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 http://www.bikecentral.co.nz/ 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: