Sunday, April 6, 2008

This and that...

A quite diverse week this week. It started normally enough with a bunch of repairs to do, but then on Tuesday I found myself having to take the day off work to spend it in court giving testimony.

In December 2006 a young girl and aspiring triathlete called Ayla was hit and killed while riding her bike in Whiteman's Valley. Her parents brought me the bike shortly afterwards to assess it's pre-crash mechanical condition, as well as to try and give my opinion on how the impact might have occurred. I wrote an in-depth report and thought that would be the end of it as far as I was concerned, so I didn't really expect an out-of-the-blue phonecall from the Upper Hutt police telling me I had to give evidence in only 5 days!

As a defended hearing, this was quite different to my previous "expert witness" experience in front of the coroner when my friend Sam Raphael's inquest was held. On that occasion there was no jury to deal with, although I was cross-examined much more closely than this time. For Sam's sake, I was very proud to have been a part of that critical process, so I hope that my testimony this time around will have been some tiny help in resolving the whole sorry tale of this needless death of a young girl who had her whole life before her...

Sam Raphael doing what he loved - racing his bike

That same night I was supposed to be going on a Vorb ride on my mountainbike into the Rimutaka Forest Park, where DOC had allowed 60 riders to ride a normally banned to MTBs walking track. Unfortunately, I think my mind was still in court, as I found while halfway there that I had forgotten my Camelbak with all my tools, food and water in, and also my lights - kind of vital equipment for this sort of mission! Instead I rode a few local trails before the evening sun set below the hills. First time on one of my MTBs since my aborted (due to the Chongming Tour) singlespeed training regime began, and it was great fun. Because my first love is really the road I often default to my roadbikes as my automatic ride option, but I do love the dirt so much I am definitely going to be hitting the trails more often...

My GT I-Drive

Among my other repair jobs this week was assessing a TradeMe bike for a friend of a friend - Tony Morgan (one of my co-mechanics at Rotorua MTB Worlds) had put his friend from Christchurch onto me to box up a bike he'd bought online and send it down to him, as long as the size was right. As it turned out it wasn't big enough for him, as well as not actually being the Italian Wilier-Triestina he thought it was. It was a brand called a Willer, but I'm at a loss to know where it originated despite the flag on it's headtube badge - perhaps someone can help? Email me if you can, as I'm curious...


Freaky handlebars!

Head tube badge

As a way of rewarding myself for my recent burst of regular riding, I splashed out this week on a rare bit of bike bling for myself.

This is my lovely Columbus EL tubed custom built fillet-brazed Paul Hillbrick in it's latest incarnation, with Team High Road supplied Schwalbe Ultremo tyres and my lovely new Campagnolo 50-34 carbon Ultra-Torque chainset courtesy of my friends at NZ Campagnolo importers W.H. Worrall and Co Ltd.

I dropped the best part of a pound by replacing my old Athena square-taper cranks and b/b! Not that I am some sort of weight-weenie or anything... :D It's down to just over 20lb now - not bad for a 59cm steel bike with Ksyrium Elites.

My Hillbrick in climbing trim

Mmmmmmm, Centaur carbon...

I had a guest in my shop this week. My friend Rochie brought in Stephen Taylor from the Delmaine Foods Cycling Team to meet me and get some work done for one of his riders. We hit it off and he has asked me to work for the Team at the Tour of Southland this year, so another cool project to look forward to.

Delmaine are a new sponsor to cycling, but a toe in the water at the Tour of Wellington has led to a longer term investment with some class riders, including NZ U23 Criterium Champion Mark Langlands, NZ Team member Ash Whitehead, top talent Joseph Chapman and up-and-comer Michael Vink, among other classy athletes. Also riding under Delmaine colours, though not really on the road, is talented MTBer and XTerra athlete, Mark "Cabin" Leishman.

I've always wanted to work Southland so am pleased to be heading down to this iconic road event, though am dreading the fierce weather it seems to attract!

A couple of congratulations are in order this week. Firstly, I'd like to give mad props to Josh Barley (Santa Cruz) who has been selected for the New Zealand MTB Team for the World Championships in Italy this year. He is off to Colorado next weekend to train, then will join the NZ team in Europe later on. I've been privileged to have helped Josh out a bit over the last year, so am stoked to see him achieve this important goal. Best of luck, Josh!

Josh at National Champs

Secondly, in my short guest appearance for Tabak Team International at the men's Tour of Wellington I was fortunate enough to work with Team Captain Hayden Godfrey (usually Subway), who last week won a World Championship Gold at the Track Worlds in the omnium. This event is won through consistency over five events - a 200m time trial, a scratch race, an individual pursuit, a points race and a 1000m TT. To win his Rainbow Jersey Hayden won the scratch race and finished 9 points clear of silver medalist, Australia's Leigh Howard and 16 points clear of Aliaksandr Lisouski (Belarus) in the bronze position. Fantastic result for a very cool guy who has achieved so much for NZ cycling already, so I'm looking forward to having a beer with him at some stage and listening to his no doubt entertaining Tales of Victory...

Riding the IP

In the Rainbow Jersey - NZ's latest World Champion!

Lastly, I have finally joined the Technology Superhighway, and arguably the 21st century as well, by investing in broadband internet access. This means my old Paradise email address is no longer in action, so please use oli.brookewhite[a] from now on...

Pedal on, Oli

BREAKING NEWS! Team Roadworks stalwart Dave Hicks wins Vets class of the Porirua Traverse multi-sport race. A great ride, a slightly problematic run, followed by a good paddle got him the victory. Hopefully pics to follow...


David Benson said...

That Willer is effin' cool.
Looks like a typical Italian city bike anytime from 1950 to the seventies. You still see them in Italian towns, in original, if not mint, condition; often ridden by gnarly looking old guys with great riding style.
What's the rear derailler?

Oli Brooke-White said...

Hi Dave! It's a Campagnolo Valentino Extra, running on a three cog cluster. Thanks for the info...Cheers, Oli

David Benson said...

Nuovo Valentino is in the Campagnolo #17 catalog that I keep at my side at all times, so I guess it is early 70s.
If my dad had named such a crappy product after me, I would have gone off the rails bigtime.

Oli Brooke-White said...

Haha! Not the coolest name ever...Cheers, DB