Meet Napoleon – AMIRA SL4 PRO COMP

Napoleon is my new baby. She was born at Total Rush, Richmond on 15 December, 2012.


Named primarily because of the Neapolitan Icecream colour combination – pink bar tape, white hoods and black shifters. I discovered later about the term “Napoleon Complex” (more info here:, which upon further research, seems somewhat fitting! The complex apparently surfaces in people who are of short stature, like myself. Where one displays compensatory behaviour for the subjects stature. Ha.

Napoleon has changed my life (or the way I ride at least). He is light, handles well, and is an overall dream to ride.

Total Rush, Richmond

FACT 10r carbon, FACT IS construction, women’s tubesets and performance geometry, tapered 1-1/8″ to 1-3/8″ HT, OSBB

Specialized FACT carbon, full monocoque, 1-1/8″ to 1-3/8″ tapered steerer

1-1/8″ upper and 1-3/8″ lower Cr-Mo cartridge bearings, w/ 20mm carbon cone spacer and 20mm of carbon spacers

Specialized Pro-Set 7075 3D forged alloy, cone head bolt and plastic clip, 12- degree, 4-degree shim, 31.8mm

Specialized Women’s Expert alloy, shallow drop

SRAM white

Specialized Roobaix pink

SRAM Force

SRAM Force

SRAM Force

SRAM Red Black

SRAM New Red DoubleTap

SRAM 1070, 10-speed, 11-28

KMC X10 DLC Superlight

Specialized Pro FACT carbon


OS integrated, sealed bearings

Shimano Ultegra

Roval Fusee SLX 23

Roval Fusee SLX 23

Specialized Turbo Pro, BlackBelt, 127TPI, aramid bead, 700x23c

Specialized Turbo Pro, BlackBelt, 127TPI, aramid bead, 700x23c

Turbo Ultralight, 60mm, presta

Body Geometry Oura Expert Gel, hollow Ti rails, 155mm

Specialized Pro SL, FACT carbon, 27.2mm

Forged alloy, Ti bolt and nut, 32.6mm

There is more to life than bikes, apparently

Brain dump… So…

Cycling goals for 2013: to ride with my friends, to cycle more, to race and to keep up, to do Tour of Bright. And. To be fitter, faster and fearless.

The only way to do this is to get out on my bike. But it is bloody hard, cycling is time consuming, I don’t have much time… between family, friends, and work, i’m time poor…I love doing non-bike things just as much as cycling, but how can I improve if I can’t get my butt in a saddle… and why do I feel so guilty when its not (in the saddle)?

I recently read on Cycling Tips about the “two-and-a-quarter” rule.

Basically the 2 & 1/4 rule is based on the notion that we can only be focused on two and a quarter things at a time.

  • 1 point being work
  • 1 point being family, partner, friends etc etc
  • 1/4 point being what you are into. Eg. cycling, knitting, driving race cars, whatever… So this makes it hard because i’m into lots of things, but, most prominently – life (my friends and the shiz we get up too) and riding my bike.

Re the poits and quarters – I feel like “life” takes upmost of my only spare quarter…infact quarters of quarters, going out, eating out, acting out…and what part of that quarter can be filled with taking the “bike” out?

I often think, how committed am I to cycling to be able to achieve my goals, how much of my life can I realistically commit to bikes, how much is dedicated to life? Can I sacrifice more? This thought depresses me a little.

The more and more I think about it, who am I kididng, I’m not an elite athlete, I just want to be involved and do the best I can with what I’ve got, I want to improve. I love my life, and everything that goes with it, I like spending time with my friends, spending money on needless wants and  make the most of life as much as I can.

So as Cycling Tips says… I have to look at where I am taking points from in mylife, i.e. work or friends or family, and is it really worth it, can I actually sacrifice more? The answer is no, I can’t.

I think life and cycling go together. Its just how I balance it that counts. I can get to where I want to go doing both. Sometimes I just have to deal with the guilt of not being on the bike, and remember I’m having the fucking time of my life at the moment, thanks to bikes… and the awesome people in my life.


1/4 life crisis, it’s a legitimate crisis, right?

Today is day one of my 25 year old life.

And bhoy, did it start off on a shaky note.

I blame the alcohol shakes on drinking too much Sangria the night before and the sight of day old sangria soaked fruit in the sink turned my somach! I could not face the sink. So I put my sporty, i’m not hungover clothes on and escaped the mess by having brekkie with friends.

So I eventually came too, and realised it was not just the sink, flat was a mess too…. I cursed the Sangria again….& I cleaned.

Napoleon needed some fresh air after cleaning the mess, so he dragged me out for some fresh air and we slowly rode to Black Rock. We stopped off at the Brighton Beach Boxes for a rest. I blame the Sangria.

Got home, had a huge nap. I blame the Sangria (getting the trend).

Went out for Birthday Vietnamese with friends, hydrating Noodle Soup is just what I needed. No more Sangria. EVER!

What a day! I’m now 25.

The end.

Ra Ra Ra Rapha (#Festive500)

Rapha #Festive500
So I made the decision that Napoleon and I would sign up to do the Rapha #Festive500. The goal was simple, ride 500 kms between Christmas eve and New Years Eve…or was it!?
He He He Headwind
The challenge begins on Christmas Day. Darn, already lost a day. But Napoleon survived his maiden voyage to Beechworth. The brutal headwind and heat tried us both and I nearly drowned in sweat…but we made there, and back. Upon journeys return, we celebrated in true nautical style. Rather than smashing a bottle of champagne on his hull, my first mates and I smashed the bottle of champagne ourselves. Merry Freaking Christmas!
Ro Ro Ro Roadkill
Napoleon and I ventured out this afternoon for a few country kilometres. We soon realised that for many Australian animals, today was a particularly tragic day on the roads. I did play a small part to the carnage, consuming one christmas beetle along the way. The soaring heat was curing the roadkill into native jerky and I started to think that I could collect it to sell to an organic farmers market somewhere! Brown snake jerky has some appeal right? It would taste better than christmas beetle, that’s for sure.
Yo Yo Yo You’ve (been chicked)
The idea of getting up at 5am was not appealing at all. But Napoleon dragged me out of bed and we joined some mad members of the Mansfield/Mount Buller Cycling Club to conquer Mount Buller. The air was tainted by a serious stench of testosterone… it became apparent very quickly that I was the only woman on that mountain today. It felt freaking awesome as I peddled Napoleon up that freaking hill, picking off those blokes, one by one. I did not record a Simon Gerrans time, but the climb felt freaking awesome. Napoleon and I “MAY” have found our forte!
Mo Mo Mo Moscato
After riding up Buller yesterday, a lunch date with my Wang crew at Sam Miranda Winery was excuse enough needed to get me back on the bike this morning. Overnight I had decided that Napoleon and I were going to embark on our own “Three Peaks” tour over the next couple of days…Buller yesterday, Buffalo Saturday… but what peak could I cram in to our recovery ride today? The legs were not feeling it and the 30km/hr gusts of cross wind, then head wind meant only one thing…the Eldorado-Wangaratta Road overpass was going to be the peak of choice. At a grade of about 3% (for 100m) and at a height 172m, the overpass challenge was the toughest part of today’s ride. Nonetheless we made it to Sam Miranda’s, hung out with some fabulous people and enjoyed one to many Moscato’s. Napoleon and I admitted defeat to the wind, and got escorted home in a BMW. Good thing Napoleon is so tiny.


He He He (Hells 500)
Today Napoleon and I braved the heat and joined about 60 other cyclists (15-20 women!) to climb Mount Buffalo. I knew what Buffalo had to offer, having driven up a hundred times. The memories of the windey and steep accent made me very nervous. But once we started riding, I realised everything was going to be okay…Particularly when Napoleon and I started picking of the blokes. Ha! The climb was consistent to say the least, with a relentless gradient and a false flat in the middle, which brought some welcome variety. At the mid way mark I was distracted by a serious toe/sock wedgie that was taking all my concentration and the sticky melted asphalt was driving me nuts – that was like riding through plasticine and I was going no where. Despite this I swear that I blinked, and it was over… I was the first women to the top! Then it was back to Bright Velo for some hydration!
So So So Close
Napoleon and I were barely in the city when we found ourselves out on Beach Road…This time rolling with Nadia and pushing into a serious 30km/hr headwind. The wind made the ride to Black Rock a struggle, but we strung our sails on the roll home (to the Grace Darling), and it was a breeze! Beer put away, I needed to get a few more kms under my belt for the #festive500 goal, so to knotch up a few more Napoleon and I went solo and rolled here there and everywhere. 75kms to go. Phew.

Fi Fi Fi Finito

Well that was fun. Not. I dragged myself out of bed and rode to Mordy and back…The final 75kms to complete the #festive500 challenge were the hardest. Harder than Buller for sure. The steed got me through.


The end…500kms in 6 days. Napoleon was a trooper. My legs are tired, Napoleons front break is stuffed. We’re off for some serious hydrating tonight. Happy New Year! Now – just have to keep up the kms…


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