Monday, December 22, 2008

This post actually belongs before the one below it....

Leighton and Pauline came over from Bannockburn to visit for the weekend.
We used to go riding with them and others most weekends in Auckland.
They up'dsticks and left Auckland about 4 years ago and now reside wherever the roads take them.
Yes, they are transients and between careers. If you call owning a 33 foot caravan homeless then so be it.
Can you help with a food parcel for X-mas, I'm sure it would be appreciated.
I believe the last gainful employment was house painting in Invercargill over winter.
Now that is dedication; getting blasted with a Southerly straight off the South Pole. Sod that.

Anyways, we had a great weekend and rented them our front lawn until x-mas when they headed north to catch up with family.
Leighton got lumbered with all the "fun" jobs I've been putting off for, well ages really.
Let's say his talents as a joiner/cabinet maker weren't really stretched, but he did ok.

They must have stayed about 3 weeks and it was really nice having an extra pair of hands around the place to help out when needed or entertain the kids before dinner, bust out a game of Scrabble (Leighton is very good you know - he lost to Keighley quite badly both times) and go mountain biking with.
Photos from Dirt Park 25kms from here are here

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Adventure Mountain Biking Central Styles

Went for a wee mtb ride yesterday.
Alright it's not that simple.
Keighley was going out but that got scuttled as the girls posse couldn't get it going to suit their (menstrual) cycles and/or baby sitters.
So Leighton and I said lets go and knock of the Touheys Gully loop from the top of the Crown Range - altitude about 1000 metres (remember this fact.)
Then Barney from Queenstown rings and says "what are you doing?" I tell him to meet us at the top of the Crown Range. Yep no worries except Fenella (his girl) was riding to Wanaka on the road and would need Keighley to grab a change of clothes for her arrival - Keighley was running us up to the top while Leighton's truck was at the end of the trail.
Barney then invited Christina Sargent as well....
So we got started about 11.45 instead of 10am....

And holy crap it was steep.
I'll be the first to say I need to gear the 29er down a fraction - seems I was riding the equivalent of a 28 when you really would have appreciated a 34 on the back...
Barney who is not human rode all but the super steep bits in his middle chainring (freak)
Leighton rode it all, but he's between careers at the moment so does more than his fair share of riding and Christina put a in a solid effort on her new dualie - I did see her hop back on for the photos though...
So yeah, basically I walked a lot, my lungs are still full of little green men and my legs turned into planks of wood.
I pulled the pin after about an hour and 500 metres of altitude gain.

Not sure when I've bailed out on a (mid) ride before so it was a whole new experience.
Did I feel less of a person ?
Would this mean the end of my cycling career?


It's ok.
I just rode back retracing my steps, had lunch overlooking the Gibbston Valley and pottered back down the Cardrona Valley to meet the others.
Only had to wait 12 minutes for them.

The girls had whipped up a great spread when we got home followed by a picnic dinner at Dublin Bay.
Then some fairly amazing beers with Leighton (Black Sheep Ale, Youngs Double Chocolate followed by a Chimay) and that was it.

Leighton was up all night throwing up - might be dehydration/sunstroke or the flu.
But man was he crook today.

Keighley got out for her ride, a visit to the Farmers Market and generally left the kids to me.
Emily helped me clean the 29er and then we all went to the nieghbours for Deans's birthday bbq.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Our recent holidays

Can be viewed here at Emily's blog (that we write for her, cause she's only little)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

1st Adventure ride with Hugh & Rick

Another weekend neglecting my pushbikes - well I did get the fixie out and ride to the mail box.

With the arrival of new Yamaha, Sunday afternoon was a quick jaunt from Hawea Flat up the Eastern side of Lake Hawea to the Dingle Station -well as far as the locked gate would let us.

Photos here

Hugh couldn't wait to find a track that was off the main gravel the trees, blasting through a Ford at warp factor ten and filling his boots with water....
- and then he sees a guy in moto gear walking towards him who has run out of gas -"hop on mate, we'll sort you out"
Hugh's tail was thumping so hard at the prospect of helping someone there was a dust cloud.
Got him sorted and we're on our way again.
Had a play at Timaru Creek - crossing a few braids and not dropping it luckily. Hugh might need a snorkel to curb his enthusiasm.

Then home for a bbq with the neighbours, welcome summer, welcome.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh, My God..

I had a cup of instant coffee.
Yeah I know.
What was I thinking?
It's possible I wasn't.
In my defence I was wrestling between luke and darth.

This was the temptation:

Since then I have given up on my boyhood dreams of becoming a Fireman, Space astronaut, Policeman, etc.

My favourites file is full of search phrases such as:

Australian Rally Safari
Dakar Rally
KTM 640 ralle bike rebuild
Oh, dear. I may need a lot of post it notes left around the house with cute messages like "I fed the kids- see at 6pm tonight" and "Wow, you're the best Keighley see you Sunday avo"

update: 11/10/2008

Um, I got my own instead of dribbling over

pictures on the www.... ......................................................exhibit A:
Had a spin on Saturday morning, rode it home from Alexandra that afternoon.
Left at about 4.45, got home about 8pm.
It's only 100km by road....
My post it notes seemed to have worked pretty well.
Lucky for me I didn't need to ring home as the cell b8atry was flat, the snow was deep and it was getting low on available light. Oh and gas level was unknown......
Lucky I was on an adventure bike :-)
Pictures to follow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A nice drive in the country

Under the pretence of staff training, Alastair (my boss) and I spent last Saturday here
Basically we got to drive 3 wicked - well ok, two wicked and one chicks car in the snow and ice all day under the supervision of this guy: Hunter Edwards; apparentley he doesn't google (WTF?)

Check this link for Hunter's gallery
We were the group dated 16/08/2008 and yes, that is me behind the wheel of the Golf in pictures 3-15.
Yes, the car did nearly a full 360 spin and yes, Alastair did grab the hand brake moments prior!
And that's me again reversing out of the snow bank in the same car a bit later on as well.

Here's some data gathered from the GPS gizmo in the BMW from the morning session:
STUDENT - rick - alastair
LAP 1 - 70.5 - 72.3
LAP 2 - 72.4 - 72.4
LAP 3 - 74.5 - 72.7
AVG.SPEED - 30.4 - 29.4
MAXSPEED - 45.7 - 44.1
STDEV - 2.00 - 0.21

And because the boss has only heard of a blog, but never read one I'm fairly safe to mention that I did post a faster lap than him and did I also mention he hopped out of the Beemer leaving it in drive ? Lucky the Golf was parked in front to halt it's travels...... :-)

Whilst freaking expensive, it was a great time and a good one to tick off the list.

Oh & here's a link to Shaun Summerfield doing the very thing but at the tax payers expense.
(It takes an age to load, but it is the best way to show what happended)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Momma & Poppa Redwood go ridin'

After much confusion on Saturday morning Hugh turned up with a very pregnant Jess (due that day), who looked after the nippers while we went out riding.

This was a big thing for myself and Keighley as the littlies pretty much put the kybosh on going "hey, let's just go out for a bike ride" In fact it's the first time since we moved here a year ago that we've been out into the Sticky Forest together.

Hugh wasn't even like a third wheel ! More like a studly version of myself - he was wearing my vest which I purchased from Big Bear Bikes - wait for it - in Big Bear Lake, California...............they even have Tinker Juarez's Etto Helmet in the window.

This is officially the middle of winter - the rest of the country is getting slammed with less than ideal bike riding weather.

We however had dust coming off our tires.

Not that I'm bragging.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Boys in Blue

Nah, not the cops - a couple of bikes I own.
One is broke.

& the other one is it for off road at the mo - what's that you say?
No Foes ? Yep it's sold, 1st time in 8 years without a Foes
I've even been de-Kleined !
Indeed the '98 Attitude comp has gone too.

Clark Kent: used to belong to Stephen Swart when he was racing for the Coors Light team in the USA, prior to the team switching to Serottas the next year.
It has unceremoniously been sitting in a bike box for the last 12 months waiting and waiting and waiting......finally after a wiff of cafeine inspiration from I'm into it.
The paint is stuffed and there is a hairline crack in the gusset under the down tube.

So it's off to for some love with the welding torch and then down to Wellington to get some new paint and decals from Ross Bee.
The 8 speed down tube shifter Dura Ace groupset complete with "Coors Light" marker pen on the rims will be re-instated.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

It's definitely winter in Wanaka

9am, Saturday - soon to be father; Callum rings and says we're going for a spin in the snow.

This entails a 4 minute spin down to Trish & Callums for a warm up coffee then a further kilometre to the dirt.

We've put together a small loop that doesn't even get us into the forest, which is only 20 mins by bike.......oh I miss the driving. (Tui ad)

We spent our time on a bunch of tracks that drop from the sidle track down to the Clutha River and some thoughtful individuals have built a new (easier) track to take you back up to the top to pick another way down.....

Potential for getting it wrong rises considerably with speed, or supposed familiarity of the far nothing but a few scuffed rear derailleurs due to errant tree roots.

The snow didn't stay for long - the sun came out later on.

Callum showing his usual style for the camera:

Monday, June 2, 2008

Quality time in the Garage......

The family is up north, so I've had a great couple of days in the garage here in Wanaka.

Drawing inspiration from Ebay where I found a great Raleigh Panasonic sloping TT bike, I spent the afternoon re-creating my own.
**Footnote** This frame used to belong to Mark Rendell who rode it in the team time trial in the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Australia. NZ came home with a bronze medal for the 100km event in a shade under 2 hours.
Sounds like a world of hurt for two hours.........
The 28 spoke wheels were my time trial specials from when I was 15:
Sansin sealed bearing hubs
Suntour new winner freewheel 13-19 straight
Bladed spokes
Mavic GP 4 rims
Currently wearing Wolber Strada 80 tires that dad bought home from the UK in the late 80's
All the Campag was on hand and looking for an excuse to get out off the shelf.
I think the frame might have originally sported a 26 inch front wheel, but it came with these forks, so that'll do for now.

Friday, May 2, 2008

2008 Single Speed MTB Nationals

The Single Speed Nationals 2008 saw me heading off to Rotovegas for Anzac weekend with the new and improved Surly Karate Monkey in tow.
After much dithering over how to get the bike there I dismantled it and took it with me on the plane in the trusty (and now used by me three times) bike bag.
Jimmy collected me from the airport in the 306 station wagon and we just threw that Surly bike across the back seat.
I called shotgun and got the front – which was leather and comfortable compared to Air NZ which was not comfortable - BTW - a pissy little bag of banana chips as the inflight meal doesn’t cut it for me these days.
B95FM on the dial was a welcome blast from the past; Wanaka is crippled by two dreadful radio stations – do you think I care the local Harcourts office is MREINZ ??? I think not.
Anyway we got snarled trying to get on the motorway by Gillies Ave, so hit Broadway instead. And stopped.
Eventually we crawled across a bridge that I had forgotten the name of (Grafton) and made it to Che` Kimmy and Jimmy in Freemans Bay.

The couch was good to me although the night was full of strange forgotten noises…….streetlights, sirens, people etc……. haven’t missed them at all.

Drove down with many other affluent people in tin tops to Vegas, hit Burger Fuel for lunch and then the trails for a quick spin after collecting Jim the Pom, Ricky the …well I’m not sure what he is and Bob the Sideshow.
Kept things low key and bid Bob and Frank the German farewell early on, to continue our slow journey, while they went up to the highest hill in the forest and took in the splendor of Billy T and Split Enz.
As Ricky, Jim and Jimmy were racing the next day we just took it easy otherwise Kim and I would have ripped their legs off.

Weillans Noodle House was great for dinner – cheap and plentiful, then off to the Pig & Whistle to see “Pure Sweet Hell” which was probably most folks first time they’d seen a cyclocross movie.

Breakfast for us was at Missy’s (formerly Sheryl’s) which while basic has make your own toast while they kill an animal then serve it up on plate. Delicious. If we'd gone to Zippy's we'd still be waiting.

Bought some stickers and books for the kids then off to Zippys for a coffee and catch up wirh Helen & Steve; who both got bowled on their road bikes by a boat trailer a while back, so it's good to see them really.

Had a quick look at the sign on/screwtineering - it's a single speed race not an election.

Myself, Mase and CTB had a couple of beers while Dean the organiser didn't tell us where the course went.
Not gloating here, but people - come on; beer is your friend.

The race- people looked keen, then broken, then relieved it was all over.

My optimistic call not to ride was spot on - I would have had no smiles at all.

I was also way over geared on the 29er - next time in Vegas it'll be 32 x 20 - not a 34 on the front.

Prizegiving was good, we bailed about 10pm - that's a late night for me these days.

Sunday was back to the Pig for a great breakfast, and a survey of the weather which was crap.
So it was off to Nick and Amandas for coffee instead.

An uneventful trip home was followed by Pizza Hut for dinner which these days is a novelty.

Monday I scooted thru town feeling like quite the suburban type down to for coffee and a muffin and to talk bike stuff with the boys.
Seems Auckland is caught up in "fixed gear fever."
Can I coin that phrase ?

Solved the problems of the world with the taxi driver on the way to the airport and then met the family who had been in Dunners for the weekend.
Great to be away, but great to be home with the family too.

My pics here - excuse crap quality

And a nice video here: (not mine, just pointing you in the right direction)

And the ozzies did a great job with the camera:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A lighter wallet = a heavier bike ! WTF ?

:Lets start with the problem.
I normally ride a SRAM 11-32, but felt the fast end of the cogs never really got used - and the 2, 3 and 4 tooth jumps weren't geling with me: 11-12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32
So I found a 13-34 cassette that goes:
Unfortunately I've emptied my wallet and doubled the weight of the cassette in the process, but after a couple of rides I'm sure I will have convinced myself that it's a good thing.
In the garage I still have my original custom 7 speed cluster from the early 90's on my Klein Rascal : 13-15-17-19-21-23-26...........Got it brand new in the build kit and had it in bits on the workbench before the day was out.....who needed a 28 in 1992 anyway ?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Monkey gets one gear

With the up and coming single speed nationals happening in a few weeks in Rotovegas, the Karate Monkey has dropped a few things:

-28 gears - now running 34 x 20

-1.5 pounds - now weighs in at 24 pounds
It's first ride, sans gears was a disaster - the wheel pulled over about a zillion times. Luckily I was onto my way to work, so it was a worthy excuse to be late.
Thanks to the guys at Surly I am now the proud owner of: -these are the business and after the installation and second ride there is no more burning rubber on the chainstay.
Just sweet riding.
I dropped the truck off at the mechanics after work and rode home via the Sticky Forest and Outlet (river) trail to home.
I still walked a hill early on - I never said I turned into a smacked up TDF rider just thru having 1 gear.....but riding up Ho Down, which for me on the dualie is a granny/middle chainring affair was just a breeze.
Going down Venus was bumpy in places for sure, but with nothing to do but pedal, carve the corners and occasionally brake it was a blast.
Dublin Back was a smoking descent as was the Sidle track where some kind fellow has trimmed back a few bushes and trees.
All in all, this bike is very cool, a lot of fun and a worthy addition to the stable.
And if some one ponies up with some cash, they can have Keighleys little Klein and then we'll have two Karate Monkeys in the garage.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

There is now a monkey in the house

A Surly Karate Monkey in fact.

Had it 3 weeks, but just got it rolling in a satisfactory state this weekend.

Saturday was the proper shakedown - from home to the Sticky Forest and up and down many times, then home again. The absence of front suspension is definitely offset by the 25.5 pound weight, which is surprising - I thought it'd be closer to 30.

Today I towed Emily into town in the trailer to get some groceries - proving that it is indeed a bike of many guises.
Yes, early days in the relationship I know, but so far I'm enjoying have sex with my new bride.
**Footnote** After a quick browse of I realise this is a fairly shallow post.
So, here's the specs;
medium monkey frame, with rigid fork.
Hadley 32 hole hubs (freaking expensive, but V good.
Black spoke, cut by DB the spoke master
Salsa Degado race rims (25mm wide)
Black rubber inner tubes.
Kenda Kharma 29 x 2.2 tires (pretty narrow 2.2 if you ask me)
Cheap shitty 25.4 85mm long stem
Salsa Moto Ace 11 degree flat bars (very cool would get them again)
Ritchey Logic headset - seen better days
Cheap lock on grips - scratched the bars first time I took them off - bah !
Shimano 3 x 9 Deore/ Deore XT shifters (dual release - very nice, but confuses my thumb/index finger)
Avid Juicey 4 brakes - that is 3 levers and 5 psringf in the front pads so they rattle.
Hope 6 inch rotors
Suntour XC Pro front derailleur with butchered Shimano plastic spacer to make it fit.
Clapped out Shimano 73 mm square taper bottom bracket
Shimano XTR old school 175mm cranks with 24/34/42 chainrings
Little SPD Shimano pedals
SRAM chain !
SRAM cluster 11-32 !
Shimano XTR shadow rear derailleur - medium cage
Easton seatpost (formerrly Clint Jacksons)
Seat - yes, narrow, slim and not overly comfortable and probably expensive.
Hand made Bike plate - actually a seat plate, made from a pilfered real estate sign.

Probably some other stuff, but you've fallen asleep by now.