Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Roadworks Race Scene

Hi folks, it was another huge week at the shop, but I'm more excited by some other stuff!

Firstly, I want to congratulate Team Roadworks rider John Randal who, along with NZ MTB legend Simon Kennett, successfully defended their title in the arduous 8 hour MTB orienteering event, the Akatarawa Attack. A huge effort from them both, but doubly impressive due to John only just being rehabilitated from a nasty knee injury. Great work, fellas! In 3rd place was another one of the Roadworks Originals, Mr Dave Hicks, riding with Paul Chaplow, so well done to them also. I also see in the results that the rest of both the 8 hour and 4 hour fields was littered with past and present Roadworks customers enjoying some of the hidden gems of the Akatarawa trails used in this great event...

Also this past weekend was the PNP Wellington Centre 2 Day Tour, which was again stacked with Roadworks riders, along with an attacking appearance from my fellow IBD, Jonty Ritchie of Revolution Bicycles. The big result this time was from young Andrew Crowley, who romped to the stage win and the final C grade GC up his home street Admirals Hill. Andrew's dad Kevin has been a friend and customer of mine for many, many years, and I'm sure will be super proud of this performance. This was in addition to two great stage wins for Mike Flyger in E Grade plus time in the leaders jersey, some superb riding by Pete Mora in D grade (robbed by a burglar, I tells ya!), some gritty riding and a mad fixie Time Trial by my man Paul Larkin in B grade, and a myriad of other Tales of the Peloton from the many riders who let me fettle their rigs. Thanks to all, but special thanks to my two Team Roadworks riders, Paul Larkin and Martin Lewington. It always makes me so proud to see my jersey being worn by such champions!

Paul Larkin battling Admirals Hill...

Martin Lewington crosses the tape

I was supposed to be there to cheer them on and to meet up with my Jazz Apples teammates but some vile lurg put the kibosh on that idea - still wicked that the JA made the trip down to race in this event. I'm sure a quiet recce of some of the roads the women will race on in the Tour of NZ will have been much appreciated!

Finally feeling a bit more human, this evening Bodhi and I visited the Hataitai Velodrome to watch some of the racing on Day 2 of the Wellington Centre Championships. It was a bit hard to follow the results with Bo dominating conversation with such important subjects as the Transformers weaponry and "what does the Tasmanian Devil eat?" but who cares when it's a balmy summer evening and the riding is so good to watch?

I mentioned Simon Kennett before. Simon, along with his twin brother Jonathan and older brother Paul, are the Founding Fathers of New Zealand mountainbiking; responsible for creating the Karapoti Classic, bringing the UCI MTB World Cup to Wellington in 1997, writing the definitive guide to NZ trails "Classic NZ Mountain Bike Rides", building and designing the Makara Peak Mountainbike Park, among too many other incredible ventures to mention. They also have competed in races across the globe, including representing NZ at World Championships...

I am proud and privileged to say that I have been asked by Simon to help him prepare his bike and wheels for his attempt on the extremely daunting and incredibly demanding Great Divide Race, which is a self-supported, solo competition following the 2,490-mile (3984km!) Great Divide Mountain Bike Route in the USA. Traversing Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, the route demands over 200,000 feet of climbing along it's length. Competitors carry all equipment necessary to negotiate the backcountry, restocking on food and other supplies from the small towns along the route.

Obviously, this will demand the maximum from Simon and his equipment, so I will do my maximum to ensure that his bike leaves New Zealand in the most optimum condition possible. Simon will be riding a carbon Giant XTC-O with Stan's NoTubes rims, among some other secret-squirrel equipment that I will show you once sponsorships are finalised. Part of the reason Simon is attempting this great feat is the challenge, but he'll also be raising money for Médecins Sans Frontières, which is a great cause.

As time goes by, Simon will have a live website with links to help us all help him, but in the meantime I'd like to thank him for the opportunity to be a part of such an inspiring adventure...

Lastly for this post, I may well have some more work for BikeNZ lined up after all. I have been asked if I will repeat the Geelong Tour and World Cup trip I did last year with the NZ Women's Team. It's not firmed up yet, but I have said I'm interested so we'll see what happens. The minute I know, you'll know.

As ever, thanks for reading. Cheers, Oli