It's the school holidays at the moment so I've been trying to do as little work as practical so that I get to spend time with My Three Sons. This time usually involves going to the movies, going on bike rides and/or walks, and sometimes playing rugby at the park, or "Smash The Old Man to Pieces", as I like to call it...
In the midst of all this bruising so-called "fun" I have managed to escape up to the Mancave to do the odd bit of work, including finishing off Bill's Scott Endorphin singlespeed, which suffered a broken left-hand crank a couple of weeks ago. Bill got himself a RaceFace chainset and I got him in an Avid BB5 cable disc brake for the front end of the bike to save wear on the rim...
The only other job that might be of interest was on my own bike. After riding the supremely comfortable Avanti Cadent in Auckland a few weeks ago, I ordered myself a pair of the same FSA compact road handlebars that were specced on it - these just turned up so I fitted them straight away.
My slightly portly build (shhhhhh!) means I rarely if ever get into the drops these days, but these novel 'bars are a great idea to make riding in them much easier. The drop between the top of the 'bars and the bottom is reduced, as is the forward reach.
It could be suggested that I should raise the bars in relation to the saddle, but I have good lumbar flexibility and am perfectly comfortable on the hoods - it's just my tummy getting in the way of my thighs when I used to reach for the drops that was the issue! My bike is now so, so comfortable...
Thanks to Matt and Dean at WideOpen for the hook-ups.
At the same time I fitted a pair of Campagnolo Chorus Pro-Fit pedals that Dave from NZ Campag distributor Worralls special ordered from Italy for me. These have not been a big selling pedal in NZ for some reason, but I have run some Record ones on my Bianchi for years and really like the action and feel of them, so wanted to match the Hilly up with some too...
The best thing about these changes is that I have my first ever road bike under 20 pounds! Stoked! The heavier I get the more of a weight-weenie I become... :D
My good buddy Paul Larkin - the initial inspiration for my purchase of a Commençal - has just obtained his new VIP Super 4 frameset to replace his Meta 4. Hot in green, and will be a cool rig when completed. This is the bike the Hadley 15mm hub/Stans Arch wheel from my last post is going on. Paul is just waiting for the shock and rear hub to arrive and he'll be whacking it all together. Thanks for the sticker props too, bro! I always appreciate it...
Dave from Bike Fixation was just over at Interbike checking out the latest products and schmoozing with the stars. He watched Lance Armstrong do battle in a cyclo-cross race, met Bobby Julich and Johan Museeuw, as well as young sprinting phenomenon, England's Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia).
Very kindly, Dave got me an autographed poster which went straight to the pool room - you can just see the signature in silver pen.
This poster made me think about some of the other cool autographs I've got and been given, so I thought I'd share a few seeing as this blog is very bike light...
USA 4X genius Brian Lopes #55
My Julian Dean Shrine
1988 Giro d'Italia winner Andy Hampsten (USA)
MTB legend Thomas Frischknecht (Switzerland)
DH legend Steve Peat (UK)
The Lion King - 2002 World Road Champion Mario Cipollini (Italy)
From the NZ team at MTB Worlds 06, the race numbers of Kashi Leuchs and Rosara Joseph
UK top woman MTBer of the mid 90s, Caroline Alexander
Chongming Tour Jazz Apples: Susy Pryde, Malindi Maclean, Ruth Corset and Lauren Ellis
1997 Wellington World Cup Volvo-Cannondale MTB Team: Alison Sydor, Tinker Juarez, Cyrille Bonnand and Annabelle Stropparo
I'm very proud of a long association with NZ DH legend and twice NORBA DH Series winner, John Kirkaldie. This is from 1998, I think...
John kindly presented me with this Maxxis jersey in 2001 as Roadworks was getting under way
NZ Olympian and Wholly Bagel Robyn Wong's Wellington (road) World Cup number, with Rushlee Buchanan's Nevada City Classic one above
Tour of NZ Team Tabak International: Aurélie Halbwachs (Mauritius), Ruth Corset (Australia) and Sharon Laws (GB Olympian)
2008 Beijing Olympic Gold Medalist Nicole Cooke signed this for me, and 2004 Olympic Pursuit Gold Medalist Sarah Ulmer signed it for Harry after she won the race by a record ten minutes...
Talking of Sarah, I was proud and privileged to work with her on what turned out to be her last race before retiring, when I was a mechanic for the NZ Team at Geelong and the NZ Tour. Here's her jersey from the NZ Tour, complete with race number
But I'm probably proudest of these two - Weetbix Triathlon contender Harry Brooke-White, and Walk the Bays legend Bodhi Brooke-White, along with their big bro Kester (who hasn't signed anything for me yet...)
I have a few more to share but I'll leave some for next time. Cheers, Oli