Saturday, April 19, 2008

Winter on the way...

I sit here on this cold and wet day wondering how it can be that last weekend we were basking in 20 degree sun while today we are contemplating dragging out all the heaters and huddling around them! I shouldn't complain - it's been such a fantastic summer, it had to end some time...

I made the most of it last weekend, with a lovely ride around the Bays and a few hills, culminating with a sift around the Waterfront. The Greenpeace boat Rainbow Warrior 2 was in port, and I got accosted by one of the Warriors to join an online photo petition.

I'm really enjoying riding right now- I am feeling more and more glimpses of what it's like to be fit again! I am even slowly chipping away at the blubber...Fitting riding in regularly means being a bit selfish with my time, but I figure I'm much more motivated to work on bikes when I feel like riding them too. I'm really going to keep riding as an important priority over winter.

Then on the Sunday I had a very cool day. I went up to Karori Park to watch the inaugural Wellington Short Track Series. Much hilarity in these lactic spew-fest races, none of which lasted much longer that 10 minutes. There was also a granny-gear lap and a big-gear lap to keep things honest. The big-gear lap was the scene of the funniest incident of the day, when a certain rider tried a tricky cyclo-cross dismount and remount, only to miss his handlebars and uncomfortably land on his back wheel - somehow, he managed to avoid crashing and actually went on to win! I'm quite sure the swelling will have died down by now.

Burkes rider Ricky Pincott won the main race(c)RowanG

This event was the first in a series designed to help raise funds to get local pro-elite rider Lisa Morgan overseas to race her MTB. Check out her blog for more info...

After this I went home for lunch with the family, then we all set off into town and went for a ride on the Crocodile bikes around Oriental Bay. This was great fun, but I think the people taking advantage of the gorgeous day on the promenade could probably have done without having an out-of-control Crocodile wildly swerving around with five maniacs cackling like loons on board! Trying to keep control with two burly teenagers mutinying constantly made this ride as difficult as any I have done recently - I got off sweating profusely and with aching knees! We then wandered around and went on a fascinating (if slightly too preachy!) tour of the Rainbow Warrior, then home for pizza and a movie.

Rainbow Warrior 2

In other more important news, my good friend Tim Wilding (Santa Cruz-Pearl Izumi-Roadworks-Maxxis) defended his New Zealand XTerra title with a fine 4th place behind winner Terrenzo Bozzone. Tim's old Aunt Betty's teammate and MTB legend Mark "Cabin" Leishman took a fantastic second place, just in front of Scott Thorne. Tim had a less than ideal build-up with a niggling IT band injury that basically prevented him from doing any run training in the lead-up, but he had a great race, coming out of the swim just behind the leaders and smoking on the bike run on the Santa Cruz Blur I built up for him to lead heading into the run. It took the leaders a full lap of the run to reel Timmy in, but he hung tough and finished only four minutes down on Bozzone. I know Tim will be a bit disappointed he couldn't retain his title, but I also know that he is (or should be!) proud to have shown that he can still mix it up with the elite of the sport even after a bad preparation phase - he'll take this title again, no doubt! I'm very proud to be associated with this fine athlete.

Tim charging! (c)Kim Harwood

Not much else to report, sorry. The shop has definitely slowed down a bit so I'm not feeling swamped by work any more. I've been building heaps of wheels lately though, which suits me fine. I find wheelbuilding and new bike building to be my two favourite tasks, and there's nothing more relaxing to me than lacing up a new wheel.

Although I sometimes wish I was building wheels and bikes in this workshop...thanks to for the wicked pic.

Vecchio's - Boulder, Colorado

This will most likely be my last post before I head to China to the tour of Chongming Island, so I will take my camera and do my best to capture some of the images and atmosphere of this adventure I'm going on.


Here is some brief info on the trip courtesy of the Jazz Apples website.

The Tour Of Chongming Island: Shanghai China

Jazz Apple will have four athletes for the Tour of Chongming Island. The team quartet is a synergy of youth and experience, led and mentored by Susy. Jazz Apple’s composition also includes new recruit, Australian Ruth Corset and young neo-pros, Lauren Ellis and Malindi Maclean.

The squad is expecting the tour to be a baptism of fire to kick-off of their International 2008 season but are keenly looking forward to the challenge of racing in China.

The five-day event incorporates a 2-for-1 UCI race amalgamation, with an individual time trial followed by a four- day tour.

Ruth Corset - Townsville Australia
Lauren Ellis - Ashburton NZ
Malindi Maclean - Auckland NZ
Susy Pryde - Auckland NZ


Time Trial
25 - 20km Individual TT

Stage Race
26 - Stage 1: 65km City Criterium 4.1

27 - Stage 2: 71km Road Race

28 - Stage 3: 100km

29 - Stage 4: 73km

I'll see you when I get back! CU, Oli

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