Sunday, October 28, 2007

First thoughts on the 29er phenomenom

Borrowed one of these off our South Island rep for a week:
So here's my take on it so far. Saturday morning towed Emily in the trailer around the lakefront - very capable in that line of work.

I had already geared it down to a 33 x 20 (John rides a 16), a shorter stem (inverted), narrower clapped out old ti rail saddle and wrapped the WTB grips in road handlebar tape for more comfort as well.

Saturday avo I took it out solo and as soon as I was offroad the chain fell off and continued to do around a very much shortened circuit. Yes, you can tension the chain if it becomes loose, no I did not have an 8mm spanner to assist. :-(

At home after much fettling in the garage and neglection of child minding duties.......I'd changed the rear sprocket about three times all to no avail. put a 1/8 track chain on but it rubbed the bash guard, changed the front chain ring - no good, so in the end put an old circa 1985 21 toother on the back, tensioned it up and went riding with the local mtb club on their first club day of the season.

The bike behaved and I even figured out the cheap front chainring was slightly oval, so took the chain off, rotated the cranks 180, remounted the chain and it all worked in a most harmonious fashion. The high spot in the chainring took up the slack in the chain at just the right time. Sweet.

My aversion to riding off road with rigid forks hasn't left me unable to lift a coffee cup, beer or cup of tea so far. Might be some truth to the 29er forum nerds who say you don't need suspension forks......

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

1st time Heli Biking

It all came together today. A couple of clients ponied up for the helicopter, Al is the guide and I was there on staff training

>>>>>>>>>Here's how we start off>>>>>>>>

Then a five minute buzz up the ridge with the bikes hanging underneath by a rope. First time in a chopper for me, not unlike sailing really - you have no control and no idea how it's all going. No stress, just plonked the bikes down in the snow, drop the rope, park the chopper and hop out, gather up the rope and that's it for the pilot: off to the next job. Sweet.

We headed off down the fenceline and promptly deposited the yanks over the bars - oops you boys have the brakes round the other way huh ? Lets just change that ! No worries mate. It was kinda steep though, so fair enough.

In no time at all we're down in the tussock - kind off windy still (turns out in Dannevirke trucks were getting blown over today) and following Al. down some imaginery track to some faraway gate. I have no idea where all the time went, but the trip took us about 3 hours loading the chopper to loading the ute....not all downhill, but maybe 95%

Oh did I mention how fresh my legs were at the top of the hill ?

I'm talking fresh.

Here's a pic of your erstwhile blogger enjoying the staff training:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Spring Riding in Wanaka

An early afternoon ride today with the usual suspects:Trish & Callum, Jess & Hugh and Steve from Wastebusters as well.
I was nearly running late for the 12.30 lift off so decided against grabbing the first (and some would say most sensible) bike inside the garage - our demo Commencal Meta 666 dual suspension..........Single Speed - nah..........// Cannondale cyclocross bike ? Now you're talking.
And it was great. Sketchy in places for sure but put the challenge back in riding.....
Into the Hikawai Reserve and along to the Sticky Forest. Up and down and all around for an hour or so and then back home for chow.
Nice to do the same trails, but on a completely inappropriate bike they seem brand new.