Thursday, 26 November 2015

Garmin Edge 520 Maps: Melbourne/VIC and Adelaide/SA

The summer of road cycling is about to kick off here in Victoria and South Australia, so here's a quick pre-cooked Garmin map file of all the areas the racing covers this summer. I've kept this small for Garmin Edge 520 users with limited device space. These maps are sourced from OpenStreetMap (Routable Bicycle Openfietsmap Lite).

Size: 63MB compressed. 84MB map file. 

Instructions: Just unzip and overwrite your gmapbmap.img file in /Garmin. *Backup existing map file if required.

If you're using a Garmin unit other than a 520 you can follow these instructions by DCRainmaker to install/configure/etc your own maps, or to rename this map file to gmapsupp.img. Full details over on DCRainmaker.

These maps should cover the following 2015/16 races here in Australia: 

Melbourne - Bay Crits. 
Ballarat - Cycling Australia National Championships
Victoria - Herald Sun Tour
Geelong - Cadel's Race
Adelaide - Tour Down Under 
Misc - Victorian alps and Adelaide hills! 

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Snap Send Solve - Cyclists, get on it!

As cyclists we spend hours fanging up and down roads, trails, shared paths, and everything in between. During those hours we see a lot of shit, sometimes literally. 

I've used Snap Send Solve for a few years now, from Kew #boulietacks, graffiti, property damage, etc. After using it today at the Kew teardrop I thought it was time to put a few words about it here on the site for anyone who hasn't heard about it.

The app is simple - If you come across something that needs to be cleaned up, or reported, etc - Open the app, take a photo, punch in a few details - Send! Done. It'll go through to the correct people, they'll act on it, you can ride on. It is brilliant. 

Rubbish at the Kew Crit Loop - Reported via the app.
Hopefully gone before the HCC crits in a few hours.

For the tech details - It simply scoops up the photo you take, your GPS coordinates, and the details you provide into an email and shoots it to the relevant authority. It'll be sitting in your 'sent' items if you want to see what's reported. Nothing up their sleeve. 

Snap Send Solve. Get on it. Use it. 2 minutes of your time reporting something can have a really positive impact on those roads, trails, and shared paths we ride. 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Garmin Edge text alerts for fun and racing....

The UCI race radio debate received a lot of attention around 12 months ago regarding their use in the pro peloton. This debate was miles away from the amateur racing scene and national series racing such as the NRS here in Australia where no rider communication is allowed, other than word of mouth out of the team car. 

As is usually the case, technology moves a lot faster than the regulators, the UCI included. After a few rides with the Garmin Edge 520 and it displaying my incoming text messages without lifting a finger..... I wondered how this could be used in other ways.

Picture this - A team in a peloton of 160 riders equiped with Garmin Edge 520 (or 1000) units, mobile phones in their back pockets, and race updates/instructions bring sent via group message to them from the team car.


No dropping back for instructions and immediate communication to all team riders. And no easy way this can realistically be stopped from happening. I suspect most riders and teams already have the hardware to do this right now.

Technically there are regulations in place to stop this happening (see below). However, short of banning all next-gen cycle computers and checking riders pockets for mobile phones, it is impossible to enforce.

Cycling Australia – Technical Regulations 

3.8.14 The use of iPods, MP3 players etc, reading devices or sunglasses fitted with portable music players and any other type of entertainment devices including mobile phones and wireless transmitters (Bluetooth etc) shall be strictly forbidden during competition and warm up periods on the road prior to the event.

3.8.15 During races the use of radio links or other means of communication with the riders is not permitted.

From local races to NRS tours, and everything in between. Don't be surprised if the rider next to you looks at their Garmin and goes on the attack, or somehow a whole team magically knows something you don't in a race.

Sprint point distances, who's getting dropped, KOM point calculations, weather conditions, changes in team plans, get creative and the list becomes endless.

At this point in time it is only one-way communication, stand-by for that to change in the near future too.

This little feature is a tactical game changer for racing, but a migraine for race officials. Don't get caught using it. So don't do it. :)

Thanks DS! 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The World Tour cycling team who paid for my wife's engagement ring.

Rewind back to February 2012 when I proposed to Veronica during the bike leg of the Horsham Triathlon. In my unplanned laziness for such an important life event, I didn't have a ring. I did, however, promise her an amazing one.

Skip forward to our wedding in December that year. A perfect day in Ballarat, yet still no engagement ring. My new wife was beginning to worry.... until an interesting set of events played out, resulting in her getting her the ring she'd been dreaming of. All thanks to a professional cycling team on the other side of the world.

In the last week of May 2013 I caught wind of Belkin signing up as the naming sponsor of Team Blanco (previously Rabobank, now days Team LottoNL-Jumbo). I can't recall from exactly where this information flew past my desk, but the first thing I did was to snoop around looking for further information to confirm the rumour.

I found nothing. Not even an Internet domain registered '' to indicate something was planned.... oh... wait a minute. I had an idea from the late 90's. $9.95 later I was the proud owner of This wasn't the first time I'd dabbled with domain registrations. My Oceania Cycling domain antics had a good run in the cycling media in 2012.

After a week of no further news, I put the domain on the back burner. It was tucked away in amongst a few others I look after. I'd pointed the domain at the Belkin corporate website, just to stir things up if anyone else was snooping around the same information I'd seen.

At the start of June the public press releases confirming Belkin signing up as the Rabobank/Blanco naming sponsor started rolling in, just in time for their debut at the Tour de France in July. Interesting!

This email arrives another week later via LinkedIn:

Email: June 14th 2013
Subject: should we talk? 
Shane - I'm trying to consolidate all of Belkin's domain names into a single global service that provides brand protection. I would be interested in your advice on this topic. Should we talk? 

I guess it wasn't unexpected they'd want the domain. 

My reply:
I was wondering how long this would take. I know exactly what you're after.What would you like to do? 

They really wanted to talk to me. I really didn't want to negotiate on the phone. After a few short LinkedIn messages they made an offer on the domain name... and the rest is, well, on Veronica's finger. 

I've only told the story in person until now. I think enough time has passed, and Belkin are no longer a naming sponsor of the team. I'll keep the dollar figures and snarky comments from their accounting department for the in-person version. ;) There's also that element of greyness around cyber squatting. But diamonds aren't cheap, and girls love diamonds! 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

West Coast Masters CC - Two Day Tour 2015 (Sept 27-28)

The thank-you section is usually at the bottom of my race reports, this time I'm turning it around. It goes first. I've raced with West Coast Masters CC since first coming to Perth in November last year with my bike, and I've always been impressed with their events. From traffic management, electronic timing, $1 cans of Coke, though to great race photos posted online. If you're ever in Perth with your bike (and you hold a vets license) pay them a visit. You won't be disappointed, and you'll likely have your legs torn off with the quality of the competition across all grades.

Last weekend was their annual Two Day Tour, a highlight of their road season consisting of four stages over a long weekend. Two new courses to race around and one I'm familiar with from last year in Kewdale. 

The tour is points based, with the lowest points at the end of the tour deciding the places.

Stage 1 Prologue ITT Herne Hill 9.5km

Road bikes only for the prologue ITT. Handy as the roadie is the only bike I have with me here in Perth. The course was square, windy, and only 9.5km long. It wasn't long enough to go out too hard, if you do, you'll be across the finish line in no time at all, so no problem! :)

I had a good ride on each section of the course and the numbers were good. 12:41 on the Garmin, 12:45 official, quick enough for the stage win. That was the stage I was targeting, the pressure was off and the next stages were bonus kms. :)

A Grade Top 10
1  24 Shane Miller 12:45.326
2  25 Sam Smith 13:10.153 24.827
3  4  Tom Ford 13:37.209 51.883
4  2  Carlos De Oliveira 13:50.398 01:05.072
5  9  Eddie Hollands 13:52.535 01:07.209
6  18 Doug Stewart 13:55.412 01:10.086
7  6  Chris Glasby 14:04.412 01:19.086
8  7  Kim Halliday 14:12.532 01:27.206
9  1  Brent Cochrane 14:15.633 01:30.307
10 22 Michael Tapscott 14:19.037 01:33.711

Full Results - All Grades
Lots of great photos by Rebecca Schultz

Stage 2 Graded Scratch Herne Hill 85km

The wind had died down and we were all set for 8 laps... that turned into 9 through some random act of cruelness by WCMCC. Sam Smith was the first to launch an attack at 6km that I latched onto with seven others making the split. With the lead bunch in A Grade down from 23 to nine, we were all in a good position for GC points.

Two more break carvings took place with attacks at 42km (down to four), and at 73km in which left Sam Smith and I off the front heading into the final lap. My turns on the last lap had less punch than a Freo Dockers supporter. I'd dug a hole committing to making the breaks stick and was more than happy to take 2nd when Smith rolled me convincingly to the line. He was looking strong all day and didn't look like he even broke a sweat. 

I only knew Smith from looking up race result sheets. It was good to spend some kms with someone so committed to ripping up the road and racing hard all day.

Full Results - A Grade
Lots of great photos by Rebecca Schultz 

Stage 3 Graded Scratch Pickering Brook 68km

Hills! Finally some hills! Von and I drove the course before we rolled out in our bunches for stage 3, and we liked what we saw.

The pace was either on or off on the first lap. Riders down on GC contention were trying their luck to get away. Doug Stewart spent some time off the front solo, before the they let me off the leash and hung me out for a lap on my own, hoping for company that never came across.

I eased up and waited for the counter attacks.... which went nowhere fast on the downhill. 30km in Sam Smith counters after another hill climb surge, I launch across and hear behind me "F*#K it boys, let them go, don't chase"... That's all I needed to hear to keep driving it across to Smith. I got across a few 100m later and let him know they'd let us go.... and off we went again on a two-up journey up the road.

Smith again showing his strengths on the pedals and commitment to the race by pulling solid turns. It was good to be back into the hills after months of flatland work around Perth.

Into the final few kms I couldn't take Smith to the line fresh, he had me covered yesterday in the sprint. I threw in a few attacks towards the line that didn't result in any gaps worth trying to hold to the line. The cat and mouse started 800m from the line, with Smith leaving me in front and initiating the final jump to the line. He had me by at least a bike length but I didn't want a repeat of yesterday and I didn't die wondering. We crossed the line side by side not sure who took it.

The expressions tell the story.
The throw won it with only 0.014 seconds in it. We were now 1-1 for head to head sprints. 

Stage 4 Graded Criterium Kewdale 45min + 2 laps

Into the final stage, Smith and I were well ahead on GC points. He just needed to put his wheel in front of mine to take the overall, so the crit was a tactical affair. I had a few numbers marked, turns out one of them wasn't the right number, but it kept things interesting. Chris Glasby and Magnus Rudisele lapped the field moving Glasby into 3rd overall.

I was expectedly worked over by the locals in the sprint with Eddy Hollands leading-out Smith and closing the door on my run back at him. Smith still had me covered regardless, so I guess if that's the only doing over I got this weekend, it was a pretty good few days. 2nd on GC and $200 to put towards more race entry fees. Happy days! :)

Full Results - All Grades

There's a hundred other race stories across all grades from the weekend. I've tried to keep this short and sweet, and I look forward to reading a few other war/race stories from the other grades.

Just over a week left for us in Perth, I'm hoping Melbourne can put on weather this good when we get back.