Sunday, May 15, 2011
Back To Life
Back to reality. The last couple of weeks have been great as I ease back into the routines of home/work and a little bit of riding. My First Ride was actually the last ride of that week, as even that low level of exertion seemed to be a bit much to handle. However, after a few more days chafing at the bit off the bike, the next attempts proved much less onerous and didn't seem to result in any marked post-ride discomfort. I feel like it's just a matter of time now until I'm back to winning imaginary races...
...and shralving hardcore.
I've been getting back into the swing of work via some light duties, as sadly the temp I had hired to do the hard work and I had some "creative differences", and I was forced to let Inga go.
I've been very lucky that my clients are a patient (long suffering?) bunch of cool cats, and the ones that didn't have to take their urgent work elsewhere seem happy to give me work that doesn't have deadlines or time pressure. This has meant that I was able to chip away at things as lingering pain and it's associated fatigue would allow. The first job I took on was Max's rear fixie wheel, as he'd already had several weeks of not riding as he waited for me to get back on my feet. His perfectly good rim had been let down by a stripped cheapy fixed hub, so I had got him a new Joytech hub and built it into his existing rim.
Next up was Connor's new Trek Madone with Sram Red components. At this stage I was still having difficulty even lifting a bike into the stand, but no such problems with this frame!
Steadily adding parts over the next few days, it was ready for the new owner to ride the following weekend. Hot bike, and I wish Connor many fun hours of riding upon it.
With that as the first bike, it seemed that building wheels was the best way to keep things rolling. I was surprised how much effect this work had on my core, as every wheel took a small toll on me. These were a pair for my good friend Tor - Mavic A719 touring rims on XT hubs made staunch wheels for a powerful man.
I built a pair of wheels for Wellington trailbuilding stalwart and mad huckster Jono Baddiley in June 2009, but sadly he had exceeded the design parameters of the rear wheel and put a massive flat spot in his Arch rim, as well as riding it sans tyre for a few kilometres by the look of it!
Soon enough it was back to full strength thanks to a rim transplant and a handful of new spokes.
On behalf of Jonty at Revolution Bicycles I built up my first pair of NoTubes ZTR MTB hubs onto a pair of the awesome 29er Arch rims. I was very impressed by these hubs, and will be keen to see how they hold up over the long haul.
Graham is building up a new Cove and wanted me to sort him some pimp hoops for it. He gave me a sweet pair of pink Chris King hubs to lace into a brace of Mavic Xc717 rims.
I've always hankered after a pair of these pink hubs, but building them up will have to suffice for now. Hot.
Also rolling on King is this nice Crest front wheel for Barb, this time in Gunmetal...
Instead of Inga, I should have reached deep into my pockets to hire Dave away from his poorly paying IT work. He is building up an old Saronni frame as a fashion fixie and had decided to build his own wheels for it, so he came and hung out in the Batcave to get the rear wheel nailed. For a first attempt I was very impressed indeed - his grasp of tension seemed instinctive, and he hardly needed any help from me, which is good, because I'm a terrible teacher. Judging by the finished product, I expect the wheels to give him little if any trouble at all on the road. Great to have the company for the day, and I enjoyed the fringe pie benefits. Good effort, Dave!
While Dave was plying my trade, and as I had done all I could do for paid work for the day, I spent the time fettling my own bikes. I pulled the Open Pro/Campag Mirage wheels off my Casati...
...and replaced them with my Fiamme Hard Silver/Campag Super Record wheels.
I also fitted some Cinelli Campione Del Mondo handlebars, kindly donated to the cause by Alex Revell to replace the hideously clashing 3ttt 'bars I posted previously.
With the gearing a bit too tall for my enfeebled self right now the Casati has been temporarily reduced to the status of a mere prop, but a very pretty prop nonetheless.
The purpose of snatching the wheels was to give the Bianchi a set of better wheels than the somewhat inert Ksyrium Elites. The 28mm tyres are a close clearance fit, but they work and make for a comfortable and lively ride. Plus the look of three-cross Open Pros with beefy tyres is very cool, and really I'm all about the looks.
Taking a spin on a still day was a great way to both test out my "new" wheels and my poor tortured body. I headed out north via the Newtown craziness up to Oriental Bay, then back south through Kilbirnie, Lyall Bay and home up Island Bay, stopping for a brief time at Greta Point to drink in the delightful day.
Feeling tons more stable in my core relative to the week before and seemingly suffering no ill effects at all meant that the next morning couldn't come fast enough. I decided to reverse the previous day's loop, and after dropping Bo to school and doing my morning chores I suited up and headed down the Bay on the damp roads of a slightly morose morning...
The fishing boats and my Bianchi were the only splashes of colour offsetting the steel grey sea, and a clammy mist clung stubbornly to the low hills.
Suitably buoyed by my much improved condition and the joy of the simple act of riding my bicycle, I was primed and ready for the busy week to come. The shop rapidly filled up as I got on with continuing to clear the backlog of work.
Leonard's Pedalforce needed a new chain and cassette.
Andrew had treated himself to a New Blue that needed a post-purchase Oli-ing to sort out some shifting issues and give it a general going over.
Sally is off to ride the climbs of the Pyrenees in June so her Scott Addict needed some bigger cassette sprockets and a new chain, to go along with a pre-Europe checking over.
Next up was some parts swappage between Greg's two lovely Bianchis.
I took some heavy old cranks off his 9.2.8. Carbon...
...and installed the Ultegras off his other machine instead, as well as giving it a wee tune-up.
The other bike in Greg's Bianchi brace is a cool carbon Sempre he picked up for a song.
I love how this machine is specced with homologous parts reminiscent of the old days of pantographing, for instance the FSA brake calipers:
To replace the Ultegra chainset I fitted a BB30 Sram Force one, then I sorted out some errant cables, swapped the too long stem for a shorter Deda one, and gave the bike a thorough strop-up before giving it the Oli Seal Of Approval.
Full rack still, but the bikes are done and I'm up to date at last. It's a grouse feeling.
Hopefully I'll be back soon to regale you with tales of more rides and pretty bikes from my own Reparto Corse. Until then, thanks for reading.