The jungle drums are beating and the rumours are rife, so I figure I'd better come clean. As those who have followed me through any or all of the 12 years of Roadworks' existence will know, my life doesn't seem to have a moment without some sort of ridiculous drama going down. In that vein, and as some of you will already know, my latest saga is that I have been put into a position where I have felt forced to abruptly give up my workshop space of the last few years. It's never been the most convenient venue for my customers, but it was the perfect solution for my personal needs. Now thanks to some rather major problems with the new upstairs tenants it's become impossibly inconvenient even for me, which of course makes working there untenable.
This means I am now in the process of moving the workshop back into my own home to regroup for what seems like the hundredth time, before getting back under way in yet another incarnation of this crazy "business" I've created. For logistical reasons I'm not ready to recommence operations yet, but I thought I should post a quick teaser of the slowly evolving Roadworks Mk V to allay your fears and let you know I'm close to kicking it live once more. And for those of you who may recall with horror my brief 2006 tenure in the old dirt-floored basement, please be assured it's no longer exactly the same rudimentary dirt-floored cave it used to be!
Despite this not being at all my choice of timing, and despite the huge hassle of rearranging the house to make room for me, not to mention packing up and moving my insane amount of paraphernalia from old shop to new, there are many reasons why this move will make my life easier, hence easier for my clients too. For the last few years the succession of tenants upstairs from the shop have made life progressively harder and harder, so I'm looking forward greatly to being able to set the terms of access entirely with the needs of me and my family in mind, and without having to worry about treading on anyone's toes when I'm just going about earning a crust. Privacy is my one major concern about running the show from home, but the appointment-only way I work will hopefully prevent punters from turning up unbidden during family and/or downtime...I'm looking forward to finding out anyway!
I still have some clutter to clean up from the old shop...
...but in the meantime I'll clear up some of the blogging clutter I have been clearing up in recent times.
Graham's new Cove Hummer needed a Chris King headset installed.
My Auckland buddy Daniel made me up these cool Roadworks decals, so when I'm back up and running please swing by the workshop and grab a couple. Dan did a fantastic job and I'd recommend Producer for any of your graphic or printing needs without hesitation.
As my recent ride posts might show I'm riding plenty at the moment and getting fitter (and keener!) all the time, so I decided to ditch the compact cranks and fit my manly 53/39 cranks. Not content with just the stock chainrings I adapted some Record 'rings to fit, as can be seen in the last ever shot of my Bianchi outside the old workshop.
The best thing to do when you've been fettling one's steed is to take it out for a strop. Taking advantage once again of the glorious autumnal conditions, I headed out for a Bays loop with a hill chucked in.
This is looking roughly south-east over Seatoun towards The Heads and Pencarrow.
My bike propped on one of the entrances to the fabulous Miramar Trail Network. A bit much for the road bike, perhaps, but well worth a trip with one's mountanbike fo' sho'. Lyall Bay and Te Raekaihau Point in the distance.
I kept climbing...
..past spectacular views of Makaro/Ward Island and the Eastern Bays...
...and Matiu/Somes Island and the Hutt Valley towards the Tararua Ranges.
I spent most of my youth trying to avoid this place, yet here I am now in my dotage happily riding around it.
The descent begins, interrupted only by sleeping policemen and rabbits.
Another view of The Heads taken on the fly.
Looking NW over towards Wellington City itself.
An arty shot taken from the lovely walkway that traverses the western slopes of Maupuia.
Oriental Bay on a pleasant evening is a very nice place to be.
While I'm still on the riding tip, on a subsequent ride on a very windy day I battered my way once more around the Bays then along to Ngaio Gorge and Crofton Downs, before heading up into Mairangi and Northland...
...after the inevitable coffee break with my man Jonty, I blasted down Glenmore street and back around to Evans Bay and over Constable Street to home.
One of the last jobs I did in the old shop was build a sweet pair of training wheels for Barry. Mavic Open Pro rims on a Campagnolo Record rear hub and Chris King front will let him thrash his bike with impunity through all conditions, while giving him some nice touches of bling to go along with the delightful ride quality such a wheelset engenders.
I decided in lieu of spending up large on some new Veloflex tubs that I'd just glue the cool old Vittorias I had fitted to my new Shamals for display purposes. Here's my Bianchi ready to ride, and just waiting for the right occasion to head out. More about that very soon.
A cold and bleak Sunday afternoon definitely wasn't the right occasion, but it was the first chance I'd had in a few days to prise myself off the windtrainer and head out on the road so I pumped up the tyres on the Hillbrick and set off. Once I was actually riding I realised I didn't have a clue where I wanted to go, so I just followed my front wheel down through Island Bay and around the South Coast.
After a cruise up Happy Valley and an awesome fang down Brooklyn Hill I wandered aimlessly through town, heading roughly for my usual Parliament-Glenmore Street route up towards Karori with a tentative view towards maybe heading around the Makara loop. As I neared Parliament I was delighted to see the friendly smile of my dear friend (and Clothing Facilitator - see sidebar!) John "Sifter" Randal. He was on the side of the road waiting for young Alex Revell to arrive before they headed out to do some hills around Korokoro. I had a wee chat with John before setting off on my way, but when I was nearly at the top of Bowen Street I figured I don't have many opportunities to ride with John and Alex, so I turned around and raced back down just in time to catch them as they set off...
It was cool to be riding with some good friends - all too often my road rides are hastily snatched opportunities than prevent me planning to hook up, so I invariably don't. I enjoy riding solo, but it's always good to feel the Fellowship of the Road.
The tempo was very tame at first, perhaps to warm up, but I suspect mainly on my behalf as the boys did their best to baby the old man along. I was glad for their mercy, as I'm sure if it had ratcheted up I would have struggled eventually. I told Alex I would be okay for a bit more pace on the back though, and the speed did become more respectable as we moved along...
...I am better at sitting in the wheels than it looks, but the gaps are only opening as I took the photos.
Knowing they'd both be thoughtful and take it easy on the climbs for me and not wanting to slow them down or disrupt their training plans, I turned off at Petone and made my way back to town alone. The training must have worked well for Alex as he took a well deserved Duathlon win the following weekend in the first running of the new iteration of the historic Crazyman multi-sport race. Great stuff, Alex!
Here I am in an unusual right-handed self-pic, heading back into town along the suprisingly clean old cycle path between SH2 and the railway line.
No ride report would be complete without a shot of my bike in repose - seeking out the locations for these photos is an important part of every ride.
As by this time I was in the throes of shifting (still am!) I don't have so much work to relate but, at only a week out of date, this is as good a time as any to halt this post before we all run out of bandwidth. I'll be back before you know it...
Thanks for reading, Oli
P.S. Please get in quick if you are keen on wearing some Roadworks kit. John has organised jerseys, bibshorts, gilet/vests, armwarmers and caps to enable you to replicate my suave style. Email John at siftyjohn[a]gmail.com and he will hook you up. Cheers, Oli