and James Deane watched each other for the whole thirty minutes, until Stuart finally muscled his way into second, relegating James into third.

And, finally, Amity McSwann clinched the Women’s Aggregate with another dominant performance through the mud and slush. Amity shot off from the whistle, and was rarely seen again by the other competitors. Behind her, however, it was a slogfest, with Erica Gunner and Nicole Whitburn trading places like Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd. Eventually Erica emerged triumphant, with Nicole awarded third after the dust had settled (and the confusion cleared).

As the sun sets on another Dirty Deeds Urban Cyclocross Series Melbourne’s new cyclocross can begin to look further afield for their racing, to Lysterfield’s Cross Melburn series, and even interstate, to Port Adelaide’s CX and the City or races in New South Wales and Queensland.

Dirty Deeds Urban Cyclocross Brunswick Velodrome Round 3 from Kathryn Feldmaier on Vimeo.

Cam McKenzie impressed all and sundry with his ability to both hold on to Casey Munro and take puffs from his asthma pump mid-race

Andy Blair made a number of excellent decisions on the day, but this may be evidence of the best decision of all - to be ignored by the Hell Krew.

Adrian Jackson once again took the Open Category, lapping everyone except second place. Somebody buy that guy a CX bike!

Crowd favourite Dylan McDylan proves that he is the most photogenic man on the course, if not the quickest. He was rewarded for the latter, however, by taking out DFL.

Jess Steger was better served this time around due to a bike that actually fit, but still looked a little concerned about the amount of mud on the course.

Jeremy Soawyer made that skinsuit himself. No kidding. And even better, he stole the fabric from a dragon. Again, no kidding. Email me for the details - I don't want to get Jez in trouble.

Jacob the Flipster could've won a prize for the smallest cyclocross bike - and it's a singlespeed!

Brunswick's Emily Hughes took out the Girls' race and the Girls' aggregate with a commanding win. Given her familiarity with the track her odds would've been short from the start.

Lewis Rattray had a hard day at the office, eventually falling to fifth place.

Brunswick Cycling Club's own Casey Munro rode a cyclocross bike for the first time, and may have even taken out the race if Cycling Edge had given him one with gears.

Port Adelaide's Gemma Kernich drove all the way from Adelaide to ride, and certainly seemed to think it was worth it.

Nick Lett was nominated for an attitude award because he was just so damn helpful when we were packing up after round one in Darebin Parklands. When we drew the raffle his name came out. The bloke looked stoked! As an aside, Nick was a former English National derny race champion, and spent more time sucking wheel throughout the series than anyone else I saw.

The iRide boys smashed it from the very beginning, perhaps mostly in order to get some the fantastic video footage you see above.

Photos used without permission, but are available here, here, here, here, here, here ,a little Adelaide bias here, here, here, here, here and here. As per usual, you may need to log into facebook to see some of them. More videos available here. I'll post more as they come in.

Once again, thanks.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Better Get A Lawyer, Son.

Well, that's the season. As per usual, we're all totally wrecked. Reports, results, and a full comprehensive list of where you can find pictures of yourself coming soon.

Actually, I just got the barebones results from Nath. These will also be appearing in the papers tomorrow morning, you know, should you want to show off to your parents. We did stuff up a bit at presentations - we usually do, and it's usually my fault - but these ones are correct.

Open Men (30 minutes)

1. Adrian JACKSON
2. Stuart BROWN
3. James DEANE

Open Women (30 minutes)

1. Amity MCSWANN
2. Erica GUNNER
3. Nicole WHITBURN

U15 Boys (15 minutes)


U15 Girls (15 minutes)

1. Emily HUGHES
2. Georgia WILSON
3. Emily JACKSON

B Grade Men (30 minutes)

1. Thomas COLTRAIN
2. Jason BUTLER
3. Andrew BLAKE

B Grade Women (30 minutes)

1. Diane NELSON
2. Gemma KERNICH
3. Laura CHOONG

A Grade Men (40 minutes)

1. Andrew BLAIR
2. Casey MUNRO
3. Cameron MCKENZIE

A Grade Women (40 minutes)

2. Nadine LE MESCAM

Friday, 19 August 2011

I Hear Payback.

Two nights before race three and things at DDCXHQ are kicking into overdrive. Hamish is neglecting his job at the ABC in order to purchase icepacks for your booboos. Blakey is running around getting your prize packages ready. Nath is writing out our out-of-towners pre-registration list. I'm writing in the blog and building a ginger-beer flavoured lagerphone. And Nik, well, Nik is somewhere being Nik.

So, here's a rundown of what we've discovered in the last two days.

The good people at Cycling Edge are not only providing a bike for a certain Brunswick member who also happens to ride for Rapha-Condor-Sharp, but they're also kicking in $50 per race for the person with the best barrier leap. They're not official sponsors, but after a quick read of their blog they certainly seem to get it. Check it out here.

When it comes to sob stories it's difficult to beat a brush with terminal illness, so it's no surprise to hear that Heavy Metal Jono took out the Fitzroy Revolution "Random Rider" competition. Check out the Revolution's facebook page for his entry. I've heard that Jono will be welcomed to his first ever Cyclocross race with numerous showers of beer, which bodes badly for anyone else wearing Revolution kit, given no one knows what Jono looks like.

The weather report for Sunday says early fog, then sunny and 19 degrees. Our Chief Commissaire, however, informs me that both mudpits (that's right, there are two) will continue to be most wretched on the day, regardless of the sunshine. Bring your gumboots, bring your rubber chicken, bring your skinsuits, bring your bike, bring your mud tyres, bring your goddamn drumkits, bring your voice, bring the noise!

Monday, 15 August 2011


Jeez, it didn't take long for something else to come up. Such is the life of DDCXHQ in the week before a race...

One of our major sponsors, the Fitzroy Revolution, have come up with a most righteous plan. Each sponsor gets two compo rider spots, and the Revolution have one spare. Instead of letting this free ride go wanting, they have decided to offer it to the general public in a Random Rider competition*. And, to sweeten the deal, the chosen rider will also receive a Revolution kit, and be treated to all the benefits of a supported rider on the day (which mostly entails some bike prep, patting DC's dog, and being abused by Sean The Man).

All you have to do in order to be thusly rewarded is head over to the Fitzroy Revolution Facebook Page and post on their wall the biggest soppiest most pathetic reasons why you should be nominated for their free spot. Imaginary dead grandparents (or hell, real dead grandparents), fires and floods and sweeping rains, being trapped in your parents' house in Sydney for ten hours with a fake bomb strapped around your neck... it's all fair game. The Random Rider will be chosen at 5pm on Thursday, and will have to swing by the store to get all kitted out on Friday. So, put on your favourite Dirty Three record and get sobbing.

The Revolution will also be bringing down a version of the bike they are giving away for the "Attitude Award". I kinda want to win this. I got heaps of attitude! It says so on every single one of my school report cards!

*You still need to either have or purchase your own Cycling Victoria licence.

Take It Or Leave It. Do Both. Do Both If You Choose.

Five days to go, so we got some housekeeping!

We've heard rumours that folks are coming from out of state to ride. We don't want these folks to miss out on rego. That would suck. So out of state folks, if you could take a photo of your licence and email it to dirtydeedscx@gmail.com, along with your name and what grade you would like to ride, we'll make sure you don't miss out. However, you must do this by 5pm Friday. If you're not that organized, well, you take your chances with everyone else. Rego opens at 12. If you don't have a licence, you can buy one from us on the day, but there will be no pre-registration available. Just get there early. Those who help us set up will be looked upon very favourably.

Also, I've just received notice that the Brunswick Kiosk will be in full effect on Sunday, with hot dogs, party pies and sausage rolls, as well as the usual assortment of fizzy drinks, powerade, esoteric candy and sesame snaps. Save your pennies!

Matty Melways will also be down at Harrison Street on Sunday with his high pressure washer. I believe it'll be a gold coin donation to have your bike free of the Merri Creek stench before you take it back home to your white carpets.

That's it from me, until I think of something else. It's been a long time since the last race, and I'm starting to feel the buzz. Bring it.

Saturday, 13 August 2011


So, this time next week I'll be back at our ancestral homelands, the Harrison Street Velodrome in the deep bursting heart of the People's Republic of Brunswick, banging in stakes and shaking hands. And you, you'll be getting your kit together, making sure you have your skinsuit, your shoes, your helmet, your sixpack. You and me both will be a little bit excited, because we know that it's the last one. For you, that means there's a little bit more at stake - it's the last one, your last chance for the little bit of glory, either by winning or by doing something hilarious on camera. And for me, well, it means that I don't have to write any more race reports. Win-win!

There's other reasons to be excited about the last round, of course. For one, this year's aggregate winners will receive sashes, with which they can pretend to be Miss Universe for the rest of their lives. That's what I do with the sash I won for coming fourth place in the "Novice Toss" category in the sheaf toss at the 2009 Stawell Show (I couldn't make this stuff up).

Secondly, photographer spectacular Timothy Arch will be inhabiting the Brunswick Clubrooms all week, setting up an exhibition of the photos he has taken over two years of Dirty Deeds. The presentations will be taking place in the clubrooms, so this will give you something cool to look at while we try to figure out which prizes should go to whom. I believe after Sunday is over he'll be moving the exhibition to a different location, which I'll let you know when I know.

Thirdly, this is your last chance to be extra-super helpful and thus find yourself nominated for the Attitude Award. Nominees are usually decided after the races has finished, and are based on you being a decent person. The winner of this award will take home a sweet Specialized Crux, courtesy of The Fitzroy Revolution.

And last of all, for the rumour file... while we couldn't quite convince Cadel to stick around for an extra week and a bit, just to ride a CX race, certain DDCX organizers have been in the ear of a Rapha Condor Sharp rider who has been known to appear in races around town from time to time. Here's hoping he shows up and gives Lewis Rattray a run for his money!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

The Devil Snapping At My Heels.

Omg, shit just got real.

The long-awaited Cycling Victoria Cyclocross Open has just been made official. It's happening, people. This is the closest thing we currently have to a UCI-standard state championships. It's a big deal. You should be excited.

One note to temper your excitement, however: When entering Cycling Victoria events, it pays to read the fine print. Trust me, you don't want to rock up in your Hell Krew kit only to find you have to wear it inside out because they're not a registered sponsor.

(Sure, that's the rule on the internet, but will they make you get changed in real life? Probably not. But do you want to risk it? Probably not. Bring a spare plain (or registered club) jersey just in case)

Monday, 1 August 2011

I Got Your Note, I'm On My Way...

On Sunday various folks associated with Dirty Deeds headed out to Lysterfield for the first round of the Cross Melburn series.

We saw a number of familiar faces in amongst the various categories and enjoyed a different course design (in that I didn't have to do it, and it was able to use a BMX track, stairs, tan bark mounds, a beach and a creek crossing).

In the Kids racing Liam Jeffries has added to both his bike and subsequently trophy stable with wins in both the Open and Cross categories. Under CA rules we can't make him race with the big kids, but I'd bet a few of his competitors wish we could.

In B-grade the Avanti boys look like they might be getting an upgrade in this series as well after a strong performance off the front. Back in the 'bronze' position there was a lot of shuffling of riders as the course and tiredness claimed people, only to have the bounce back. Andrew 'Pink Flame' Blakey manage to crash three times (once due to the shock of finding himself leading) and switch/steal a front wheel due to a flat, before TT'ing himself into a 3rd place.

The battle at the top end of Elite was as fierce as always (after Lewis broke away) and some new faces got on the podium. With a smaller field, and a more 'technical' course gaps would form and then riders would rubber-band back into sight (sometimes also due to mechanicals and crashes). First place went deservedly to Lewis Rattray (we are consulting the UCI about suitable handicaps), followed by Matt 'BIGRINGRIDING' Gray and then Allan Iacuone. Cam 'Borrowed Moots, 2nd Hand Skinsuit' McKenzie did well in his 2nd cross race to squeeze 4th from the fast deflating rear tyre of Snozza (who was also the race organiser). Jeremy Soawyer kept the Hell Krew dream alive with his 6th (a podium place thanks to Snozza passing his prizes on).

There are some great photos (and a recap) from the boys @ CyclingEdge here. I just wish they wouldn't keep bringing that PsychloX with them. It's too distracting...

The next rounds of this four race series can be found here, if you haven't been to Lysterfield this is a great chance to go check it out. There's no reason why you can't go sneak some trail riding in before you race.