Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bays Culture

If you're worried that my lack of traditional non-historical up-to-the-minute Oli-bloggage means that I've hung up my tools, you couldn't be more wrong. Even though I do always hang them up.

There are myriad reasons why I haven't been writing much, but they are all so boring I'll just plough on in my once inimitable style, showing you some of the jobs that have stirred my loins and yarning about the ride I have done since last we crossed paths.

Using some of the very tools you see above, a frame from Henry and some wheels and parts from Leonard I built a cool flat-bar racer.

My friend Udo's T-Mobile Giant needed some love.

As did his cool old Klein Adroit...

My buddy CJ was leading the B-grade PNP Balfour Pennington series after some strong work in his debut racing season, when he unfortunately crashed in training. Despite not being able to ride the last round, he still finished a valiant 3rd overall. At least while he was recovering he could ogle the mean Chris King 1" ThreadSet we fitted to his Eddy Merckx.

My friends Jonty and Thomas came to visit me one day, so we had a Raleigh cock-off. Thomas won because his was the biggest.

Anton kindly let me build him some cool wheels. Hope ProII hubs and Stan's Crest rims come together as a very nice lightweight but durable XC wheelset indeed.

David's boss DMR Trailstar was his weapon of choice for Karapoti, but sadly a bad crash meant that he and his bike needed medical attention - the attention his injuries required meant that I couldn't operate on the bike until eight months after the event.

My good mate Alex is also struggling with injury, so we took the opportunity to give his beloved Enduro a tickle-up.

Leonard got hisself a swanky new road bike, which needed a few Oli tweaks.

I gave this cool BMC SLR01 a pre-K2 fettle for Angus, who achieved his goal of joining the sub-6 hour club in this tough, hilly 200km race around the Coromandel.

Phew, I'm thirsty. Time for a coffee (thanks, Greg!)...

Like Greg above, and despite my not being able to fathom quite why exactly, people are often very kind and generous to me, like when I cried on my Facebook page after my Livestrong bracelet I've been wearing since 2004 broke. Stephen was around to hook me up with a new Power Band within a day!

Like most of you who read this blog, Mike is a passionate Tour de France fan. The difference between him and the rest of us (well, certainly me...) is that this year he got to ride some of the mythical climbs of Le Tour, as well as watch a stage or two. He kindly brought me back this trick bottle opener...

...and a cool Carrefour polka-dot cap, both chucked out from the famous Tour caravane publicitaire.

When I renewed my SPOKE subscription I was delighted to be given a loyalty gift t-shirt for four years on the books - I added another T-Rex t-shirt to the one I'd ordered with the sub. The decals were a bonus!

All my blogging about the Old Days seems to resonate with many people, and I have recently been donated two treasure troves of material to plunder for future installments! Thanks very much to Ray for his awesome collection of ICS, Bicycling, Southern Cyclist and more dating right back to the 1970s...

...and thanks also to Ewan for his cool collection of Cycling Weekly mags.

Luckily neither collection had been added to the piles of my existing mags that were saturated in the Great Roadworks Flood of 2011 - a major roofing construction fail a few years ago had finally culminated last month in rain being directly channelled into my previously safe and dry Archive Area. Luckily I only lost one box of magazines, although several of my autographs were badly damaged too dammit.

On a much happier note, my boy John Randal dropped me in a fresh off the press copy of the 8th edition of the Kennett Brothers "Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides" on the same day my Dave and Paul sponsored copy of Rouleur arrived - who needs money when you have friends like this?!

John also brought me a fun build project, his new Yeti ARC aluminium hardtail. As I write this he is testing it out in the arduous Le Petit Brevet event around Banks Peninsular alongside his Cape Epic teammate, Megan Dimozantos.

While John is down south I also gave his Colnago some love in readiness for his Taupo Enduro attempt.

Over the last few months I've built a couple of pairs of wheels for Graham's Coves, as well as pressing in the Chris King headset cups. He recently brought them into me to have a final check over and to shorten the hoses. They are sweet rigs, but he won't be able to ride them much as he's just headed down to Antarctica for a tour of scientific duty!

Here's his STD.

And here's Graham's Hummer.

Andrew's Blue was in as one of my annual pre-Taupo regulars.

Colin is off to Queenstown next week to take advantage of the gondola service that opens up the increasingly wide range of trails those enthusiastic Mainlanders are building. Annoyingly for him, a gentle 8 hour meander around the severely storm-ravaged Karapoti course led to an errant stick leaping up and tearing off his derailleur hanger and munting an XTR derailleur. Here is the new one - official X-Men gruppo, as my mate Glenn called it.

Chris brought me a pair of Chris King road hubs and some Open Pro rims to lace up, which I duly did using Revolution spokes. With brass nipples this lovely riding wheelset weighs a hair over 1600 grams.

I lied before when I said I'd been on one ride only; I've been on a few but I've been deliberately leaving the camera at home, as I was starting to get things all Sidi before Atmos and riding so I could take pictures, instead of taking incidental pictures of the rides I was doing anyway. I'm a bit OCD like that. Anyway, no blog of mine would be complete without at least some photographic proof that I do occasionally actually ride the bikes I own.

Last Friday was the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of the century, and I had managed to clear the decks enough to head out without time constraint. With limited time of late I would have ridden whatever the weather, but happily I was blessed by a classic Welli float day. As I perambulated through Scorching Bay I noted that I was nearing the 11th minute of the 11th hour of this once in a hundred year date, so I pulled over to take a moment's silence for Those Who Gave Their Lives in the Great War. I was joined by my friend Richard in this solemn moment, which I quietly documented for all time.

What a day...

After a lovely ride in the sun I finished up in my 'hood at Berhampore's latest business offering. Evil Genius combines two of my great loves, coffee and old vinyl. As this night was Vinyl Sluts night, I sipped an espresso as I perused their great and eclectic range of records, choosing myself a few random discs to take along.

After posting that last picture on FB, it was brought to my attention - or rather, I was reminded of what I already knew - that the trendy bottle cages on my Bianchi really don't work so well visually. Cheers for the advice Mr Tafi, and I trust you consider the situation remedied.

It's been a long time since my form has been good enough to contemplate riding the monster cross bike up Transient, but this week I finally gave it a crack. Struggling up there with little to no momentum hurt like ten bastards but, as my Uncle Anatole always said, nothing good ever comes easy. It sure was nice to be in the trees anyway.

This is where I would usually try and come up with some metaphor for the ride equating to the eternal struggle of life, but all I can think of to say is that the views are well worth the effort.

Thanks for reading, and until next time...