Not mine, avid readers, but those of two of My Three Sons. As regular customers will be only too aware, I have always tried to do my best to be as available to my kids as I can - sometimes even to the detriment of my business I'm afraid. But I have always figured that I only have one shot at spending time with them while they're still kids, whereas bikes will always be there needing fixing. My customers are certainly important to me, but not nearly as important as my beautiful children...All three of my boys are so different, yet I am proud as hell of them all.
So as well as Wellington Anniversary Day preventing me from putting in a full week's work last week, there was my youngest son Bodhi's 6th birthday on Wednesday which, after a fun morning of presents and laughter, involved ferrying a large amount of random kids to Junglerama then feeding and entertaining them all afternoon.
After a couple of days with my head down and bum up in the shop the weekend arrived. On Sunday was my eldest son Kester's 15th birthday. Ket, Harry, my mate Alex and I had had a wicked ride up Makara Peak on Saturday, and on Ket's b-day we had a great time with a family gathering at Staglands, followed by bowling and a BBQ with some friends to finish off.
Here's the card I drew for Ketto...
In between these auspicious days I had to bury myself in a futile attempt to pay for it all. I was to busy/forgetful to take pictures of every job but here's a full rack of bikes to give you an idea of some of the workload.
On Thursday my friend James dropped in his stunning Ross Bee painted Team Raleigh frame, along with the fruitiest collection of NOS and barely used Campagnolo Super Record parts I've seen since I built up my own 753 Raleigh in 1982! Some of it is even still in it's original boxes. Once I'd rolled my tongue back up I managed to stop shaking long enough to take a couple of shots of his incredible collection of fruit, including the SR wheels I built for this project late last year.
Obviously, this job is special. I will be doing it with the doors firmly closed and the phone off the hook, so as to give it my lingering and full attention. I am looking forward to this job greatly...could you tell? :D
Here are my friends Nick and Bruce about to race the Palmy-Wellington in 1982, with me on the left holding onto my Dura-Ace EX equipped 531 TI Raleigh, the forerunner to my custom 753 which I don't have images of...
Also awaiting my attention (and the arrival of spokes!) are these cool Tune hubs. I'm building them for Hayden, who has specced Stan's NoTubes ZTR Olympic rims and DT Revolution spokes with aluminium nipples - I'm looking forward to seeing them on the scales!
My Jazz Apples Tour of Duty is rapidly approaching, and I thought you might like this great shot of my boss, the legendary Susy Pryde. I just stumbled on this while trawling through the photo archives of NZ's number 1 cycling website, VORB, and I have no idea what race it is, apart from it must be a big one if she's rocking the National colours. I'll try and find out where and when it was taken when I'm on Tour...very cool. (Edit: Susy tells me this was the Oceanias in Aussie 2004)
With all these birthdays and things going on, I keep being reminded of my advanced decrepitude, and am continually being faced with the long history I've accidentally created for myself in the bike game. This year marks the 9th year of Roadworks, which is as long as the great Cycle Services existed, but more importantly it marks 30 years since I began in the bicycle trade! It's hard for me to get my head around that at all...Good God, I'm so OLD!
Those early shop experiences went hand in hand with my earliest racing days, in which I rode alongside many folk who are still firm friends to this day. One who I haven't seen since the mid 80s but am in touch with again thanks to this blog and the wonders of the Interwebby is my mate Eoin, who is now domiciled in Western Australia. Here are some great shots he sent me of his daughter Tahlay following in his cleat steps. These were taken on the Perth SpeedDome, which looks like an incredible facility. I've yet to make it down to the much lauded Invercargill Velodrome, but I believe it's on a par with this stunning Ron Webb designed facility.
A selection of the bikes the lucky kids have access to
Note the cool Hillbricks, made by Paul Hillbrick who also built my road frame (gratuitous photo)
Another example of my being confronted by my chequered past is that I have recently received an email from Eoin's sister Jenny, asking if I could do some work for her. In 1984 - yes, 1984 - I had built her this unusual Alan Tourist and, after years of use, followed by some neglect due to the onset of children, she has asked me to set it up as a more practical bike for her to accompany her son Matt as he learns to ride his own bike. I'll be fitting some riser bars and appropriate brake levers to enable her to ride upright, instead of hunched over the drops. Great to see Jenny after all these years, and very, very cool to see this bike I still remember building 25 years ago...
My good mate John Randal just got back from a very cool trip around the East Cape of the North Island. Check out his great story on Vorb...Here he is rocking his new Roadworks kit.
As regular readers will know, hardly a blog entry goes by without my mentioning John, and this is quite deliberate. It's a small way to show him how much I appreciate the fact that he is such a good buddy and such a staunch supporter of my family and I, as well as being one of my Star Athletes. I know John is going to be smashing his way at warp speed around the tough 50km Karapoti Classic on March the 7th, and I'm stoked my Jazz Apples commitments don't conflict this year so I can be there to support him.
Here John does his best to give his sponsor good value on the results booklet from the 2007 Karapoti, rocking a mean beard and with cunningly photoshopped Roadworks shoulder logos, but still easily recogniseable/marketable. Cheers John!
Finally, when I bought myself my beautiful Commençal Meta 5.5 in September last year, I knew it needed the 140mm forks it's geometry was based around to really do it justice, rather than the otherwise awesome '07 130mm Fox TALAS I transferred off my old GT, but finances always prevented me from upgrading. So when I was talking to Fox importer Al Heine about another matter and he made me yet another offer I couldn't refuse, I said YES PLEASE. The very next morning the courier dropped off my new 2009 Fox TALAS 32s. My only ride so far was my ride with the boys before Ket's birthday, but my initial impressions are great. I still have some setting up to do but they are noticeably plusher than the already plush 130s, as well as lots more tunable being RLCs rather than just Rs. I like the lockout too, as it prevents me from flopping around like a landed trout when I'm standing climbing. They also seem stiffer to me, plus I liked how it raked back the bike by a degree - it seemed to carve nicely down Lazy Fern without wanting to tuck under under hard cornering.
So here's yet another gratuitous Oli bike pic - Hey, it's my damn blog! :D
Well, there goes the bloody phone again - I'll be back in a wee while with the results of the Raleigh build, the Tune wheels, as well as some other goodies...thanks again for reading, Oli ;)