Mudsters of the Universe is a Brisbane based blog aimed
at raising Cyclocross interest in South East Queensland

Thursday, September 27, 2012

DDCX Rapha Super Cross

Check out the DDCX Rapha Super Cross video that went up today. I can see a few Queenslanders in there! I feature nice and early in the film at about the 10-11 second mark. Even though it is only my hands, it still counts.

Rapha Super Cross Melbourne from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What Cyclocross Dreams Are Made Of

I saw this the other day and just had to reblog it - good find Mr. Blake.

If we only had 10% of this weather in Brisbane. Maybe summer will come through with the goods this year (it might be a bit of an ask for the snow, so the mud will do fine).

4ème Manche de CDM cyclo-cross from Petitesreines on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Does This Mean We Are Famous?

Robert Cobcroft from Velo Aficionado interviewed me a few days ago about the history, current state, and future of cyclocross in Brisbane. I hope I had my facts correct. 

He also took some pretty good pictures of the Murarrie race. What else would expect from a professional photographer? Scroll down to the bottom to of his article to check them out.

Robert has heaps of really interesting posts about all types of cycling in Brisbane and I do suggest you go back a bit and check them out.

Here is the direct link to the article.

Monday, September 3, 2012

3 of 3 - Balmoral Mudsters Cyclocross

Sunday saw the final race in my cyclocross tour of Australia, 3 races over consecutive weekends. The most exciting part for me was that this race was the first organised by myself. I was super nervous about everything, but the day went off smoothly and everyone I spoke to had a ball - that's a win in my books.

A group of us got to the crit track early and started to setup the course while dodging the Saturday morning races. A few coffee breaks later and the course was set to go. The SRAM/ZIPP van arrived and popped up a tent filled with posh bikes & wheels.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecast thunderstorms earlier in the week but they never came... what? So the course remained dry, flat and fast. These conditions still had their own challenges. Off-camber turns on the dry grass made it easy to get the back sideways and loose dirt in sections could wash a front wheel out if you weren't paying attention.

Kids Race

The course was set a little shorter for the kids, but because I forgot to go down to the start/finish and give a briefing, young Zoe ended up doing the full course. Despite this, she still placed 4th, what an effort! A mechanical saw SRAM swing into action and fix a broken chain to get Darcy back on the track to finish off the last lap. All the kids received SRAM/ZIPP prize packs, I even saw one young lad pimping out his bike using ALL the ZIPP stickers in the bag.


Surprisingly the Open category had the smallest field - has everyone upgraded their mountain bikes to cyclocross? However small, this race was made up by almost 50% female competitors, which was awesome. If this trend continues, we will run some woman's only skills sessions next year.

Andrew was asking for a picture of Pete going OTB, here it is.

Pete wasn't too fazed as he went on to win his race.

B Grade

It was our biggest field of the day and where yours truly was entered. Time to cast aside the worries of organising and focus on the race. I knew heaps of people at the start line so this was going to be fun.

After seeing a few guys end up on their heads after failed bunny hop attempts I was cautious as I first approached the half height barriers. All went OK, unlike Andrew who dropped his chain twice, and had to work extra hard to regain lost places.

The difference between road and mountain bike riders showed in the different sections of the course. The long flats saw the road riders gain the advantage but this was lost through the twists and turns of the more technical sections.

It's not uncommon for competitors to dress up and put on a show for the crowd at cross races. We didn't have any on Saturday, instead we had Marty, doing his best Mario Cipollini style sexy man ride. As sexy as he was, he couldn't hold his place against a last second sprint from Imogen on the finish line.

A Grade

There were 3 skittles coloured CruX in A grade, suddenly I didn't feel special anymore. The riders were on everything from the fully loaded Crux (below) to a steel frame single speed.

There was an ongoing battle for first between Matt and Josh, with Matt riding past the single speed to victory on the final straight. Proving that even in a small field there are no easy wins.

Obviously these guys were quick and skilled up and it was great to see this level of expertise from local riders. With talent this good we are sure to see cyclocross continue to grow in SEQ.

More race reports can be found here.

Ipswich CX
Velo Aficionado
Boss Cross

Links to pictures

There was even some video taken by Simon!

Volunteers and Sponsors

Putting together a Cyclocross race takes a lot of time and without a team it would never happen. I would like to thank Balmoral Cycling Club for hosting the race, providing the race commissaire Louise Jones and lots of advice for a first time race organiser. SRAM are worldwide supporters of Cyclocross and they provided prizes, barrier tape, mechanical assistance and bike porn. They really did make the event feel a lot more professional then I ever could have imagined.

A very big thanks go to the volunteers that helped setup and pull down the course. Simon, Mark, Marty and Scott were all at the grounds early (4 hours before the first race) banging in stakes and rolling out km's of barrier tape. Andrew Demack and Ernie Tye kept the crowed informed and amused on the microphone, by the end of the day the spiral of death had about 6 names. I also need to thank my wife who held in our first baby, days from due, to work the registration desk. 

The crowed, especially the FoA crew, added to the party atmosphere by banging on cowbells, bike parts and kitchen implements and demanding riders pop wheelies.

Courtesy of Nathan
Cyclocross racing is fun, and when you get all the pieces together you get a day out you can't beat.


If you see your name in the top 3 for any category and gender and you missed presentations, drop me an e-mail and I will get your prize out to you.

What's next? Keep an eye on the blog for what could be a fun summer.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Kids Race Cheap

Just a quick update on the entries and ride permits.

Adults $10
Kids $5

You can race on any valid CA, MTBA or BMX license.

If you don't have one of the above licenses you can purchase a day permit or 3 ride permit.

Kids day permits are discounted at $20.
Adults are still $33 for the day, $44 for a 3 ride.

Oh yeah - the bike below is NOT a prize, as much as I would love it to be.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Hope You Are Ready

Because the guys from SRAM are. How ready? Try a fully loaded Crux with Zipp stem, seat post, carbon bars, Avid shorty ultimates, top of line SRAM components and Zipp 404 carbon clinchers.

There are also a few updates.

Entry fees are now cheaper Adults $10, Juniors $5 (to make it easier on the change)

A Grade Cyclocross is now 45min + 1 lap

If you need a permit on the day please let me know as these need to be pre-purchased and we would hate to run out.

Registration will be open between 11am and 1pm only. If you show up later then that you better bring a Caramello Koala.

Food and drinks. There may or may not be a coffee guy who also stocks a few snacks. Otherwise there is a servo across the road and Cannon Hill shops about 500m away.

Monday, August 27, 2012

2 of 3 - Dirty Deeds CX Rapha Supercross

I had last week off to get over the fallout from the now famous hepatitis creek. I felt a lot better by the end of the week, so I packed my bags and made ready for the trip to Melbourne for part two of my cyclocross tour of Australia.

When I left Brisbane there were 26 degree days - shorts and thongs weather. Melbourne was a lot colder then I expected. I could go on about freezing at DISC and how a hot water bottle saved me from hypothermia, but this blog is about cyclocross so let's get into it.
The Dirty Deeds crew know how to put on a cross race and this round of DDCX was no ordinary affair, it was a Rapha Supercross. In usual Rapha style they got their epic on. The course was sprayed with pink and black barrier tape and some huge pink flags in the middle of the track. I did hear someone mention that it looked like a quidditch field - an epic quidditch field.

I entered myself in B grade along with our QLD Cyclocross State Championship organiser, Scott Kirton. That's right 2 Queenslanders representing!!! The field was quick and finding the right lines in the muddy center was constant trial and error. On the back section there was a steep off camber decent that required some delicate brake work to navigate upright. Riding up the adjacent climb was just as technical, I opted to run it every time. Then it was a fast lap around the outside and back into velodrome to start the next lap.

There were so many nice bikes to perv on, I did catch myself a few times mid race admiring passing cross machines instead of watching my line. I have to give Nick two big thumbs up for the course layout, it was a hit with races and spectators alike. 
After my race I got a chance to watch the A grade men ride. It was a fast race with some highly skilled riders putting on a great show. The lower skilled rides also put on a good show, rolling down the run up and binning it on the path, much to the crowds appreciation. I have been a Lewis Rattray fan ever since I heard about him racing in the CX world championships earlier this year, I got a pretty good picture of him too.

Things I didn't know about Melbourne. Everyone sleeps in, everyone is vegan, everyone likes cats, everyone has a beard, everyone wears black, everyone rides a bike and everyone loves cyclocross (except councils, but we all knew that). Melbourne mud is also very polite, sure it is everywhere, and it goes all over your bike, but once it's had enough it just falls off. Even the stubborn bits just flick off, no chisel needed.

I have to put the biggest thanks of the weekend out to my hosts Andrew and Kate. Without the invitation to attend and an offer of lodging I would have never made it. Plus, Andrew did two airport runs which I can never say thank you enough for.

Next on the list is getting everything sorted for the Balmoral Mudsters Cyclocross race, organised by yours truly.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ghetto Cross

A mate of mine, Marty, was so pumped after banging his pots and pans on the hill at Ipswich on the weekend he just had to get some action. So he went home and looked through his bits, and with the help from a few Mudsters donating tyres and bars, threw this together.

That's a 1 X 9 setup using a bashguard and modified front derailleur to keep the chain snug upfront. I am always happy when a local cross bike is born - no matter how "unique". Can't wait to see it in action at Murarrie.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

1 of 3 - Queensland State Cyclocross Championships

Somehow I have managed to book myself in for 3 cross races over 3 consecutive weekends. After yesterdays effort I am hurting, I hope my body gets a chance to recover between races. 

As I am sure frequent readers of my blog know, yesterday was the Queensland State Cyclocross Championships held by the Ipswich Cycling Club. It was an awesome sunny day (maybe a little bit windy) and as usual Scott managed to put together a well thought out challenging course.

The kids got the party stared and I have no idea how they got across the creek, it was pretty deep. They did an awesome job negotiating the obstacles and pushing their bikes up the stairs and all those hills. Good job to all of them, some of those bikes were HEAVY.

Next up was the Open category, lots of MTB's and a few single speeds. Daniel Angus did a good job on his single to pick up a silver medal - not bad for a trackie. Mudsters helper Mark was plagued by pinch flats and slow leaks but after a few pit stops managed to finish the race.

B Grade had a strong showing and this is the race I entered. I started slowly remembering how quickly I burnt out last year. This tactic worked well and I stayed at the back for the rest of the race. Lots of back and forth with positions all across the field made for fun racing. The guys on the hill with the pots and pans kept everyone pumped through the back section. About that creek again, on my 3rd lap I went far right looking for a shallower crossing and thought my head was going to go under, Andrew Demack actually disappeared for a few minutes. The other Mudster helper, Simon, passed me on the last lap and finished his first cross race with a smile.

Almost as soon as we had finished the big race of the day, A grade, lined up for their 50mins of suffering. For the first few laps there was a solid group of 5 that held together on the front. Slowly they became 2 and it stayed this way until the end. A pinch flat 200m from the finish saw the winner claim victory unchallenged. This was by far the most exciting race I have ever seen in person, the battles for every position were tight and riders kept on giving everything they had.

The full results can be found here.

Other race reports can be found at Ipswich CX and Briztreadley.

I didn't get any pictures of the races but the guys from Veloshotz have a nice little galley for you to flick through.

Next I am down to the Dirty Deeds CX Rapha Supercross Extravaganza. Then I will be back to do the last minute running around for the Balmoral Mudsters of the Universe Cyclocross race. What's with all the stupidly long names?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Who Will Be Crowned?

Today is the last day to register for the QLD Cyclocross Championships. You can still do it on the day but it will cost you more. If you are going to need a 1 day or 3 day license let Scott know early because they are pre-purchased, and with an expected 100 strong field you might miss out. Scott's email can be found on the flyer for the event.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Things Are Falling Into Place

We are still tying up a few things with Cycling Queensland so details on how to enter will be available very shortly, I promise.

Don't have a race license? Grab a 3 race license while entering at Ipswich and use it at both CX events.

I got a chance to head out to Murarrie today and finalise the course. It is flat, dry and fast. Check out the map and get an advantage on the competition. Word of warning, there may or may not be a Magpie somewhere on the course, I won't ruin the surprise by telling where exactly.

Oh yeah - if you still don't have a bike check another local bargain.

In case you have forgotten the QLD Cyclocross Championships are on next weekend. Go and enter now!!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Couple Of Things

Thanks to Scott for putting on a fun and challenging skills day out at Ipswich yesterday. We got to practice a few high speed dismounts/remounts. During which, I was trying to be a bit too pro and failed to unclip in time ending up cleaning up both of the practice barriers. He also took us on a ride around Limestone and Queens Parks, flying around the Sunday picnickers, up and down the hills, dips, stairs and paths was great fun.

If you need something to get fired up for the upcoming local cross races check out this video from Round 2 of the Specialized Cross Melburn race last weekend. Look at all those Crux!

Excited and need a cross bike? If you are a shorty maybe you would like to throw a bid on this Crux.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cyclocross National Series on Cycling Central

If you are like me and visit every cyclocross related site every hour on the hour you would have already seen this. If not, jump over to Dirty Deeds and have a look at the video.

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Best Day Ever!

If you cast your eyes to the right, you will see we now have a sponsor in SRAM. New best day ever!

I also meet with our hosts, and can confirm that the guys and girls from Balmoral are very positive towards any cyclocross on their turf. So a big thanks go to them for hosting the race.

Awesome news like this has continued to sum up my last few days, and support from SRAM has been the icing on the cake.

Lastly but most importantly I have had a few people volunteer their time to help out on the day - thanks guys! If you think you will be free (even if it's only 30min) please let me know.

See you all at the Ipswich Cyclocross Skillz session on the 5th August.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cyclcross Crew

After a bit a false start a few weeks ago, I have been given another chance to get a cyclocross race happening in Brisbane.

This time it will be on the 1st September at Murrarie, hosted by the Balmoral Cycling Club. Have a look at the updated race calendar.

To ensure that the event is a success, and open doors for more cyclocross, I will need to rally a few cyclocross fans to help out.

If you would like to get involved on the day with setup/pull down, time keeping etc it would be much appreciated. Don't worry you won't miss any racing!

Send me an e-mail (bradleyjnorman at gmail dot com) and I will get in touch.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Down But Not Out

It is with much regret, that due to factors not under my control, I have had to cancel the Darra Cyclocross race. The decision doesn't come easy as I have spent the best part of a year organising for it.

As a result, I am redoubling my efforts and sending lots of e-mails and making lots of phone calls. All in the hope, that another (even better) race can be put together.

In the meantime practice those skills and set your sights for the QLD Cyclocross Championships

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cross With Care

Thanks to everyone who made the trip to Murrarie today for the cyclocross skills clinic. There were old faces and new ones, first timers and some cross veterans (in Brisbane terms anyway). Everyone was really keen and it made my afternoon very enjoyable. I hope everyone got something out of it, I know I learnt a few new tricks.

Here are some of the guys in action.

For those who missed out, there is a pretty good chance I will be running another just before the Ipswich race.

Remember kids cross with care.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cyclocross Skills Session

If you are thinking about Cyclocross but are feeling a little unsure of your ability or just wondering what the heck it is, why don't you come down to our skills session.

We will be at Murarrie Recreation Ground on Sunday the 8th of July at 2pm. The address is 1221 Wynnum Road Cannon Hill. 

The session will be aimed at beginners, but all skill levels are welcome. We will be going over the basic drills to help get you through your first race. Even if you have raced before you, there will be plenty of opportunities to bush up on those rusty dismounts.

You won't need a cyclocross bike, any mountain bike or road bike with bigger tyres will do fine. You will need shoes you can run in, so no shoes with road cleats.

Woman and kids are encouraged to join in - why not make it a family day out? Best bit, there will be no charge.

View Cyclocross Skills Session in a larger map

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Calm Before The Storm

The lads and ladies down in Melbourne had their prologue last night. The excitement is starting - Darra in 5 weeks today.

Friday, April 27, 2012

We Have A Flyer

Local bike shops better prepare themselves for the onslaught about to come from myself and a stack of flyers. Cyclocross is in Queensland and it's here to stay.

Feel free to print off and disperse at your own leisure.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Queensland Cyclocross 2012

It's been a bit quiet of late, so I've added a new page with information on the 2012 QLD Cyclocross races. It's a bit short on details but I will continue to update it as things get finalised.

I am also working on a flyer/poster that I will start spamming local bike shops and various forums with in the next few weeks.

Queensland Cyclocross is starting to get exciting!!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

BSMC Race 4

So the 3rd race in the series was cancelled due to rain. Who knows what the weather will do for the rest of the week. I will be watching the skies closely in the hope that I can get the Crux out for a spin for the last race of the series.

Register online.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Upgraded Crux

Finally got a bit of free time today so I decided to get in and upgrade the Crux to 10 speed. New parts list include: 

105 (5700) Shifters, rear & front derailleurs
FSA wing compact bars
FSA energy cranks 36/46
11-28 105 cassette & new chain
Avid shorty ultimates - holy crap these are good!
Crank brother SL eggbeaters
Chain catcher

I left a fair bit of overhang on the brake cable so I can trim them once the A23's go on.

I also took off the cross top levers - I hope I don't go to grab for them at the wrong time. 

Next on the list is the A23's wheelset. Just waiting for all the parts to arrive and I will start building.

What's happening to the old bits? Gravel grinder, that's what.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Can't Wait Until Winter?

The Brisbane cyclocross season doesn't start for another 5 months, so why not check out the Brisbane South MTB Club Summer Sprints series. 

The races are a short course XC setup at Underwood Park. The course is flowing with a few rocks and small drop offs, so cyclocross bikes will be fine. They are 2 races down but there are 2 to go. Dates for the remaining races are, 18th of March & 1st of April.

Check out the website for more details.

I will be there.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

More Cyclocross for Brisbane

I have been working for about 6 months trying to get another cyclocross race happening in Brisbane. I am please to announce that Brisbane council have finally given approval for use of one of their parks to hold an event.

The race will be held on Saturday 21st July 2012 at Monier Rd Darra.

Big thanks goes to NRG Cycles who have backed this event to allow it to go ahead.

Stay tuned for more details including a beginners skills clinic.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cyclocross World Championships - GO LEWIS!!!!

The Cyclocross World Championships are on tonight. You will need to find a friend with Foxtel (or be lucky enough to have it yourself) and switch over to the Eurosport channel around midnight.

I am working night shift and there is Foxtel there so I there will be a one-man-lion-of-flanders-flag-waving-cowbell-ringing party at Brisbane airport tonight.

Most exciting thing is that there will be an Aussie in the mix too. Lewis Rattray will be our first representative for a long while. Good luck Mr Rattray.