Thursday, November 4, 2010
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Today I repeated this journey as part of a fund raiser the local Rotary club (not barp barp barp) put on for three reasons:
- The date is 10/10/10
- It's World Mental Health Awareness day and today you'd be well included for riding in that weather
- They donate some funds to the local yoof to make them better individuals and less likely to smash car windows and the like.
Not surprisingly I did ride another bike from last time - welcome the Wilier Cento to the stable.
I finished putting it together at about 8.30 last night.
It's a bitsa of Trade Me purchases and was in better shape than I was after riding 30kms in a tail wind, 20km in a cross wind and 42km into a head wind.
The only major flaw in my last minute approach was the new 10 speed cassette - um I only did the lock ring up finger tight and as it wasn't on my to do list; well it didn't get done.
So it rattled the whole way around.
I did however finish off the brake cables Friday night, wrapped the bar tape yesterday, installed a new old Ultegra rear derailleur ($26) fitted cleats to my new old Sidi shoes that arrived Thursday ($90) realigned the rear brake caliper which sits on the piss in the frame cause Francesco had Chianti for lunch before he installed the brake bridge - but a tapered washer fixed that problem; then after much deliberation (Oli please stop reading you're about to have a cow)
I swapped out the 39/53 chainrings on the Ultegra cranks ($125) for an old Suntour Superbe Pro 42 and a Shimano 52 of unknown prodigy because I figured if I was in the little ring I could just roll a 42 along and spin a 52 in the tailwind...
And it worked sweet - the teeth measure the same width from 7 speed to 10 speed - go figure.
Or my chain will shatter into sideplate oblivion next ride.
Oh, swapped out the stem yesterday too.
Oh and a few weeks back I figured out that I could run Enduro MTB bearing in the external BB cups instead of faffing around with the plastic top hats and they spin pretty good for a modern set up.
Enduro Bearings take no responsibilty for that set up BTW.
Did I mention it was cold ? I even added a long sleeve merino layer under my short sleeve merino layer, then a vest with fluffy collar, a Buff and a riding jersey.
3/4 knicks and I would have murdered a pair off booties today, strange to think they are voted item I'm most likely to purchase next.
+ winter gloves...and a cotton cap of course.
Me and 2 or 3 girls and another guy rolled around the lake in 3.5 hrs and then got hailed on when putting the bike away.
We were all on a first name basis before too long.
Folks a little slower got a southerly and hail out on the course.
2 bottles of water, 2 bananas, 2 muesli bars.
I finally got a spot prize -a little spongy massage ball, not exactly entry fee back, but nice all the same.
Thawing out was in the local swimming pool spa - add one frozen bike rider and gently simmer until the feeling has returned to extremities.
Pictures of today are here
I might stop looking for more fun rides until the weather hits the late 30's which should be xmas.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Myself, Phil from Henderson Cycles in Alex, a friend of his; Craig Wight (pronounced White) and the love of my life – Keighley.
Recent events transpired to send it all pear shaped - read previous blog entry if you need updating.
I informed Phil that he might need another couple of riders just in case....he found a couple of local ladies thru the bike shop.
Then I re-invited myself back into the team as Keighley and Chuck were under control in Christchurch Hospital and no longer requiring my 24/7 bedside attention.
A small glitch the day before when my boss promised his pop up tent to two teams, but that was resolved thanks to Phil who had a spare one...
Jeff was there again, but with a far more palatial camp set up this time. He’d sent a text at 1.02 PM advising he was set up and good to go....you weren’t allowed onsite until 1pm and Jeff was first in the gate at 12.40....Legendary.
There was Cam riding solo again and another 3 teams sharing our digs, but plenty of room for all and sundry - even these guys:
I arrived much later and we quickly added the pop up to the mix thus completing the set up phase.
Next was the roll call phase – The girls were coming up on Saturday Phil said.
I asked where was Craig – our anchor man, the guy we’re hoping to string together endless sub 30 min laps while we drank beer and heckled the solo riders...
He’s in Taupo was the reply.
12 hours to go and he’s driving a truck down from Auckland that broke down, so had to go back to Hamilton to get a waterpump, back to Taupo fit the water pump and then keep going....
But at 10pm that night just as we’d found Phil’s bottle of Old Masters Port; Craig was on the Ferry across Cook Strait – a mere days drive away. Sweet as.
Aaron from RR Sport Dunners had ponied up with amazing accommodation via a family connection so we headed off there and giggled away like a couple of schoolgirls till the wee small hours until we faded away in a boozy haze......awakening in the same boozy haze wishing we didn’t have to go racing.
That’s right; he had his race face on and was out to prove the naysayers very, very wrong – McGrother can smash it all day in the dog people – look out.
I sent Phil out for the first lap as my knee was bung and I did the first lap last year anyways.
Once again the weather was great – warmer this year though and the course was mint.
I learnt the last bit of downhill single track to the finish was called “The cat puncher” for some strange reason that only Aaron knows...even though some guy broke his collarbone and thereafter the race radio referred to it as ....wait for it....collarbone alley.
How they came up with that one I’ll never know. I like Cat Puncher.
I know you’re wondering how I rode a year on from last year – I’d moved my cleats to a much more powerful shoe/pedal position and could really deal it out know. My cranks and bottom bracket probably need replacing I dare say.
New tyres were on the 29er complementing the wash and wax it had lovingly received prior.
And new FOX (there’s the plug) forks now with 15mm axle. Oh yeah baby.
I sucked as usual with times around 31.5 mins or slower which makes me think maybe I exaggerated my lap times from last year. Certainly there was no chance of knocking Ryan Cull from CSI (best prize for a wanky acronym) off his 24.09 min perch.
The day unfolded like a cheap Bali knock off watch – slick handovers or arriving to find no one on our team in the tent – real hit and miss stuff. Classic.
Craig arrived about 2pm and promptly knocked out our fastest lap on a bike I wouldn’t have ridden if was paid to; no suspension, vee brakes, 26 inch wheels, hardtail.
There that should get some discussion going at least....
From our excellent pit set up we watched a lot of Solo riders go past – many on singlespeeds and most with a wretched look on their faces as they ground uphill into the campground.
I may have quietly and politely said “bugger that” because it didn’t look like as much fun as we were having in the cheap seats handing out informal prizes for “most outstanding nipples” and “best cleavage”. I wouldn’t call myself sexist – more of an observational roll is how I’d describe it.
At one stage we were in tenth place in the mixed vets grade – then with the blink of an eye 6th place, just like that. Must have been that 6 seconds I pulled back one time....
Hannah has taken on the moniker of skate/sifty chick while recovering from a busted ankle so I didn’t have to arrange any impromptu catering this year. Marc may have busted a night lap in a fairly smart time, but that hasn’t been confirmed by the commissaries panel as yet.
My night lap was marred by lack of familiarity with the night time riding environment even though I had a new light set up which bang for your buck (again, there’s the plug) is awesome.
Or was it the total lack of training or recent blip in the game plan ?
All three I’d say – I was done.
Fortunately Craig wasn’t and he bought us home inside the time limit to chalk another lap up for team www.redwoodrevolution.blogspot.com
While we all dipped out at a very well represented prize giving (riders and goodies) Craig did get an honourable mention for most determined effort to get there and some booze to boot. Nice.
Marc was in charge of post event fluid repatriation and thanks to Emmerson’s Brewery, dehydration wasn’t a factor.
Sunday dawned with the frost from Hell – wait that doesn’t make sense, because Hell didn’t actually freeze over, it was just very cold.
The Cafe was shut on (potentially) the most lucrative day of the year, but the girls had the coffee cart cranking again which was a smart move on their behalf.
We were packed up and ready to roll surprisingly early for us – well me anyway.
No trip away would be complete without a few distractions – the private museum in Naseby was a tremendous tribute to the past and his neighbour gets a special mention for his enthusiasm to motorsport; he was racing motorbikes at Porirua when I was in a pram !
Hayes Engineering in Oterehua was impressive for another dose of yesteryear.
And the chow and cuppa at the Cafe in Omakau was very pleasant.
Different to last year, but just as enjoyable for a bunch of different reasons.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
I'd entered the Alpine Classic - here was the words from the Otago Daily times newspaper 2 days later:
On a warm and sunny Saturday morning, about 100 cyclists took off on the tough 135km bike ride, from Queenstown to Wanaka over the Crown Range and back again, in the Outside Sports Alpine Classic Cycle Race 2010.
The field of 67 individual starters and 16 teams took off from Guilty Bar in central Queenstown, and were back in Queenstown in record times, with no accidents along the way.
Organiser Bill Godsall said the race had been attended by cyclists from all over the South Island, and he was very happy with this year's large and strong field.
A friend; Carl Boomsma did the first leg and I rode back to Queenstown - my wife & kids were going to be at the top of the Crown Range to cheer me on - I'd missed the bunch at the changeover so sent them a message I was on my way - Keighley replied that Charlie really wasn't well and they wouldn't make it.
I rode most of the 66km by myself and to make it brief; I suffered like a dog up the climb, descended like a grandma, but only got caught by one person and that was about 6 kms from the finish - he was 4th in the teams, we were 5th. Overall we got 29th from the 67 starters.
I was stoked to do so well.
I'd got a text when descending off the hill and checked my phone - two messages; one from Jess saying that when I got the message from Keighley that I wasn't to panic and it was all under control - the other message said that Charlie my 2 year old son, Keighley and Jess were driving to Dunedin Hospital (3.5hrs away) to get Charlie checked out as he had been wobbly on his feet and not the best for a few weeks....
Next day he had an MRI scan which showed a golfball size "mass" inside his head which was applying pressure to his brain causing him to be unwell.
Later that day he was on the air ambulance to Starship (kids) Hospital in Auckland, 5 days later he endured the longest surgery in the world (well it was 8am-7.30pm before we got him back) and then another 5 days later he was up and about again.
Talk about an emotional roller coaster ride. Phew - words can't do it justice.
Luckily everyone rallied and was super supportive to help us all through it.
Charlie is now based in Christchurch for at least the next 4 months while he starts his year long course of chemo therapy to hopefully show any left over cancerous cells that he's the boss and they just aren't welcome !
There have been numerous articles in the local papers about a fundraiser the neighbours have put on to help raise money; so I can look after Emily in Wanaka (i.e less time for work), also so we can fly Emily up to see Mum and Charlie (her flights are not paid for) and lastly - Keighley had to pull out of her studies to become an Early Childhood Teacher and only got 1/2 her fees back - hopefully she can resume next year.
You can read about us here, here and here.
One of our friends in England suggested putting a Paypal logo up on this blog which works for our Internationals who have flown the coup -
thanks Amy - I'd never have thought of that myself.
Everyone's support and generosity is overwhelming, but will really help us get through this time in our lives in much better shape -
A huge thank you to you all.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
"Attached a photo from the weekend if you need a contribution to the wettest story of the year - this what the front looked like 15 seconds before it went single file gutter."
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Even in the deep south, the fashion setters make an appearance:
I was pretty glad I had my knee and arm warmers on...and my vest on under my jersey, and a merino 1st layer - ah, I can hear Andrew Meo's words now "always wear a woolly layer even in summer - can't go wrong"