Monday, July 28, 2008

A Frame of Reknown

I have received a request from someone regarding a track frame that he's hoping to get some info on. This "Reknown" looks beautifully built, and is very reminiscent of an 80's Rossin - both in terms of the lugs, as well as the very similar decals.

I wondered initially if it was a Rossin under some licensing caveat in the same way as Colnago were re-badged Colner for some markets in the 1970s, but I have just heard thanks to the wonders of Vorb that Reknown may have been the house brand of famed Christchurch bike shop Laurie Dawes Cycles, so thanks to Hamish Fergusson for the info. I've asked Fergie to keep digging, but please keep it coming!

The tidy lugwork and seemingly expert build mean it certainly looks to be a lovely frame, despite it's slightly shabby condition, so I feel it's well worth either hanging onto or even restoring, whatever it's origins...

Any information at all gratefully accepted. Please email me if you know anything...Cheers, Oli.

More info turned up on Vorb overnight, so it looks like we now know for sure where it came from - we just need to find out exactly who it was who built it, if we can...

Reknown were made by Laurie Dawe Cycles - they were building frames with both their own name and this name as the shop was called Reknown Cycles earlier on in it's life. When Rossin's started appearing in NZ they liked the style of the stickers and thought that the Reknown name would lend itself quite well to a bit of copying. Their main builder was a man by the name of Jack King, but looking at the pics I suspect this may have been made by someone else, maybe Don Gibbs or Brian Sands, both of whom made frames for Laurie Dawes at various times. Is there a frame number at all? If you have a frame number I may be able to find out who it was built for, no promises though.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bikes old and new...

I'll start this post off with some modern bikes I've worked on this week, then timewarp back to my old Holloway Road garage for some blurry scans of bikes I worked on in 2001-2002, and follow those up with one of my old bikes from the mid 80s.

First, this cool carbon Guru Geneo with Campagnolo Record gear that I had in to locate and eliminate a mystery creak...

Next, I built up this gorgeous Litespeed Siena with Ultegra SL, AlphaQ forks and stem, Chris King headset and Topolino wheels. Very cool.

Then comes this Thorn. While not the usual sort of ride I blog, I really liked this purpose-built steel touring rig. My friend Patricio from CAN ordered this custom Rohloff equipped machine for extended epic tours - it's already ridden up l'Alpe d'Huez and other legendary climbs of the Tour de France, and is set for many future adventures.

It was in for me to true the rear wheel, as well as to carefully remove a redundant pump peg from the rear of the seat tube and to remove some equally redundant extra material from the rear of the carrier. Some judicious hacking, cutting and filing, followed by some British Racing Green touching up and it was all go...very cool bike.

Now for the bikes from the garage...apologies for the quality of the pictures, but they are scans of photos taken on my old dunger camera. I thought the bikes were noteworthy though - they were certainly all great fun to build and ride!

Colnago C40

Colnago CT1

DeRosa Merak

Pegoretti Marcelo

Pinarello Opera

Wholly Bagel's rider Nic Johnson's lovely titanium Wylder

Test riding the Mighty Whopper Chopper!

Now this picture dates from 1986. It's of a very cool Colnago time trial bike I used to own that was taken from me under very dubious circumstances. It was custom built by Ernesto Colnago himself (#17) and was equipped with heavily machined and pantographed Campagnolo Super Record gear, with Modolo Kronos carbon gear levers that snapped every second ride or so. Ambrosio 28/32 rims with bladed spokes, Clement tubs, Assos saddle, the first Look pedals in Wellington and 3ttt bars and pantographed stem. I chewed through the aluminium Regina America Superleggera cogs in what seemed to be a couple of rides! Note the backwards mounted brake calipers too...

As it was my only bike at the time I rode it hard and often as a road bike, as well as doing the odd local TT. Despite it's steep angles and tight wheelbase, it handled very well, although I do remember it being a bit squirrelly at about 80kph as I rode down the Hutt side of the Rimutakas on one hard-fought training ride!

To finish off these two lengthy posts is this very cool picture I just got of my great mate John Randal and his beautiful daughter Kaitlyn on the start line of this years Karapoti Classic. They raced the 20km Challenge together - John on his Specialized Epic, and Katy on her trailer bike behind. They stomped around and broke the tandem record!

Well that's all for now. I have a couple of neat projects on the go, so should be blogging again in the next few days. Thanks for reading, Oli

Jazz Apples Tour of North America

After excitedly reading the last few email updates from the Jazz Apples I thought I'd devote a post entirely to the last few races of their epic North American race schedule. They have done some great rides and garnered some fantastic results, so I'll flick over to Susy and Chris to tell the stories in their own words.

The Jazz Apple quartet tuned their instruments for yet another multi-movement classical composition in the 35th annual Tour de Gastown last night. Laced in history, Tour de Gastown is set on an irregular rectangle-shaped cobbled course that includes one, 180 degree left hander, tricky enough that it has long attracted a who's-who in cycling to it's downtown Vancouver lair.

Brimming with over 40,000 supporters, the women's event included two of the Canadian Olympic team members, both Vancouver locals, Gina Grain and Erinne Willock driving the crowd into a frenzy of a hometown anticipation. Propelling from the line, Grain captured the first prime on the second lap, and openly revealing her on-form condition, Grain jumped clear from the group. As Grain gained seconds, Jazz Apple's Malindi Maclean skirted to the front and Susy Pryde was able to launch across solo within a lap. The pair gained time but Aaron's Alison Testroete tarried to pursue the escapees and they were reabsorbed just before a healthy cash prime. As smooth as butter on the cobbled course, Lauren Ellis flew onto the sprint train and covered Erin Willock's counter, spreading out the oxygen starved field leading into the next $600 crowd prime. With Maclean hovering like a well-crafted Zeppelin, Ellis maneuvered into position in the hair-pin turn before calamity struck. Maclean's seat broke, and sensing Maclean's sudden absence, Ellis rocketed out of the front fold and gained a 5 second advantage. Cheerwine's Sarah Bamburger drove the front and with Grain glued to her wheel, Grain jumped out to just clip Ellis on the line.

At two to go the Genius-sheathed duo of Ruth Corset and Pryde propelled to the front setting up for the concerto. As Willock built up steam, Pryde jockeyed position with Corset on her wheel. Approaching the final turn, Corset confidently slipped onto the wheel of Cheerwine speedster, Kelly Benjamin. As Grain launched in the sprint with Benjamin and Corset, Pryde hesitated to create a gap that saw the three jump clear on the finish stretch. With fever pitch, the three hit the line stretched across the road with their scabbard's lunging forward for the victory. In a dramatically close finish, Grain took a popular hometown victory over Benjamin and Corset was third, who now has shown she has a rather handy pair of sprinter's pins to match her climbing prowess.

Tonight the quartet move to Burnaby for another evening event before the start of tomorrow's Tour de Whiterock.

1. Gina Grain
2. Kelly Benjamin
3. Ruth Corset
4. Alison Testroete
5. Lisa Howard
6. Jenny Trew
7. Melissa Sanborn
8. Susy Pryde
9. Lara Kroepsch
10. Monique Hanley

Salvaging a few hours respite following the 'Gastown' extravaganza, the Jazz Apple four jetted to the podium again in Vancouver's, Giro de Burnaby on Thursday.

The lithe and incredibly improved, Lauren Ellis smoked out of the bunch time and again in an effort for a breakaway while eventual third place finisher, Ruth Corset took a day adopting a plucky sprinter's spirit. Ellis's brazen strength fortuitously minced the field into a bit-sized group, and Maclean and Pryde were able to sprint for cash primes with Pryde snaring the evening's crowd prime. Approaching the line, Corset lept from the clutches of the field with Cheerwine's, Kelly Benjamin and Webcor's, Gina Grain reacting in unison. The ending was nothing short of the dramatic, nail-biting kind but the photo finish established that Corset was unable to hold off the pair, with Benjamin taking the victory over Grain and Corset.


Jazz Apple's Lauren Ellis torched the field in the concluding stage of the Tour de Whiterock leaving the field badly charred on the abrupt slopes of yesterday's race circuit set on Whiterock Bluff.

As attrition was beginning to bite hard on the unforgiving course, Ellis and Pryde drove a break of 6 that included Corset over the crest of the day's most difficult incline. Ellis catapulted from the wilting cluster as the few converged on the quickly approaching QOM hill, and only heads hung low in response. In an incredible display of strength, the 19 year old proceeded to crest climb after climb on the 10km circuit alone with only the Pacific zephyrs accompanying her crusade. As Ellis' lead extended to over 3 minutes, tour leader, Corset and Pryde settled in to the coveted role out of the wind, nullifying any threats to the growing lead. Willfully crunching through the taxing two and half hour event, Ellis had abundant time to enjoy an emphatic victory in front of the marvelling crowd. The remnants of the field appeared over 3 minutes later with Pryde leading out Corset into the finish. Corset nailed second place and Giant's Stephanie Roorda was third over Cheerwine's Sarah Bamburger.

Enhancing the morning's outing, Corset secured the overall Whiterock victory with her impressive sprinting and climbing consistancy, spelling the end to Jazz Apple's most successful BC Superweek yet having swooped two overall wins in Delta and Whiterock, as well as podium finishes in Gastown and Burnaby.

Thank you to our loyal and splendid sponsors and supporters, we're but a bockety wheel without you.

Jazz Apple/ ENZA

Champion Systems Clothing

Genius Bikes



MET Helmets

Lake Shoes

JCL Construction/ BioVapor


The Linder family

The Duffy family

The Jazz Apples got some great media coverage in North America - a great pity that they aren't better supported by BikeNZ and the NZ media, as they have achieved some superb results and helped develop some stars of women's road racing - names I'm sure we'll all se a lot more of!

Here are some links to some of this coverage:
The Province
Global BC

Before the last few races Emma headed off to South Africa to do Junior Worlds. Ruth has begun her trek to France to race Limousin with Australia, and Malindi and Lauren are heading back to Monterey tomorrow for a couple of weeks. Everyone was so awesome and we had a really super time. Everything looks super stellar again for another year of Jazz Apple, so we're excited.

Congratulations to Susy, Ruth, Ali, Emma, Malindi, Belinda, Lauren and Chris for providing us all with some great racing and super results. I'm stoked to be associated in some small way with this incredible Team and look forward to many future adventures with the Jazz Apples!

Cheers, Oli

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bikes and wheels and stuff...

As Le Tour meanders it's way gently around the bucolic reaches of France in summer, we beaver away in the gritty wintry urbs of Wellington keeping Aotearoa rolling...

Some people are rolling on these:

I built these wheels for a customer in Auckland. Wes supplied the Mavic CXP33 rims and beautiful Chris King hubs and I built them up using DT Swiss Competition spokes in a 3x pattern. Lovely wheelset that will ride beautifully and will roll for many, many years.

Earle had me build him some wheels in about 1998 when I was at Cycle Services, but after years of hard thrashing on harsh Wairarapa roads his much loved Ambrosio rim had finally given up the ghost by cracking around the eyelet. He scoured the web and eventually found a replacement in the UK, so I rebuilt his Campagnolo Record hub into it.

Then it was time to build this lovely Litespeed Sewanee. A full XT build kit, including wheelset, and finishing kit from Thomson, Ritchey, Fizik and Maxxis makes for a stunning 25lb fully.

I built up this wheel for a custy just today. A DT EX5.1d rim on a Chris King bolt-on hub, using black DT Comp spokes and aluminium nipples. Burly, but not too bad weight wise...

Next up were these wheels. My friend Alex has just bought a very cool Salsa La Cruz cyclocross frame, which he has lovingly assembled.

It was completed by this pair of spline-disc compatible XT hubs laced into Mavic Open Pro rims just in time for Alex to schralve his rig bigtime yo.

Then I was fortunate enough to be let loose on this fruity triathlon bike. Quintana Roo are a well-respected and long serving name in tri circles, but this is the first one I've ever built. Mainly Dura-Ace equipped it was beautifully specced and professionally finished...

I'm not sure if these wheels will be the race wheels for the QR, but I thought I'd post them as they're not too common in New Zealand. They are called Topolino wheels and are manufactured out of carbon fibre with kevlar spokes.

Now for the latest from the Jazz Apples. Every time I get one of these updates a little piece of me dies - I SHOULD BE THERE DAMMAT!! Seriously, it's just so cool to be treated as part of the Team still, and cooler still to see how awesomely they are racing! Yep, the Team successfully defended the Tour de Delta yellow jersey. Great job, Ruth!

Despite a skirmish or two in stage two of the Tour de Delta, the Jazz Apple Team forced a late break in the Ladner criterium to maintain their hold on the yellow fleece on Saturday. Thanks to someone's unrestrained paw on the prime bell, lap after lap prime chimes inflicted the sting of single-file concentration upon the herd of riders. In timely, ever-present fashion, Lauren Ellis marshalled all moves at the front managing to contain any serious threats. That was until tour leader Ruth bounced onto the deck in the major melee of the race. Ruffled but largely unhurt, both Ruth and Malindi gathered themselves in the pit, before Malindi took Ruth back to the front of the action within the lap. In the dying laps, Susy and Lauren bolted down the crowd-lined home stretch, piercing the group in several places. Ruth who was waiting with her boosters glowing and at the ready, launched down the long, fast back stretch with one and half to go. Only Cheerwine responded with Sarah Bamburger chasing on behalf of their on-form electric ladyland-like sprinter, Kelly Banjamin. The two caught Ruth in the last lap but were unable to respond with a counter, and Ruth sprinted home only to be taken by Benjamin in the latter stage of the sprint. Ruth conceeded 4 seconds to Benjamin in the time bonus but maintained the overall lead heading into day three's road race.

Tsawwassen Road Race

In the extreme South western corner of British Columbia, Tsawwassen's slopes lay home to a fishing village on Boundary Bay separating the States from Canada.

The Tour still only separated by small time margins, the 11 lap hilly circuit was reckoned by many as the single clear and present danger to shuffling the overall standings. Weighing anchor, the field drove straight into the day's first QOM within 1km. With amazonian strength in place of stature, Ruth advanced over the climb with the field akin to entrails in her wake. Reeling Ruth back after 3km, the field slowly chewed on the acerbic pill of facing Ruth's speed on the approaching ten QOM climbs.

As the Tsawwassen breeze strengthened, so did Jazz Apple's spirit. While Malindi slipped into any small breaks on the flat, on lap 7 Lauren and Susy struck into the climb, stringing out the field before Ruth flew by like a freshly released arrow from it's bow. Only Cheerwine's Sarah Bamburger was able to dangle on Ruth's velocity but refused to work forcing Ruth to drive ahead.

Unluckily, Giant's team of eight worked hard to bring her back and any counters made by Lauren and Susy only continued to minimize the group but all of whom worked together on the long gradual downhill and flat absorbing them and their efforts into the final stages of the race.

Although facing possible combat in a sprint against Benjamin, Pryde and Ellis continued to attack with Ellis then single-handedly managing to place Ruth at the forefront of the gallop. Turning into the final 300m-long windy finish stretch, Ruth drove it early, realizing it had to be a long difficult sprint or all would be lost against Benjamin's jump. Benjamin was caught off-guard being placed 8 places back in the fold of the group jumping to attention as the Jazz Apple jersey flew off the front. Thrashing down the finish stretch, Benjamin just clipped Ruth on the line in a brilliant duel of wills.

Second in the stage but arresting the QOM title as well as the overall win for the Tour de Delta (accompanied by a sensation or three of champagne) was reward enough for the Jazz Apple quartet, who now head to Vancouver's Gastown for the celebrated 'Gastown Grand Prix 'event on Wednesday evening.

Back to the workshop now - I gave this fine steed a fettle for Sepp the other day. Some new cables and a bit of a tickle up, as well as a check over of the PowerTap wheels I built some months ago. The Colnago Dream is an aluminium/carbon frame, naturally built up with Italy's finest components in Campagnolo Record. Gorgeous.

Lastly, my good friend Wheels brought me this wheel whose hub he was repacking. I built it on the 11th of July 1997. The braking surface on the rim is all but gone, the hub virtually ruined, yet despite obviously having been very well used for 11 years the wheel is still in perfect true and tension.

Forgive me this big-headed self aggrandisement, but I'm always stoked to see one of my wheels or bikes come back to me years down the track still in good shape. It's always been my ethos - to build with care and love, and to invest as much of my experience as I possibly can into every job.

Thanks for riding, Oli

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Catching up again...

After losing most of a month through illness I now seem to be getting back to reasonable health. Unfortunately, trying to push through the flu to keep working always results in major health dramas for me - you'd think I'd have learnt by now to throttle down before I get sick!

Anyway, having done none of late I don't have much work to show you, so this will mainly be a bit of a catch up on some other stuff...

Firstly, I'd like to congratulate Simon Kennett on his superb and inspiring completion of his Great Divide Race mission! I'm super proud to have been a small part of this awesome achievement, and I look forward to hearing how Simon's bike treated him - just don't talk about the granny ring falling off!

From the GDR blog:
Simon rolled into Antelope Wells at 5.02 p.m. Wednesday for a fourth-place finishing time of 19 days, five hours and two minutes. "It was a fairly tedious stretch of road riding here, but overall amazing ride. Lots of incredible, beautiful country. Exceedingly difficult riding at times as well." He wanted to thank the race organizers and other riders in the race - "great camaraderie there." He said he would thank his supporters on his blog. "I'm kinda glad it's over. I'm really glad I've done the Great Divide Race. Mission accomplished! Yee-haw!"

And from Simon's own blog:

Howdy folks

Just a short note to say 'Hi' and thanks for your interest/support. Sarah let me know that there were people cheering me on and that sure helped during the low times.

I'm still pretty wasted right now. Although I only lost a couple of kilos and suffered no significant injuries, my fingers (and other bits) are a bit numb, and my brain is exhausted, too. The main feeling at the finish was relief, with a fair degree of satisfaction at cracking 20 days. Hopefully there is more satisfaction yet to come once it all sets in. I'm a little dazed. The last four days were very tough. It was a LOT more fun when there were other riders to share the experience with. Everyone I rode with was great company - Fred, David, Geoff, Keith, Carl and Jenn (and Tour Divide riders Stephen, Mary and Felix). And there were several ordinary folk along the way who were a pleasure to meet. That said, most of the best wildlife encounters and fastest days came while riding solo.

It is fantastic to be back with family.

I'll post some photos soon.

Best of luck to the riders still out there.

Kia ora!


I received a couple of welcome updates from Chris and Susy regarding the Jazz Apples US Odyssey...

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix
Amidst the salt air of Manhattan Beach, the Jazz Apple Women's Cycling Team opted to lacquer on the race aggression over the sunscreen for the annual Manhattan Beach Grand Prix.

The Team pre-M.B.G.P. - Lauren, Emma, Ruth, Malindi, Ali and Susy

Five laps into the race, only cash and product primes doctored up the pace, that was until Ruth went on the offensive, making a clear break on the rolling wind-swept course. The field responded promptly but was quickly countered by Lauren, the 19 year youngster who promptly demonstrated she is in dangerous form, screeching out of the group with only a single rider able to follow.
Sensing imperilment, the Cheerwine train ventured to the front for their dynamic sprinters, Laura Van Gilder and Kelly Benjamin, and their crew concertedly chased down the attack. But Lauren was on remarkable form, able to respond to the immediate counter, sprinting for the forthcoming prime. Tibco then threw down their 'full house' hand, clambered to the front, pulling back Lauren from her spirited foray. Ruth had no time to tarry, and escaped off the front at the critical moment of the catch sending the Jazz Apple jersey off the front yet again.

Thirty five minutes into the fifty minute event, Ruth was joined by two riders, and the field began to signal their state of lethargy with increasing hesitation in the chase. Only a hefty prime prize instigated a flurry of attacks, which brought back Ruth's lead group before Susy went away with longtime ex-team-mate, Pam Schuster of team Helen's. The duo worked well together and stayed away for the longest surviving break, caught 10 laps before the finish. Ruth countered, signaling that the Jazz Apple contingent were not going to leave anything in the tank by race end, and forced all the major players to bring it back together.
Saving a trump card for the finale, Ali Shanks rocketed from the bunch, going solo with 4 laps to go. The wind was a major factor, and the field flustered to get any organized chase together. Ali moved away establishing a strong gap, demonstrating impressive power before leaving for Europe and the final stages of her Olympic build-up. However, Cheerwine and Tibco burnt up all their rocket fuel to bring her back, and Ali was caught with just under one lap remaining.

Ali's solo attack

It was then that Lauren once again hit the red blast-off button, leaving a trail of smoke up and over the course's short climb. The field panicked for a moment, and it looked like Lauren's move might stick before the experience in Cheerwine organized at the front and clawed Lauren back.

Lauren blasts off!

Into the gallop, Malindi was in excellent position on Tibco's sprinter, Brooke Miller who was the eventual winner but was unluckily swamped into the final turn and shut out of any placing. Emma Petersen, the team's junior racer had had a solid ride at the front of the race, supporting the critical moves.
The young team proved they were a force off the front for the entire race, clearly making the narrative for the prestigious Manhattan beach GP in 2008. Everyone was commended by their fellow race contemporaries for an impressive Jazz Apple display, and collected the fair share of prime prizes for their efforts.

The afternoon spelled a volleyball 'friendly', or as much competitive angst as the girls could muster post-race on the shores of Manhattan Beach.

Jazz Apple Winning Weekend!

Trading in the gentle seaside breezes of last weekend's Manhattan Beach for Northern California's torched, inland furnace the Jazz Apple Team blazed to victory both in the seriously tough, Leesville Gap Road Race and the Northern Californian Criterium Championships in Vacaville over the weekend.

In the 18th annual 108km Leesville Gap epic, every rider is certain to have a tale to tell by the day's end. Ruth ended the day with a crushing victor's account of events but certainly there is no doubt that everyone involved suffered a crusade worthy of mention. Susy joined the first solo attack of the day by ValueAct's Courtney Brown after only four kilometres. With a two minute buffer, the pair hit the 50km stretch of the 'Gap', a vague footprint of an access road now a crater-riddled trail scattered with long gravel road sections. At the first 8km incline, the duo began dodging the strewn remains of the earlier men's groups either repairing punctures in their numbers or resolving to pull over to stretch their weary limbs.

In the group behind, Ruth launched as the ascent steepened quickly joining the breakaway pair mid-way up. Brown could not quite handle the quickened pace as Susy and Ruth pulled away hitting the gravel road sections at speed. That was until Ruth punctured 20km later. With mechanical support caught behind the group, Susy swapped out her rear wheel with Ruth and sent her on her way.

Sidelined in the torching heat pending mechanical support, Susy then watched the chase group of four fly by with Lauren conveniently lodged on the back of the group. Malindi had suffered two punctures at the bottom of the climb and also suffered the wait for support. Meanwhile Ruth continued a colossal effort on her own, her diminutive frame deceptively continuing to gain time on the chase. Into the last 8km, Ruth had assured her win with an impressive 5 minute lead while Lauren was setting up for a three up gallop. Surprisingly there was one final 5km gravel road, with the three jockeying in the graduated gravel, the day almost culminated in disaster. Emerging safely, Lauren began launching only to be shut down approaching the final dash. One final jump, and Lauren crossed the line a dominating second. However, Lauren had inadvertently snuck a few inches over the centre-line in the sprint and was unluckily disqualified on a technicality. Nevertheless it
was an outstanding voyage and aside from being completely destroyed, we all quietly admired the pulverizing strength of Ruth's ride.

Loz and Lindills racing Vacaville

Vacaville Criterium
Slipping into our Champion System Jazz Apple threads, the body made every known firm objection to the idea of anaerobic effort for today's 1 hour Northern Californian Criterium Championships. Vying for the title were vast sets of fresh, Leesville Gap Road Race-free legs, calling for a careful plot on the 1.6km technical and rolling course. Staying close to the moves but out of the wind, the Jazz Apple crew launched their first attack with 7 laps to go. Susy was caught after one lap to be countered by Ruth into the course's 200m climb. Malindi patrolled the front and noting the field's muscle clearly faltering, Susy countered again to fly solo. Lap by lap, Susy's lead yo-yo-ed until a concerted chase sucked back the Jazz Apple rider on the final lap. Executing faultless timing, Lauren rocketed past on the opposite side of the road heading up the final climb with Cheerwine's, Sarah Bamberger chasing hard midway between Lauren and the group. Driving over
the climb, Lauren extended a gap and crossed the line in a very thrilling victory. In front of a cheering crowd, Lauren had her first chance to celebrate victory, all the more rewarding after yesterday's unfortunate finish.
Ruth, feeling recovered from her exceptional day yesterday jumped early in the sprint and powerfully held off the remaining field to claim a gutsy third place.


This week spells the last in the Monterey area as the team prepare to leave for BC Superweek in Vancouver on Thursday, a 9 day spell of racing.

Thank you to all our tremendous supporters, we're truly very grateful:
Jazz Apple
Champion System Clothing
Genius Bikes
Met Helmets
Lake Shoes
Joe at Forest Hill Bikes in Pacific Grove

And just today I got the very latest update...

Ruth Corset wins Tour de Delta prologue!
Ruth Corset discovered a new found passion for French bubbles over her native Australian favourite, 'Cab Sav' after taking a convincing win in the opening 3km prologue at the Tour de Delta this evening. Upon the starter's final countdown, Ruth struck her 'match' and blazed down the start ramp with her Grammo wheels humming akin to the 'winged-heel messenger of the Gods' in Greek mythology. Darting through the first tight round-a-bout, Ruth proceeded around the square shaped course with uninhibited tenacity, striking each turn with fighting urgency to fly up the finish hill with outspread wings. Finally after the last rider had completed their own odyssey on the course, Ruth was honoured with victory with a one minute thirty second buffer over second place and consequently dubbed "Super-Mum" by the inspired crowd. Ruth took to the stage with her usual modest poise, and upon being awarded the tour leader's jersey and champagne bubbles, Ruth struck a wry smile before showering the stage and whetting her whistle with the delicate French bubbles.

Proving her own spirit and stamina was up for the task, first year senior Lauren Ellis cut her own sharp orbit around the North Delta circuit finishing in 5th place, nano-seconds behind the leaders. Susy finished 11th after snapping her cleat moments into the race, and Malindi followed close behind documenting a sterling team performance leading into tomorrow's second stage in Ladner, Delta.

Ruth on podium

Ruth deals with the media scrum...

Hopefully the Jazz can hold onto the GC lead for the whole Tour de Delta - best of luck! Emma Petersen will be racing at Junior Worlds this week, so good luck to her to her also. And Ali Shanks will be putting the final touches on her Olympic preparations, so I hope that's going well for her...

While I'm on the international racing tip, my good friend Kris "Grom" Withington is working for Garmin-Chipotle at the biggest international cycling event - he is at the Tour de France. I've already seen him on Sky TV's excellent live coverage doing a superb job of sorting out Martijn Maaskant's rear wheel after he got his rain jacket entangled in it!

Here's Grom with British Time Trial Champion, David Millar...

And here's a shot Grom sent me of Garmin-Chipotle's New Zealand National Champion Julian Dean's Felt bike just after he built it pre-Tour.

Thanks to this blog I get lots of cool inquiries and interesting emails from all sorts of people about all sorts of bike related things. I got an email from Tony with a couple of cool projects he's completed/about to complete.

He just finished building this Montagner TT bike up after my friend Ross Bee restored its paintjob.

Montagner were built by Luigi Montagner, whose claim to fame was being builder to the Czech and Polish national teams in the 80s. Apparently, the rumour is that the brand went belly-up after Luigi got busted for importing dope! I couldn't find out how that all ended up...It's a lovely bike, regardless.

Tony is in the process of getting this very cool Chesini restored by Ross Bee as well, including the pantographed Delta brakes and 3TTT stem.

Next up is this excellent ride report from my partner in crime from Rotorua, Paul Larkin. Thanks heaps for the jersey, boys!

Team Roadworks Update From The Oh-Seven

It's long past time we updated our patron and mate Oli on our activities up here, so here's the update from Team Roadworks in the (07) – that's the Bay of Plenty.

Up this way flying the Roadworks flag are big T-Rex (Tim Wilding), as well as Paul Larkin trying grimly to hang on.

This weekend saw a great excuse for a Roadworks adventure: The SingleSpeed Society Poker Run. The event was a fundraiser to send NZL SS Champions Annika Smail and Garth Weinberg to the Singlespeed Worlds in Napa.

A bit of work at the Roadworks satellite station before the event saw a new hanger and derailleur fitted to Tim's bike (gears allowed for this race, but we paid a penalty: I think we both killed chains), and a bit of rapid voodoo performed on the Commençal – a new wheel built late the night before, after a rather exciting ride down the Exit trail sans rim pins or weld the day before. Running short of time, we rode hard over to the race start, chugged a beer and got in to it.

In a nutshell, riders needed to ride as many laps of Old Chevy (or sneaky parts thereof) to collect poker cards. Two bonus cards were available at the final gap jump, while another bonus card could be collected for knocking back a chilly Speight's ale between laps. These cards became important – a game of high stakes poker was run later that night to decide the "race winner".

Being cunning tacticians, a plan became clear: Tim would ride his Ibis Mojo at a rapid clip, collecting cards per lap, while Paul went to town on the Commençal, picking up as many bonus points as possible on the gap jumps. In true team fashion, both Tim and Paul managed to pick up lots of bonus cards drinking mid race beers. Indeed, it was observed we rode better with 2-3 beers in us. After that, Tim swore he saw a tandem out on the course!

The race started cold – with sleet, freezing temperatures and a thick layer of mud making things good fun. With nearly 50 riders, it was decided the "race" would be 2.5 hours, or until the beer ran out. WE beat the clock, and drank all the beer.

The weather was still arctic but for some mad reason we still wanted to ride, so picking up Emma, Tony and Marty, we decided to get another 3 hours in. It promptly started sleeting again, and a hypothermic Marty pulled the pin. Yellow Brick Road, a slippery, slidy jaunt through Pondy, and up to Billy T we four went. Thankfully, the climb to Billy T saw more rain and sleet, and a southerly that fittingly, was Berhampore-esque. Tony hunkered in a fern bivouac with a muesli bar, and slowly we all slogged up.

A slippery descent through the quagmire that was Billy T, G Rock, Chestnut at hair rasing pace saw frozen hands and feet – so much so that shifting and braking was near impossible. We heard today that it was actually snowing after we got in to the singletrack! Twisty goodness brought us to Pondy, before heading back to the carpark and bidding Emma adieu, before big ringing it back to town through rain, sleet, and eventually heavy hail. Frozen extremities and half hour showers prefaced enormous amounts of pasta, Burger Fuel, and a few beers at the Poker Night, where we played our hands.

It was probably as close as I'll ever get to beating T Rex in a "bike race" – but his full house (kings, queens) saw him edge in to second overall, with my own full house placing me third – not a bad night for Team Roadworks.

Next came the auction of donated items ranging from Fabien Barel's unused #1 plate from the 06 Worlds through to Marcello's infamous boxers. Scraping our pennies together, T Rex and I managed to secure a fine addition to the Roadworks Service Course: Julian Dean's signed Credit Agricole NZL Champion's Full Kit. Be sure to drop in (with a Havana Long Black for Oli) and check it out soon.

All in all, an epic day's riding, and nearly $6000 raised to send our SS Champions to Napa. On the back of another Team Roadworks training ride, of course!

Now if only we could get Team Roadworks sponsor Havana to set up with Rum and Coffee.

That's the bi-millenial update from the 07, but word has it a special edition may be due soon, with Oli himself heading up for a pedal.

Crediamo in te, Roadworks!

To finish off, here's Tom's very tricked out Specialized Langster after I fitted new Campagnolo Record brake levers and front caliper. With it's Cinelli RAM bar/stem combo, Record UT crankset and Reynolds/Phil Wood fixie wheels, it's hard to imagine a cooler blinglespeed!

Right, now I'm up to date. All I need to do is stay well enough to actually do some work to take photos of and I'll be back on track...although I do have a few crafty projects up my sleeve.

CU soon, Oli