Racing for a great team means you have a bunch of great teammates. I write my own blog for the Team page, but I definitely don’t want to overlook of any of my twelve teammates, or the great staff and great sponsors that make the Competitive Cyclist Racing Team for 2012.

So, over the coming weeks I will give all of our Team fans a chance to get to know my teammates a little better. Hopefully you’ll get a kick out of some whacky answers to weird questions. With a bit of luck we might get to hear from some of the staff, sponsors, and other people keen to get their answers known to the world!

Here’s a fun group of questions that will be answered by all of my teammates over the coming weeks. If you have any extra questions you would like to know answers to, or any answers elaborated on, shoot through a comment or message, and I’ll be sure it is added to the mix.

First up is one of our retuning 2011 riders, Cole House. Cole is 24 and comes from Green Bay, but the common thought is he escaped from Mexico at some point in time…

How many bicycles do you own?

Well, technically 1, a mountain bike, that’s it.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

I dunno. Um, about 18…

On a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being the weirdest, how weird would you say you are?

I dunno if I’m that weird. Am I weird? Am I weird?! 5. A good moderate level of weirdness. By no means am I as weird as Thomas Rabou.

Lindsay lohan or Selina Gomez?

Lindsay Lohan cos I like me a little bad girl

Do you want to bring sexy back?

You already know who’s bringing sexy back!

If the entire Competitive Cyclist Racing Team lived in a commune, who would try to skip out on doing chores?

I’m just sayin’ I don’t like doin’ chores!

What is the worst job you’ve ever had?

Umm

Have you ever had a job?

I worked at a driving range but that was cool. Worst job, cleaning the toilets at my mom’s house!

What is your favourite colour?

Blaaaack

What’s your favourite food? How often do you eat it?

Don’t really have a favourite food. I like it all. And I eat it all the time!

Favourite drink?

Sugar. Water. Purple. Oh, and NyQuill

What would you have for your last meal?

Next question

What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Taking out the garbage

What is your favourite form of exercise?

Recovering

If you started your own bicycle brand, what would you name it?

I wouldn’t try to compete against Pinarello!

If you can make any bicycle industry product, what would it be, and what name?

A helmet with a cooling device. Named, Coole

Are you a morning or night person?

Both . Definitely not a midday person!

If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

No reason. Just to throw a party. Definitely have to be an outdoorsy party with a pool and a fire.

Who in the team has the worst taste in music?

Nate. I’m not sure what he listens to, but I can only imagine.

What is your favourite body part?

Hehehehe, hahahahaha. Male or female…….?

What sound do you love?

Nascar . Goin bah reeeal faaast!

If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?

I’d probably just buy wherever I worked.

Who is your favourite Hollander on the team?

Nate

Who is the best looking Hollander on the Competitive Cyclist Racing Team?

That’s a tough one…

Thanks for your time “Coole” House.

And as always, a fact to throw into the mix: Cole House is the first Native American pro cyclist, and is a member of the Oneida Nation Tribe in Wisconsin.
2XU to the EXTREME!

Just got back from my first ever single-speed mountain bike ride. I didn’t realise there was more than two ways to love bicycle riding (aside from road and track).





The coolest thing is how close you can ride to downtown Salt Lake City, yet think you’re in the middle of nowhere!

At top speed, a dolphin can travel thirty-five miles in one hour.

With no local racing on offer last weekend, some friends arranged a group ride/race up in Park City. Suffertational 1.0 took in the climbs of Preserve, Pinebrook, Montage via Royal Street, and The Colony, amassing 7,000ft of climbing in just 50 miles!
Many great prizes were donated by Billy Demong, Evan Hyde, Jeremy Teela, and Bryson Perry (along with whoever else I haven’t mentioned)! It was a fantastic day on the bike, and I was lucky to take home a pair of skate skis for my sprinting exploits!
Here is the group up at the Montage Resort
Race host Evan Hyde and I suffering(!) our way up to the summit of The Colony climb
I love it that you can still to long climbs in Utah in April with snow on the side of the road, yet only need to wear knicks and a jersey!
Way off in the distance the leaders make their way to the summit of the final climb. (Click on the photo for a better view)
Chris MacKay and Taylor Fletcher battling it out on The Colony climb
Chris MacKay took the final honours, and a nice collection of prizes and cash!
and a well deserved rest and cool-down in the snow!
Some stragglers plodding up to the after-ride feast courtesy of Chateau Hyde!
My rad to the power of sick Pinarello propped up in the snow
Chris Jones and I at the finish
My wife (just hours after completing the Salt Lake City half marathon) and Evan’s girlfriend Kelsey (who also completed the half marathon) were the support vehicle drivers. They carried drinks and spares, recorded the finishes, and provided us with a great bunch of photos.

Huge thanks go out to all the people who organised, participated, and brought their great attitude and laughter to the ride. I’m pretty sure everyone agrees it was the best day ever! I am already looking forward to edition 2.0!

Fact: In 2011, Park City was awarded a Gold-level Ride Center designation from the International Mountain Bicycling Association for its mountain bike trails, amenities and community. It continues to be published in top ski, cycling and adventure magazines across the world.

With all the rain pouring down on Salt Lake City on Thursday, it felt like good timing to head to Charlotte, NC, for the Presbyterian Hospital Criterium. Charlotte is always one of the best races of the year, right in the middle of downtown, huge crowds, great atmosphere, all the best riders from the best teams, huge prize list, and a ridiculously fast pace!
The other great thing about heading to Charlotte was getting to see one of the places where our awesome gear comes from; GITA Sport. We got a tour of the factory to see where our bikes, bars, shoes, and clothing are distributed from. The warehouse has a great group of staff, and obviously, the best the industry has to offer in terms of product! We enjoyed a nice pizza lunch, and then headed off for a ride lead by my friend (and host from my first time at this race in 2006), Neill Campbell.


The trip for us was very busy, but the most important thing, especially for Thomas Rabou, was a trip to the Casa di Waffle, one of the icons of The South! We got our waffle fix, and it fuelled us well for training and racing ahead! There’s nothing like a trip to Waffle House. Moods lift to happiness, bellies fill with waffles, eggs, hashbrowns, and bottomless coffee, wallets don’t cop much expense, and the staff are more than welcoming! The high-carb feast is a cyclist’s pleasure!


Race day itself is always strange for twilight criteriums. Somewhat early rise, breakfast, ride, return to the hotel, rest, try to rest through the anxiety and nerves of the mayhem ahead, get bikes prepared, eat, try to rest (can’t), get numbers pinned up, head down to race.
Race.
Get back to the hotel wired from adrenaline, find something to eat at the crazy hour (10pm or later), talk about what happened/could’ve been/should’ve been/how close we were to a result, return to hotel, help team mates pack bikes up if they have an early flight, try to sleep, get to sleep about 2am.
Taylor Shelden and I had later departures, so we planned on a good training ride for Sunday morning. We were out the door by 9am to maximise riding time, and managed to cross into South Carolina at some point in the ride, and thankfully, cross back later in the ride via a different road! We scampered back to the rooms and packed our bikes to make it to the airport by 2pm, and found that my flight had been cancelled, meaning we had a nice six-hour wait in the Charlotte airport! The good thing was we had company for the time, the frustrating thing was we could have squeezed in an extra few hours at the hotel, and training longer!

The best news of the airport day was hearing our team mate Paco Mancebo won the Battenkill Road Race in New York! He’s such a rock star, and the hardest working, nicest guy you could ever meet.

Here’s a cool little reminder of home:Carnegie is the only suburb I have ever lived in in Australia!

Fact: Charlotte is the site for the NASCAR Hall of Fame due to its rich racing heritage.

Most cycling enthusiasts are aware that motor pacing is good for leg speed as a racing cyclist. I am a huge fan of it, and always want to do it whenever possible. Trouble is, the scooter that fit my price range looked like this:
It was basically a disaster for me. I don’t like pink. At all. Besides that, it looked like a little piggy!

So we posted a “poll” on facebook, and with a lot of calls for matt black, we decided on that as our colour to change to. We decided to get a little fancy though, experiment with our lack-of-skills, and try to make some use of the soon-to-be-gone pink. We went all out and pulled the fairings off and everything.
We had a quick think about going for the “Honda Ruckus” naked look, but felt it wasn’t appropriate for a little scooter.

So after losing lots of screws, forgetting how the jigsaw puzzle should fit back together, and a couple of coats of paint (done by Keally, not me), we put the thing back together.

Here is the finished product:


I think it looks pretty bad-ass! It could possibly have the pink speed stripes changed to Competitive Cyclist Racing Team silver, but for the time being, this looks like it can help out with some leg speed training, and will look and feel fast for trips to the supermarket!

In other news, team soigneur Mike and I enjoyed coffee and a bite on a glorious day in Utah on Tuesday. In the background you can see the towering mountains, and probably Alpine (or whatever it’s called).
I was pretty proud of myself for using the “timer” for the first time on my camera!
Also, keep an eye out for some changes happening around here. I have done a photo shoot and the blog will take on a new look in the coming weeks. Pretty exciting if you’re into that kind of thing…

The volume of water of one inch of rain fall over one square mile is 17,378,743 gallons of water. The volume of one centimetre over one square kilometre is 10,000,000 litres.

Has been run and won, but unfortunately not by us. We put in a gallant effort, but effort doesn’t always equate to wins, which is what we strive for, and is our true gauge for success.

It was quite a bizarre Redlands Bicycle Classic this year, in terms of the weather. Here is Ian kicking back and enjoying the sunshine on our arrival day:
Here is the same view on race day:

Typically, Redlands is the “welcome to summer racing” season opener, but this year we copped some cooler days, and a very cold and wet final stage to wrap up the week.
We had a fun week, and it was nice to unload some pre-season built up nerves.

Here’s something you don’t see in every suburban neighbourhood while rocking up to the team trailer to get our bikes! I am sure Doug the mechanic was wondering if he had showed up to the rodeo instead of the bike race:

As far as man-made views go, this is right up there for me:
A bunch of perfectly made bikes (Pinarello Graal), in front of a great portable storage unit, perfectly cleaned and race-prep’ed by Doug, all set for us to go cruising to the start of a race. Doug thinks I am crazy, always taking photos of everything, but it is hard not to when everything looks this good!

The heroic story of our Californian trip goes to youngster Taylor Shelden, who battled crashes, injuries, and a very sore wrist:
(Seen here icing just to be able to hold onto his double-wrapped bars to take the start line), to claim the King of the Mountains Classification:
This is an excellent achievement in itself, but to fight through these injuries and crashes to do it, is quite inspiring!

While we’re at races, we’re always looking to have some fun in one way or another. Here, our miniature team mate Chad Beyer shows up how he can ride under the team’s bike rack while still clipped into the Look Keo Blade pedals! This is something anyone over 4’5″ definitely can’t do!

Redlands is such a nice race to participate in, and once again our team was spoiled by fantastic and generous hosts. Rolling down the hill to races is always nice too, cruising the palm-tree lined streets, and being able to see the mountains surrounding the city (when it’s clear enough). It is always a pleasure to race Redlands, and it is great that the community is so supportive of such a great event.

I love this photo! Click on it so you can see the guys more clearly!
On our ride to Huntington Beach before Redlands, we cruised the PCH bike path. With the Pacific in the background, the boys decided to have a little fun when they saw me reach for the camera! If the picture is enlarged, you can see a couple of goofy team mates, goofing around!

More in the coming days, I have a few cool scooter photos to post!

Fact: 87% of Americans drive to work.

Here it is. TIME Magazine’s Man of The Year Competition!

Please submit your votes in the comments section below, or in a poll we can get started on facebook or something.

Our first contestant hails from Durango, Colorado. His interests include poetry, long walks on the beach, and reading. Sorry ladies, this guy is taken.
Ian Burnett.

Next candidate is Tommy Nankervis, of Melbourne, Australia. This guy rocks, vote for him.
Tommy Nankervis

Next up is Gord Fraser, of Tuscon, Arizona. Truly a talent in front of the camera, and his style and ability to pose is going to make him a tough contender to best.
Gord Fraser.

This serious, borderline angry looking guy is contestant number four. His weekend hobbies look like they include mixed martial arts, and underground boxing.
Contestant Four.

Contestant five hails from Regina, Saskatchewan. This celebrity earns his praise from a highly impressive stand-in performance in San Dimas Stage Race, where he scored a podium overall. This Canadian has taken up residence in Victoria, in the stunning British Columbia.
Rob Britton.

Contestant six has taken up residence in Salt Lake City, Utah. His interests include bicycle racing, and training in his spare time.
Thomas Nankervis.

Here is a behind-the-scenes look at what a photo shoot for the TIME Magazine’s Man of The Year.

Cast your votes ladies (and gentlemen), and we look forward to presenting you the winner in the coming weeks.

Fact: TIME is the world’s largest circulation weekly news magazine with a readership of 25 million, of which 20 million are in the US.

Last weekend kicked off our domestic racing season with some miserable weather. It wasn’t much fun, and it was terribly cold! We didn’t race as well as we would have liked, but we definitely felt the pain of the cold and wet, and I think were happy just to survive what could have been carnage!

When you wake up on race day, and the weather looks as bleak as this, you know the day will be tough. If the temperature is upwards of 10 Celsius, it is bearable, and in some cases, preferable (I love to race in the rain), but for me, anything below 10 Celsius and I seem to really struggle to get it going. Saturday was one of these struggling days…

We enjoy the “safety” of inside the van until it is time to start, but the mechanic and staff are hard at work, prepping the Pinarello bikes, making final adjustments, and generally just getting organised and set up. We’re glad we’re not them, working away outside, while they’re glad they’re not us, racing for three to four hours in the same weather!

With San Dimas race done, we were able to look ahead to Redlands, where we hope to make a big impression in the NRC opener. To do that, a few coffee rides were necessary, with Starbucks being Paco’s favourite.

There’s a few bob worth of bikes sitting there!

We made the trip down the Santa Ana canal yesterday, and passed by Angel Stadium, where Chad Beyer unknowingly had a nice photo taken! From there, we hit the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway, Californian version, not Aussie) which to me is always fascinating, turned right, rolled into Huntington Beach where we hit up some more Starbucks coffee.

Did anyone ever mention that cyclists are great at drinking coffee?

We then rolled back to Corona, packed up the bags, and headed to Redlands.

Today we did some TT course reconnaissance, and check out this beast the Competitive Cyclist team will be kicking:
The only true way to describe this bike’s look and feel is “rad to the power of sick”!

Seeing as I don’t get to look at the bike from that angle while I am suffering like mad in the time trial tomorrow, here’s a view of my cockpit:
I have two options for my CycleOps Joule placement, but I haven’t decided on which one yet.

Anyway, we have fantastic host houses here in Redlands, had a great host in San Dimas, and the pain and suffering, and hopefully wins, will begin tomorrow!

Fact: Unfortunately, one ragweed plant can release as many as one billion grains of pollen!

To the start of the US Domestic season!

The bags are packed and we’re headed to Southern California to begin our season with the San Dimas Stage Race, and the Redlands Bicycle Classic.

It is nice to know that the weather is warming up enough for the season to commence, and we can show off the hard pre-season training, our bad-ass new equipment, and the unity of our team. We’ve had a pretty promising start with the Rutas de Americas in Uruguay, and the Tuscon Bike Classic where the guys had a great showing. Now all the teams will be there, and we can have a go in the races that everyone has set as their early-season goals.

Those two lonely looking bags are what I will be living out of for the next couple of weeks. It is a sign my wife Keally doesn’t like the look of, but it means that I can go off chasing wins, putting my hard training to hopefully-good-use, and being part of a successful team!

Living as a full-time cyclist means many weeks of the year away from home (or in some cases, a whole year away from home), living out of a couple of small bags, in hotels, at host houses, in team vans, suffering like never before, hopefully winning, having fun, lots of hours training… It goes on and on, but I love every minute of it!

To fully embrace being a cyclist, you must sleep with your bikes in your bedroom. Partners may not approve, but it is essential to “living” the cyclist’s life.

Being on a plane (preferably a SouthWest Airlines flight), is a sure sign that races are on the horizon. Training, for the time-being, is done. Now it’s time to go nuts and leave everything on the road. Sunrise flights are early, but they say it’s the best part of the day, so I can cope a bit if I know I get to see a stunning sunrise. It’s made all the more better know that an aeroplane is the most fascinating thing that man has ever created. I get dumbfounded with countless hours of thinking about how amazing it is that 200-odd people can be transported to a location 1000km away, in just over an hour…

So today is underway, we’re at the Phoenix airport on a lay-over, and racing starts tomorrow. I will report back with some news in the coming days.

Fact: Mick Jagger’s mother was born in Australia.

Happy riding!

Here’s some photos from my training ride today. Everywhere around here is just picturesque.

This is on the way up the first hill from home. In the distance you can see the valley where Salt Lake City is located.
Heading to the summit of the first climb, covered in snow, and pretty chilly!
The reservoir on the way down.
Cool road for a nature break.
Another reservoir. Photos just don’t do justice for the view here, it is stunning! I have taken a photo every time I have been riding here, but it never looks the same as seeing it with your own eyes!
Typical scenery for most rides.
Share the road! Actually, Utahns are some of the most cyclist-friendly drivers I have ever encountered.
Rad to the power of sick Pinarello Dogma2 in front of the reservoir.

Los Angeles’s full name is “El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula” and it can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size: “LA”