Friday, December 30, 2011

Go Ahead, Merak My Day.

This year I has been mostly fixing bicycles.

Photo courtesy of Graeme Perry

I has built an Olmo for Greg.

Thanks for the kind gift, Greg!

I has also been building many wheels.

Here is a good place to say thanks to my good friend Jonty Ritchie, Grand Panjandrum of the lovely Revolution Bicycles in Northland, for our symbiotic wheelwork relationship. Jonty trusts in my ability to turn out a decent wheel and gives me heaps of fun ones to build, for which I'm very appreciative.

Usually, this process is easy for us both (he doesn't have to worry about building the wheels, and I don't have to worry about arranging anything!) but this particular job caused quite some consternation for us both, and involved something I've never seen before in over thirty years of building wheels...I had laced the wheel and got to the first, early stages of truing and tensioning it, so I put it in the stand to begin to tune it prior to the first destressing. Suddenly and, with a noise like a submarine groaning after a hearty depth-charging, the hub torqued and twisted before my very eyes!

As a used hub we speculate the pressures of running fixed in previous iterations had caused fatigue in the hub shell that simply couldn't take being destressed then stressed again. All's well that ends well though, as Jonty came up with a replacement hub that built up without a hitch.

For our good mate Ian, Jonty specced some Velocity A23s onto DT240s for an affordable wider rim option without sacrificing durability or adding too much weight.

One of the final jobs for me of 2011 was also via Jonty, by special request from our mate Hamish.

Some stunning carbon-fibre ENVE AM 26" rims for his Turner 5-Spot. We laced them up onto beautiful pre-owned Chris King hubs using Sapim Race spokes.

Hamish is riding them around the West Coast as I write (assuming the rain isn't cramping his style like it is mine!) and his feedback on these cool wheels has been super enthusiastic.

I do also generate my own wheel business from time to time and here it is. This is for my Taranaki pal Richard, who had munted his front wheel in a nasty pothole incident (emphasis on "dent")...

Roadworks star adventure racer Dave Hicks was having a clear-out and kindly donated some cool old wheels to the cause of any future restorations I might do...the reason for the clear-out arrived safely at 5pm on the 28th of December, so congratulations to Dave and Robyn and welcome to the peloton, Jack!

Talking of Roadworks stars, I'd like to thank T-Rex and his partner Tamsin for the wonderful pre-Christmas roastie they put on. Some friends were sorely missed, but those of us present had a top time...thanks to Tim for another great season - here he is collecting his biggest win of the year, the Australian Singlespeed Championship.

Thanks also to John Randal for another great year also, a year of results as varied as the events John loves to ride! Here he is on the way to a superb 4th place in the tough two-lap Taupo Enduro.

The Roadworks Team is tied together by these great gents, along with sterling support from top chaps such as Jonty, Paul Larkin, Dave Livesey, Alex Tashkoff and Joel Healy, to name too few. I'm so very fortunate to have you all somehow put up with me despite my many foibles, and I'm so lucky to have such good friends to help me make it through what have been all too often very dark times. Thanks and arohanui.

Some of the support I'm so very blessed and humbled to get even comes from far away. From overseas I get sent lots of positivity by my old mate Eoin. His talented daughter Tahlay is continuing to make inroads into her ambitions to represent Australia. Here's an awesome picture of her laying out a beatdown on her beast Colnago in a crit in Perth, WA. Go hard and much success, Tahlay!

A long-time friend but only recent wearer of the Roadworks azure is Roadworks Track Squad leader Peter Moore...

...who won the Stayers Cup for veterans at the recent Laykold Cup Track Carnival run by PNP. Congratulations, Peter!

Peter isn't just a trackie though, he's also a good rouleur. Here he is riding to a well-deserved 11th place in December's prestigious Rice Mountain Classic.

Wait, here are another pair of wheels I has builded! Chris brought me some CK hubs and Open Pro rims to whittle up for his fine Bergamont road bike he rides in between putting in many hours of trail work as part of the committed gang that built the lovely Transient.

One of my favourite builds of 2011 would have to be this stunning De Rosa Merak...

...which I absolutely loved doing.

Some of you may have noticed my Jersey (Cap/T-shirt) of the Week sidebar feature. I recently was able to borrow a jersey off my friend Selwyn to create a little vignette I've long wanted to create, but have always lacked the apparel for. Cheers, Sel, and thanks to Jonty for letting me denude his wall in the process.

The jersey.

And the vignette.

I got many lovely gifts this Christmas, but one of the best was in the form of a book compiled by my friend Max and given to me by his Dad Jim that contained a photo of some of my most precious artifacts. Like Graeme who took the opening shot of this blog post, Max is training to be a photographer and in both cases it is very cool to see my own life through someone else's eyes. Go to "These Things Of Mine" for more info.

Photo courtesy of Max Scott-Murray

As Christmas hurtled rapidly towards us all in a rabid frenzy of consumption, I sheltered as best as possible in the Sanctum Sanctorum of The Batcave finishing the working year off with Hamish's Enve wheels, but also with giving Head Like A Hole bassist Tallbeast's Surly Pacer some love after he de-singlespeeded it but ran out of tools to finish the job - he's a better mechanic than I am a bass player, by a massive shot.

Mark had booked me to finish stripping his old Turner Sultan that had unfortunately sustained a crack, and to build up his new warranty replacement frame complete with the latest reinforcing Gordon Gusset.

Mark has kindly lent me his new Hadley tool set on an ongoing arrangement, so it will be nice to be able to work on these hubs in house instead of having to send them away whenever they need a service.

After a last minute cancellation I was finally able to fit another of my favourite jobs of the year, Bill's beautiful Colnago Master Olympic. When I picked it up from his work he kindly donated me some late-80s Campagnolo Kristal grease to add to my collection of Italian lubriciousness.

So, once I had utterly stripped the bike to the bare bones, I used the Kristal to service the hubs, headset, bottom bracket and other areas that need grease as I re-assembled it back to full Oli-level Colnago-ness.

Some detail shots follow:

Seat cluster.

Seatstay bridge.

Lower head lug.

The ITM Eclypse handlebar stem I dug out of my spares to replace the too long Ritchey one the bike came with. It's made of chromed Columbus steel for extra-cool factor +10, and fits the aesthetic better too as a bonus side effect.

Head logo. I never tire of this one.

And Bill's bike ready for summer and anything else he can throw at it.

Thanks to everyone who has featured in the blog, and also to those who didn't for various reasons (I forgot the camera/the batteries ran out/I forgot to use the camera/etc., etc.) for the support in 2011 and always. Cheers to you all, you Kings and Queens of Roadworks, you Princes and Princesses of bicycles. Belatedly, I send you fond Christmas wishes and in a more timely fashion I wish you all the very best for a stellar New Year.

Cheers, Oli


sifter said...

Lovely post bro. As always, it was a total pleasure and honour to be along for the ride!

The Former and Current Self said...

An honour, and a privilege to serve the Roadworks banner, I say. Alongside my erstwhile colleagues and rogues, what more could I ask?

As an aside - a fine day repping the Jersey at Mt Buller today. If 20km ever takes me 3.20 again, I'll know I'm in the mountains.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to you, my brother, and all the Roadworks family.

Oli said...

Thanks, lads!

Jeepers, Paul! That sounds like a toughie...thanks for the kind wishes, and the same back to you, Bridie, and your families. x

Tahlay said...

That's awesome Oli, got States coming up soon so pushing very hard until then in training is a big priority!

Oli said...

Go hard, Tahlay, and best of luck!