Friday, February 18, 2011

Cleaning House

No, I'm not going to bore you good folk with more tales of domestic drudgery - I just thought I'd better clear the decks of a few things from late last and early this year that I have somehow missed and hope you will be interested in. It's a bit of a grab bag, so settle in and enjoy...

First up is a cool book that I'm proud to have helped out on in a small way. Last year Jonathan Kennett asked if I could help with the "Choosing and fitting your bike" chapter of the book he co-wrote with BikeNZ CEO Kieran Turner called "Classic New Zealand Road Rides". Packed with useful info and colourful maps and photos, this book is a great resource for any cyclist whether you've been riding for years or you're just finding your way into the Beautiful Sport. I recommend a copy for every cyclist who dreams of riding more than their well-worn local roads.

My friend Richard had an unfortunate prang, damaging the rear wheel of his lovely LeMond Tete de Course Ti/carbon bike. I rebuilt it using the same Mavic Open Pro, black DT Comp spokes and red aluminium nipple combo the existing wheel had consisted of.

With the rebuilt wheel and a full check-over his fine steed was restored.

The interesting use of the titanium spine (head tube, down tube, b/b and chainstays) with a carbon top tube, seat tube and seat stays provides a smooth ride without sacrificing rigidity or weight.

Richard's bike has a great pedigree too, being one of the actual bikes ridden on the Webcor Team in 2004 by cult hero Chris Horner.

Back to the books, and pre-Christmas one Friday night up at Revolution I was stoked to be given this lovely volume by my friend Dean. If you want a great story about overcoming your fears to read to your kids you couldn't do much better than this delightful tale about a bike mechanic who doesn't ride a bike...are you trying to tell me something, Dean?

Another literary gift I was delighted to receive was this one from John Randal to cheer me up when I was sadly unable to attend its book launch. Called "Louise Sutherland - Spinning the Globe", it's another from the Kennett publishing house and was beautifully written by Jonathan's partner Bronwen Wall. Louise's travels have to be read to be believed, and it's hard to imagine a braver cyclist anywhere.

Speaking of John, here's a cool shot of him riding in the first Te Tāwhio O Whanganui mini-Brevet he organised and rode in. Reading his blog made me want to ride this bi-annual event so much...

Father Christmas was good to me this year, bringing me these two terrific tomes that have swelled the Brooke-White Bicycle Bookshelf superbly.

And finally on the book front, my dear friend Pete keeps me well stocked with loaners - every couple of weeks an absorbing new book will arrive, always accompanied by a cool bookmark/postcard, and sometimes even by a boss dvd to watch when my old eyes are too tired for reading...Cheers Pete, and I promise I'll post 'em back soon!

"Two Wheels On My Wagon" was a ripping yarn about a competitor in the Great Divide race, and I'm really enjoying "Tourmen" - after all the many books and articles I've read it's rare for me to read new anecdotes from old Tours, but this book is full of surprises. I found "A Race For Madmen" a bit derivative and full of some clanging factual errors, which surprised me after the great job the author did with the Tom Simpson biography, "Put Me Back On My Bike". I have yet to read "It's All About The Bike", but I hear from Jonty that it's top. Life Cycles was well worth a watch, with an unusually arty style compared to the usual MTB films out there. A great soundtrack and some neat set-pieces made for a good few watches.

Life Cycles OFFICIAL Trailer from Life Cycles on Vimeo.

Back to the shop now, and Andrew was entering his first Coast to Coast race and needed a fork swap and service before he headed off on his adventure.

And his Litespeed ready to help him on his way to a fine 14th place in Open Men with 12hr 20m....

Malcolm's lovely old restored Raleigh needed a good going over, especially the bottom bracket. The old cups and axle had finally given up the ghost, so it was in with a more modern cartridge version.

Cleaned and fettled back to goodness.

Simon had trashed his old wheels so I cut the old rims off and rebuilt his Hope hubs into a pair of fine NoTubes Arch rims.

A new pair of bling 'bars for Dave, courtesy of our dear friend WO Larkin at Cycling Edge in Aussie.

After replacing several broken spokes on separate occasions before Christmas, one more was the final straw that sent Ran to me to rebuild his Neuvation wheel with beefier DT Competition spokes.

Late last year my old PNP clubmate Eoin was over from Australia with his family accompanying his daughter Tahlay, who was competing in the YUNCA Junior Tour in Southland. Tahlay utterly dominated her age group, taking the points and leaders U15 jerseys. After not having seen Eoin for nearly thirty years I was delighted that he would take the time to stop by the workshop and introduce me to his lovely family. Here I am with Tahlay resplendent in her Yellow Jersey.

Tahlay has just raced her State Championships, winning the Western Australian U15 Match Sprint and 500m TT titles, getting silver in the Individual Pursuit and bronze in the Scratch Race - congratulations, Tahlay! Here's a picture of my firm pick as a future World Champion winning the sprint title.

Apropos of old clubmates and youthful future champions, my friend and local coaching legend Gary Gibson has been taking some of the younger members of PNP out for skills lessons on the mean streets of Wellington - I wish we'd had this kind of help when we were starting out!

He also sent me some awesome photos he took at the 1987 Tour de France, while on his Big Bicycle OE that took him all around the world. Here is Colombian pioneer Luis Herrera in the KOM jersey climbing the Mighty Galabier. He would be first over the historic summit, but at the finish of the stage at Alpe d'Huez it was Federico Echave who won. Echave is visible desperately chasing behind the right shoulder of the unidentified Fagor rider on Herrara's hip.

This one is of the hard-bitten first Australian ever to wear the Yellow Jersey, Phil Anderson, in the Dijon time trial on the penultimate day of the Tour.

Yeah, I still have a pair of those cool Oakley Factory Pilots.

Here is the Maillot Jaune of the 1987 Tour, Pedro Delgado of Spain; that is at least until after this final TT. "Perico" is in the agonising process of losing yellow to eventual Tour winner Stephen Roche, after what had been an enthralling Tour and a real ding-dong battle. Delgado would have his (controversial) day in the sun though when he won the 1988 Tour.

The final photo I have from Gary was this magnificent one that he sent me inspired by the photo of Simon's Bosomworth in a past blog post. It's of the great and historic Stelvio climb in the Italian Alps - 48 hairpins, I believe, for this pass that is the second highest in the Alps and which was where Bernard Hinault's first Giro d'Italia win in 1980 was defined, among many other heroic cycling feats if yore. Cheers, Gary!

Rushing back into bike repairs, I had Malc's sweet little DMR steel hardtail in for a tune before doing a quick lap of the Karapoti in the first weekend of March...

Of course the 2010 Karapoti was conquered by my great mate Tim Wilding. I'm hoping, as is he, that he will be able to smash all comers once more, but in the meantime he's been preparing for this weekends Coppermine Epic by doing lots of riding in the Top Of The South Island. Best of luck, bro!

(Photo stolen from Tim's blog)

Also at Karapoti there is allegedly going to be some kind of mad, purple-hued Cycle Services reunion, with sifters aplenty getting their XC steeze on. One of our Team from the Glory Days has just made the leap from 26" wheels to 29", and he asked me to build him some light but strong race wheels to replace the stock ones off his new bike on big occasions. I suggested NoTubes Crest rims, Hope Pro2 hubs and DT Competition spokes, Phin said "sure" so I got to it.

919 grams rear and 785g front = a tidy 1704g wheelset.

Henry (one of my bosses at CS) has built himself a sweet commuter fixed wheel bicycle, that he needed a better gear ratio for. No point in just ordering one Dura-Ace cog, I thought...

Top triathlete Dean is doing the gruelling Ironman on the 5th of March, so he got me to give the race bike a tune with his new disc on. Hope the race goes great, Deano!

I've been riding a bit of late, but more of that another blog. The point is, on one of these rides I was breaking the habits of a lifetime by stopping mid-ride to take a photo of my bike...

...unfortunately, before I got this artful portrait the wind caught it and blew it over! I had just carefully Rule 40 positioned the machine with valves at the top of the wheels and lent it just so, and I turned around to retrieve the camera from the ground when there was the unmistakeable clatter of a bike hitting the ground. I spun around horrified to see it bounce and go down for the second time, so I somewhat loudly uttered an oath as I cried and picked it up from the dirt and gravel it lay in. Amazingly there seemed to be no damage at all despite it having fallen on the drive-side, so I dusted it off and took the photo above before riding home. The gears were jumping around a bit though, and I assumed the derailleur hanger was a bit bent. Once I was home I took it up to the shop for a tweak of the hanger. All seemed well on the stand but a test-ride let me know something really wasn't right, so I decided to have a squizz inside the lever...

I soon discovered the problem, a cracked EC-RE111 that must have shattered on impact...

So I used my Campagnolo grease (courtesy of my man Dave) and reassembled the lever using the replacement EC-RE111 I incredibly had in stock, and following DB's advice to always swap out the g-springs whenever you service an Ergolever.

It now worked perfectly again, as Campag always should...

Milton brought me in his lovely Campy Athena equipped Pinarello FP6 for a tickle up of the gears. He brought this machine from the Pinarello factory in Treviso when on a trip to watch the Giro last year.

I hope the Oli-ing does the trick...

Pinarello used to make a model that I badly lusted after called the Montello - ridden by Delgado and Indurain of the Reynolds team, the pillar-box red with white trim bicycle was instantly recognisable and always engendered feelings of greedy want. My friend Matt has done what I never could and stumbled on one. This old beauty has a storied life, being ridden in the Tour of Southland and other big NZ races. I'm going to get it back up to a state of mechanical soundness, although neither Matt nor I possess the resources to fully restore it to pro pristinitude just yet. Here are a few teaser shots.

The stamped seat stay cap.

The fork crown.

And the seat tube.

I'll leave you now with a nice close-up of my popular Mavic 2003 commemorative toy car, taken on my NEW CAMERA!! Until next time, thanks for reading. Cheers, Oli


sifter said...

Great stuff Oli! It's always an honour to make the cut among some great material. I love the last photo!

Oli Brooke-White said...

Thanks bro, it's always an honour for me to have you wear the colours! Can't wait to blog the hell out of the new ride too... ;-)