Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wild Supermotard styles!

No stone is left unturned while checking for the ultimate Brevet machine..... It was a bit lacking in speed on the Liverton road TT circuit last night.. I dont think I was able to get the neccesary cadence out of the fat wheels.
A measely 36km/h.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Before and after

Before Jenny Craig tyre diet.

Ejector seat button....

Moving into the bigger ring

A good use for my original Tune spider - 24-34-46 !

Some more shots of Aero-bars for the many aero-bar fans out there.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Wheel sucking roadie dog

The final round of the PNP MTB series was back at Makara Peak MTB park. Some awesome trails, but all looping all over the show and real hard to navigate without local knowledge. Most of the big guns had turned up in the crusties class (40 years +) except for Simon Kennett and Rob Kilvington. I think it was very close in points between Karl Ratahi and Brett Irving for the overall series, so Karl was amped.

The gun went off and the under 19, senior men and 40 plus were all off together. My protoge Tom Bradshaw just took off like it was a short course race with a couple of other 17 year olds in tow. Half expecting them to blow up with youthful exuberance I jumped on their tails to put time and riders between me and my competition on trails I was not overly familiar with.

After about 5 minutes Karl caught me from behind. I shadowed him for the first part until we came out of a trail and confronted with the alphabet soup signage at the first major turn, he went the wrong way. I yelled out and he was back on my tail until I let him through again as he was clearly riding the techie stuff faster than I was.

At some point we came out of the single track onto some wide open 4wd and a look behind saw the omenous vision of Geoff Knotman on his new carbon forked single speed 29er, grinding up the track behind me as he wrestled his crazy gear. He has great starting speed and had put some time on the other crusties. Karl and I worked together a little, but he was not holding back at all and eventually pulled away up the 4wd climb.

Into the first bit of single track I missed the turn and a senior got in front of me, slowing me down a bit on the reverse Aratahi trail. I attacked him once out of the single track and never saw him again. Next up was into the Leaping Lizard descent with its high-speed whoops, and the best part, the rough rutted Lower Leaping Lizard which comes out onto the Possum Bait trail. This was followed by a series of ultra-tight switch-back climbs that can only be ridden with 100% concentration. I only muffed one of them. I had no idea how far ahead Karl was, but we still had a long way to go.

The trails just went on and on. There was a lot of climbing on tight rough rocky trail, but thankfully, very few back-markers in the way. After that and it was into some wind-blown and open descents. I made a 50-50 call on an unmarked corner. It was the right call and eventually I was back onto a very open climb to the park summit.

A big descent came after this, and it was a long time between track markers, so when I came across two, pointing in opposite directions, on opposite sides of the trail I wasnt sure if I was lost or what the story was. I stopped for a while and eventually saw Clive Bennett grinding up the hill from the opposite direction, and asked him which way. Clive put me straight and it was race on again. Jonty Ritchey who was racing elite caught me from behind and we shot out onto the tarseal of Makara road for a bit. We then hung a left for a 6 minute granny gear climb up a piece of 4wd. This was Jontys 2nd ascent and I was only doing the one so I managed to sneak past him at about half way through the climb. Out onto Varleys or Zacks track, not sure which, and the gale-force wind was playing havoc on our fastly diminishing single-track skills.

Jonty passed me back and disappeared down the Ridgeline trail in front of me. I couldnt see any of my fellow crustys around me so just tried to hold my gap on unfamiliar trails. 5 mintues later and I came out of the single track.... there was no signage to tell me which way to go!

I was getting pretty frustrated at this point as I knew my less than stellar skills would have seen my gap on 3rd place close. Sure enough. As I waited 3rd place rider Brett Irving on his Niner 29er rolled up and knew exactly where to go! Left down Live-wires! I sat on Bretts wheel, as much as I could on the descent and we eventually burst out onto the tarseal.

I was feeling a bit gutted at having lost 2nd place so I basically sat on Bretts wheel for the next 1km and pulled out at the last second to sprint him like a roadie dog! We rolled into the finish and the next 2 or 3 guys were all in on the same minute. That was some seriously close racing.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Choppers, wetas and lots of grass

WOW. Round 4 of the PNP MTB series in
Belmont was pretty intense. I was itching to get my own back on the Wellington crusties who spank me around Makara, as I rarely ride there. Being a Belmont resident, local knowledge was my not too secret weapon! Having the "knowledge" meant that I knew I had to be first into the Danzig track, as there are NO passing lanes and if anyone falls in front of you, you lose valuable time.

I have never been shy on going for the hole-shot so I selected the appropriate gear and tried to imagine I was back on the velodrome doing a 3km pursuit. It worked. Into the first turn and I was already in first place, then we dropped around behind the shearers quarters and heading for the left hand gravelly turn.. Splat!! I lost the front wheel, and went gravel surfing, but before you could say "oh my golly" I was back on, and in the next 20 meters had retaken the lead and crested the rise and into the single track in 1st slot. Plan 1 was a sucess... Now on to plan 2... Hmmm... I didnt have a plan 2...

Rob Kilvington was on my tail and obviously cruising. We slowly put time on the chasing trio of Brett Irving, Karl Ratahi and Matt Farrar. Rob took off just before the top of Danzig and rode off into the sunset never to be seen again.

I just put my head down and just rode it like I stole it. Knowing what was coming up was an advantage, but not the technical kind of advantage like you get at Makara, more of a mental advantage, knowing when the gradient was goingto change etc. The other guys seemed to be making time on me on the descents somewhere through the kilmister block, but were losing it on the climbs. Awesome.

Last time up through the Pony Club I punctured after the last stream crossing and that was that. 2nd place gone. I had tried to go tubeless with my rear the previous night, but gave up when I couldn't air up the tyre. Bugger. I felt as deflated as my tyre. I aired up again with a new tube and co2 and took off just as Matt Farrar caught me, he too had also punctured early on.

The manic pace was taking its toll, I was already starting to cramp each time I jumped over a stile, and there seemed to be heaps of them! I fell into the old trap of over-doing it after my "puncture-rest". I dropped Matt but I think he was spurred on maybe 5 mins later when Michael Thomson came up behind him and woke him up. Both of them shot past me somewhere along the old coach track and the best I could do was keep Michael in sight on the Danzig descents. I grovelled in at about 6th spot I think, feeling a bit gutted, but I enjoyed it while it lasted. We were really going hard for a long time. Too long!
Andy Woodwarks photos here.
Nigel Sanders photos.
I take blurry fotos.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wednesday Worlds - BikeHutt - Upper Hutt

Looking for adventurrrrrrrrre.
Get out on the highwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay !

Some mid-week exercise action was deemed to be in order, and due to a recent infatuation with my Santa Cruz Superlight my roadie kharma was waning.

Wednesday night had came around, and the word on the street about the Wednesday worlds had spread to the Lower Valley.

The signs were good. Burst-and-gurlgars Mrs was taking a rare night off in her quest for ass-kicking perfection. Already a black-belt in one flavour of karate, she was also doing Tai Chi and Kung-fu. Thats right! YOU CAN PUT OUT THE WASHING TODAY MATHEW!
Anyway, she said Matt was allowed out to play so I was fine with that.

We rolled out to The BikeHutt in Upper Hutt and started with the pre-ride idle banter and posturing. Given that it was Mike Andersons shop, we kind of expected Mike to be there, but one of his hench-girls said that he had caught an illness off one of his kids and couldn't make it.

To our amazement a steady stream of riders of all shapes and sizes collected out the front of the shop and were all rearing to go at 6pm.

There must have been 30 of us at that point and the rules were laid out. We ride out (as a group) to Te Marua and ride through Whitemas valley and stop at the top of Blue Mtns. At this point it's gloves off, for the return trip. Whoever gets to the green sign opposite the Church near the Gorrie Road intersection is the World Champ, Upper Hutt styles!

Little Mikey Milner made the first move, and would have almost slipped away unnoticed, if it weren't for the wash his mack-truck like aero-dynamics were causing in the surrounding vegetation. A counter move on the Paris Robaix segment saw team "Go-Vegan" bridge back into Mikey's wake and make his puny move.

After a while Dan and the other members of the secret Upper Hutt death-squad started putting on the screws, while keeping an eye out for errant motorists who might be silly enough to flip them the bird. Over time a series of attacks came and went and at some point, probably through sheer boredom we let Dan ride away and get to the finish point first.

It was a fun ride and I look forward to the next one. The only sour point was being attacked minutes from home by a cowardly vegetarian when I mentioned my sore legs....

Monday, October 26, 2009

350 Ride, in a frock, on a bike!

It was my wifes idea that we should think about doing the 350 ride from Eastborne to Wellington on saturday.

She started riding a bike to work this year during "Bike to work" month, and this culminated in her actually doing the Graperide, a big turn around for someone who has always regarded cycling as a "vice".

Ever since then she has become very vocal in the "water-cooler" discussions at work when her workmates turn on the down-trodden cyclist!

We tootled on to Petone and teamed up with Matt, Mo and Zoe. Matt was riding a single speed, moustached-barred Colnago, towing a bike-trailer with a two-year old on board. These trailers are real head-turners and people's faces just lit up to see a sproggin getting towed around like this. A shame that this kind of thing is not encouraged in this 3rd world city of ours.

The Eastborne riders rolled in about 30 mins late, but large in numbers, about 170 I think? The Frocks on Bikes thing was happening as well, so Kay and Mo frocked up to show people that riding a bike didn't have to mean Lyrca and sweat.

The famous Kennett Brose and whanau were spotted in different parts, and a yap with Paul (also towing a trailer with a two-year old on board) revealed their new book about to be launched - ( Cycling Legend Tino Tabak) This one sounds great, and I cant wait to hear the interview with Kim Hill on National radio when it happens.

It was great to see a feminine side to cycling that I had never seen before. Kay got a puncture as we were about to leave Petone and instantly there was an immaculately dressed woman in knee-length boots waving a track pump at me! Awesome.

Unfortunately despite a C02 quick full and a track pump we still missed getting into town with the bunch. We caught them just as they cruised into the Wharf. From here it was down to the Macs Brewery where we ran into Alana Jo and Robyn Wong.

There was beer and chips, and gelatos, and when celebrity seismologist Bill Fry arrived with his $15 Healing Mountain Cat, there were more chips! Bills friend in a all-white Gimp-suit got maximum points for unsettling looks but seemed quite normal when he de-cowled. Bill and his friends had started their leg of the ride at Island Bay and went right around the bays to meet with the rest of us.

It was great to join in on such a fun event. One of the many things the riders were trying to bring to attention was the cycling lane situation in the Wellington region. We are so far off the ball is shameful.

Matt was towing a 2-year old in a bike trailer, and given the lack of a north-bound cycle-lane going back to the Hutt Valley, we were forced to ride back on the south-bound cycle-lane, and then ride the last 500 metres into the face of oncoming traffic at 100kmh. It was very very scary. The lane was covered in glass and debris for 80% of its length. Its not hard to see why. The lane is lower than the road and the debris travels down to the lower level. Where there is a gutter, the rubbish doesn't make it onto the lane.

Its hard to believe that we live in a country where cyclists have such a low status that this scenario is deemed acceptable. Check out the links below to read more about what the ride was about.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Belmont pre-ride - Not what youd expect...

Saturday morning I got a text from Team "Go Vegan's" Matt Burst-and-gurgler whose triathlete scum friends had deserted him for his ride.

Was I riding?
Yes I was. Get here asap and we would check out the course for the Belmont round of the PNP MTB Series.

We got 200 metres up Swetavacres Drive when Matt broke his chain... so while he lay down sobbing uncontrollably on the side the road, because now he wasn't gonna get to ride down Danzig, I mended it with my chain-breaker, which I always carry when riding with Matt, because he makes so much power, and because he is an american and he never carries tools.

We went down Stratton St (which was less technically demanding than Danzig) and up Danzig. Low and behold we ran into Marco at the top...

At this point I queried him about his course instructions which were indecipherable to anyone who was not a 3rd generation Romney lamb who had spent their entire life living in the Waitangirua Farm Forest Park.

Marco told me that my instructions were obviously wrong as there was a more up to date version available in his head, and also on the internet.

I pointed out that these printed instructions were fresh off the internet that day, so he downloaded the ones from his frontal lobe right there and then, without a usb port in sight!

Anyway, off we went to take the first hard left that went pretty much no-where so we returned back to the old coach road anyway, which was always the plan.

A few minutes later we were back on the trail to find that part of Marcos download was missing the instruction that mentioned that the park was in fact closed for lambing until... some date in the future.. that wasn't actually today...

Anyway. So faced with a choice of where to go next, and Matt's technical prowess ruling out the obvious descent of Danzig, we did the "Bridle track", which was mostly walking, as its very steep, and slippery.

I told Matt to stay away from the stinging nettle near the creek... and like a naughty child he made sure he brushed against some, which stopped him bleating about his goolies which had left a big dent in his top-tube after his chain broke.

By this time Matt and I had swapped rigs, ( I was now riding his pre-war FAT-CHANCE Buck Shaver ) and he proved to me how it WAS definitely all about the bike...

So on and on and we went and after exiting the creek we came once again upon Marco, and Hoz the Power-ranger who made Barry Crump look like a novice try-hard.

We told Marco we had just come down the Bridle Track and he said Nah thats not in the course anymore... neither is Weta or Big Chopper or Uncle Bobs Wheelie...

So with 95% of the course either out of bounds, or changed, or not in use anymore, what else could we do... We rode up to the top of the Trig then back up Danzig and down Swetavacres...

At least we got out....!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Paula Tesoriero has a new jersey!

In case you missed it Paula Tesoriero is back after her world champs in Italy.
A bronze in the Time Trial and a Gold in the Road Race to go with her other medals! More details below!

Anyway, the racing all went well. The Road Time-Trial was a killer.
Asthma went a bit nuts and there were weird cross-winds on part of the course (now I'm used to full head on winds in Wgtn, but cross-winds are another thing!) - but coming in with bronze met my expectations.

Unfortunately my Time Trial Bike frame snapped in travel, so I've had to have a wee sad farewell to that bike. She got bronze in Beijing and in Italy so has served me well.

The road race was the second event- and most of you will now know I won that event- and got the World Champion jersey. Cycling is all about the "jersey" so to win my first one (you don't get them at the Paralympics or the Olympics because the jerseys are world champ jerseys alone and winning gold at the Paralympics makes you a Paralympic Champion which is higher than a World Champion, but every cyclist wants the jersey so to finally have one is significant!). What was really cool is that just after they played the NZ National Anthem, they said it was also a celebration for Italy since I was an Italian as well.
Then the Italian crowd went NUTS!

It was sad leaving Italy and every time I fly out, I feel homesick for a few weeks after. This time it's no different. I miss the roads, the coffee, the people, the culture and the special bike signs that tell cars to give way to cyclists !!

All in all, it was a great campaign.
Despite telling everyone how lucky I've been to get through this winter without any colds or the Flu, I am sitting here wrapped up with what I hope is only a cold (damn long haul flights).

I had two marriage proposals while away, which is up on my usual one proposal every time I visit Italy!! This only ever happens in Italy.

Depending on this cold - training resumes tomorrow as we build for the Track World Champs in November in Manchester. Then it will be home and a break from competition! My pinnacle event for this year is the Track Worlds - where the jersey in the 500m TT is of course, the prized goal.

Thanks for the emails and texts while I was away,


Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I spoke with Gary Gibson, Wellington Velodrome Junior Coach, moments ago and he was “shocked and surprised” to have just won both the SPARC Regional Coach of the Year AND the General Coach of the Year. He believes the key to his success was, “Having such a lovely bunch of kids to coach”.

Gary is one of the Port Nicholson Poneke Cycling Clubs prized volunteer coaches and spends countless hours at the Velodrome and researching and planning his sessions at home. Gary already has plans to display his accolade, “It’s going to given pride of place in the track clubrooms”.

Athletes and parents provided an exhaustive amount of quotes to support Gary’s nomination.

“Gary has helped develop my track ability and nurture my passion for track. Every track session is the highlight of my week, and Gary ensures every one is worthwhile and makes me leave keenly anticipating the next session. His level of commitment goes beyond what most would be prepared to do”, Beth Balmer, School Sport Road bronze medallist said.

“Gary is funny he makes me laugh sometimes when he is teaching me stuff. He helped me and my friends learn to ride our bikes better and he helped me when I was scared at riding on the track. He tells us off sometimes but doesn't get grumpy. He is also my friend even though he is old.”, Victoria Ngatuere, U13 track rider said.

One winner from each region will win travel, accommodation and entry to SPARC’s national coaching convention in May 2010, where the winners will learn from and mingle with high profile regional and national coaches. Winning coaches from each region will also receive coaching apparel from SPARC and a generous supply of Wattie’s products. Gary said the juniors better hope it’s not baked beans but thinks the prizes are very generous and is elated to be recognised.

Gary is not paid but receives a huge amount from volunteering and often can't wait to tell me about the juniors achievements. Gary is a modest guy but is rightly chuffed to recieve this award and I'm sure the juniors would treat him like a hero.

On behalf of Mark Coburn and I from Track Committee and the PNP Cycling Club congratulations to our tireless volunteer coach Gary, who we are very proud of.

Rachel Anderson-Smith
Convenor, Track Committee
PNP Cycling Club
Ph: 0274039742

Gary also works with Peter Reynolds at Cogcycling.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A tale of two bloggers

I was looking at this site that I had been told about the other day. Having been out of the MTB loop for a while I completely missed its launch. . Its a very very cool site that tries to show all the MTB tracks around New Zealand.

I thought I would see who was involved in it, and clicked on a few links to find that one of the developers was a guy (Jonny) I used to race with a bit back in the good old days. The cool thing was that he has a blog, ( ) about his life in the US where he currently lives with his family.

That made me think of an american couple whose blog ( ) I had seen about their new life in Nelson after shifting from Oregon (Don and Angela). I found their site incredibly interesting, and some of the things they come out with are quite funny considering the reasons why they made the move from the US to the sleepy hollow of Nelson.

What is really interesting is that Jonny and Helen are doing the complete opposite in their move to California. They have moved to the big smoke, family in tow, while Don and Angela are not having children to lighten the load on the Planet! I figure that's why they have more time to post on their blog, no sprogs in the way.

If we didnt have blogs we wouldnt know what people think about our respective countries. Its the little things that I find the most interesting to be honest. But some things you just cant help wonder about.

I want to know how in a country with an estimated 50 million people without health cover, there are people protesting and calling the president a nazi, while strutting around with fire arms, in response to his proposal for some kind of a public health system!

I will ash Jonny if he can give me a laymans view on what these people are thinking, or feeling threatened about. I don't think its been well enough covered in NZ, we just seem to be focusing on the extremeness of it, without any explanation for why these people are nutting off.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Whats a Brevet? See below.

Simon Kennett, obviously inspired by his big adventure last year is going to hold his own event in NZ. ( )

Howdy folks

We are planning to run a Great Divide style event in the South Island - a 1200 km, mixed terrain, self-supported cycle tour with a reasonably challenging time cut-off. Here's a map and some notes on the event (below).

We are still working through land access issues, which may well be resolved by requiring every rider to carry a personal locator beacon, but we thought we'd go public now so that you all have time to sort out gear, leave, fitness, etc.

We'll set up a dedicated blog shortly and then get some serious discussion going then. In the meantime, if you have any burning questions or comments, fire away.
Feel free to pass this on to anyone who might be interested.

Kiwi Brevet

Proposed start date: noon, Sat 6th Feb 2010

(trying to get long days and good weather, but little holiday traffic).

Proposed course:

Start Blenheim, round Port Underwood road, Queen Charlotte Drive, Maungatapu Track, backroads to St Arnaud, Porika Track to Lake Rotoroa, Braeburn Track to Murchison, over Maruia Saddle backroads to Springs Junction, Rahu Saddle to Reefton, Big River and Waiuta Tracks, then backroads to Blackball, backroads to Jackson, over Arthurs Pass to Sheffield, Wharfedale Track, Lees Valley to Hanmer via back roads (?), Molesworth Station, Taylors Pass and then singletrack back to Blenhiem.

Approx 1200 km (note: our Google Map takes micro-shortcuts and under-estimates the total distance).

Approx 50% sealed roads, 40% gravel roads, 6% 4WD, 4% singletrack

Proposed rules:

Do it all yourself, under your own steam.

Riders must carry all their own gear (i.e. no domistiques).

No outside support (deliveries only to public addresses, no support from friends along the way). Prior to the race you may only post supplies to post offices.

Follow 100% of the course.

Riders must carry a personal locator beacon, and agree to cover the cost of rescue in the event they need to be evacuated.

Times under 4 days will be recorded as 4 days, 0 hours. (We're not after an exercise in sleep deprivation).

Riders must finish in under 8 days.

Drafting is OK.

When on public roads, follow the Road Code.

Cell phones OK, but must not be used to call for food or supplies (or any other assistance) to be delivered (except to a public address/business).

Call-ins to be made from designated towns to an 0800 number.

In the event of Molesworth Station being closed to cyclists due to fire risk, riders are to proceed through the Rainbow Station and North Bank road.

No entry fee; no prizes.

Some sort of koha will be requested for community charities along the route (yet to be determined).

That's all for now.

The Kennett Brothers
Office 523
Harbour City Tower
Brandon Street
Phone/fax 04 499 6376
Cell 021 0753 051

Distributors of Classic New Zealand Cycling Books
- Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides (7th Edition, out 3rd Nov 2008)
- RIDE: the Story of Cycling in New Zealand (sold out)
- Phil O'Shea: Wizard on Wheels
- Harry Watson: the Mile Eater
- Bill Pratney: Never Say Die
- Warwick Dalton: The Lone Eagle (out Nov 2008)

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Bah humbug. A very fun round of the PNP MTB series came to nought for me today when a slow speed crash once again broke my Formula Oro brakes.

What happens is the lever rips the push-rod out of the piston assembly and you are munted until you get the arm off to force it back in. A 5 minute job in my shed with the correct 2mm allen key. (Note to myself - put a 2mm key in my kit).
I was having a great old time dicing around the 4-5th spot with Simon Kennet and Clydesdale Kerei Thomson in the very competitive Master two class.
Theres a fair bit of difference between the bottom age group in m2 and the top, as this is the time when as old bastards (Ian Paintin excepted) we really tail off in fitness. I remember when I came up from M1 to M2 as being the fastest period of my life, but back in those days, you didnt get burglars rarking it up ; ) . Angry Clive announced that he is up to M2 next year so that's something else to look forward to!

The Makara trails are real fun when you know where they go and I have to say I am pretty envious of the buggers that have them on their back doorstep. Signage was very good this time, but pre-riding is essential on this kind of multi-lap "portions of loops" kind of course and I suspect that all the wrong turns I made were because I had used all my mitochondria for pedalling and hadn't saved any for cognitive thought.....

I know Marco prayed for good weather and went to bed early last night cos when I rang him at 9.30 he was in la-la land chasing rabbits. It must have paid off as the course was completely mint (apart from the t2 obstacle course) and the weather stayed good right up until the prize giving.
Well done Marco and crew, and of especially Iva, plugging away on the lappy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cyclo-cross in the Hutt Valley

Its hard to understand why, but Mike Anderson from The BikeHutt was a little disappointed with the weather last saturday. Mikes 2nd Cyclocross race of the year sported the best weather for an off-road event that I have seen since......well, since his last Cyclocross event on July the 4th!

How can that be bad?
Well Cyclo-cross (CX ) is supposed to be all about racing around a short muddy circuit while plastered from head to toe in mud and sweat.

There was plenty of sweat, but the mud pretty much stayed on the dry firm ground. The course was still challenging, and favoured the CXers more than in the last event, which had a short muddy hill in it. I am pretty sure Mike was hanging out for some more mud! Mike had the traditional CX man-made obstacles placed in exactly the right spot to bust your rhythm.

CX is a great sport for the family and spectators with a constant stream of riders coming past the start finish - most people taking between 2 and 4 minutes to do a lap.

Mike held a 1 lap kids race which could easily become a big feature if the word gets out. These courses are fully doable by any kid with 2 wheels, and you know that's a very rare thing in hilly Wellington.

Mike has a good relationship with the Council who are no doubt impressed with the state he leaves the grass in!! The numbers were down a little from the 4th of July event which also had a fancy-dress element to it with a very popular appearance from Wonder Woman. (More pix from round 1)

This time around there was more Coffee and and an impressive mobile Pizza Oven from NYPD Pizzas. Craig Madsen was there taking pix with Cycletech supplying extreme value for money prizes given the $5 cost of entry!
Well done Mike.

The saturday morning time-slot might be a tough one to fill with family's and kids sport but time will tell.
Top image supplied by Craig Madsen.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Formula Oro Puro brake dismantle/disassemble

There is an exploded diagram at bottom of this post.

The Formula Oro Puro disc brake has been around for a few years now. Its a very light brake with good stopping power and modulation.

The only downside I have found is with the FCS (Feeling Control System) adjuster, which can break, in impacts where the lever assembly is pushed "away from the handlebars". When this happens the push-rod usually dislocates from its seat in the end of the "piston" which is housed in the lever or "pump" body (as it is called).

You can usually carry on riding after forcing the push-rod back into the piston-kit Assembly, by applying the brake very firmly, in the normal braking manner, and replace the FCS adjuster later when you have the required tools.

In order to recondition the "pump" body you need to remove the actual brake "lever".There are two types of levers, alloy and carbon.

If you have the alloy lever you need to look carefully inside it. Above the threaded end of the push-rod, recessed into the lever, is a small 2mm grub-screw. This screw fixes the pin which the brake lever pivots on. Loosen the grub-screw a few turns and push out the pivot-pin with the end of a 3mm allen key.

There are actually two types of carbon lever, one has no grub-screw! The pivot-pin lever is "pressed" into place. Carefully tap it out with something of a slightly smaller diameter.

Although you have removed the pivot pin, the brake lever is still attached by the push-rod, to the piston, which is housed in the "pump" body.

Hold onto the brake lever assembly and gently but firmly, and with a lot of force slowly wrench the push-rod out of the end of the piston kit which is still firmly attached to the pump body. It is only held in by a firm "press-fit".

When the lever assembly with push-rod attached, is removed from the pump body, you will be able to see the piston-kit assembly and FCS adjuster are held into the pump body by a small torcx screw. (see above)

If you have broken your FCS adjuster in a crash, or your brake levers are no longer returning to their neutral position after use, you should undo the torcx screw that holds the FCS and piston in place, while keeping pressure on the top of the FCS adjuster in case it flies off after the screw is removed.

If the FCS adjuster is broken, then replace it with a new kit.
If the brake lever was not returning properly then replace the "pump-piston kit" with a new one, after coating liberally with the grease supplied in the kit.

Assemble in reverse order. This time you will need to apply a bit of force when seating the end of the push-rod back into the piston assembly.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Whakapapa, an attempt at skiing

The snow was great.
Day 1, white out and 20cms of fresh powder.
Day 2, more snow, 5 metres of visibility and slight rain.
Day 3! More snow, sunny all round but high winds so the chairs werent open other than Happy valley. We got in 1 whole days skiing overall and stayed at the Graduates Lodge. They have a great chef there call Paul. This is the view from the bathroom window on day 3.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wiggins hangs in in the hills. Tour de France stage 15

Brad, you were able to counter-attack the best with Armstrong Kloden strong. You done in great performance there?

Yeah. I have yeah. Wodga want me to say? I dunno. I dunno what to say. Yeah.

You proved to be among the best at this Tour de France.

Yah reckon? Well see eh. Theres a long way to go. Yah know, lets not get too excited ya know. Thats one day. Tomorrows another day. Tommorrow I could be last in the tour de France. Ya know. Who knows.

But, you are satisfied Brad no? You are highly satisfied?

Yeah. What'd you think.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ayup Roadie - Ayup Multisport revisited

I did a post on the Ayup roadie lighting kit a while back.
These lights are a bit viral. Once you see them you just have to have them. At least 4 of my workmates have them now, and 1 nutter has 4 pairs. Everyone I know who has brought lights in the last year has gone for Ayups, except for 1 person who opted for the grunty NZ made Night Lightning. More on that later.

The attraction to these lights seems to be the overall package. No one thing really stands out, except maybe their simplicity, and the weight. If you are a weight weenie, this is the system for you. The Ayups are so small and light that you can even mount the 100 gram 3-hour battery on your helmet and hardly notice it. The light units themselves weigh only 58 grams. This is where all the other systems come a distant 2nd place. The aforementioned Night Lightning iBlaast has a large unwieldy lamp, and the battery is large and heavy by comparison (to the Ayups). There is no doubt the iBlaast is more powerful, but that is the one thing it has over the Ayup. A very important consideration for sure. The Ayup Roadie Kit is now called the Ayup Multisport kit, which is pretty much the same, except you get 2 x 3 hours batteries instead of 1 x 6 hour.

There have been a few upgrades from Ayup in the last year, and they now have a dedicated head mount for night running and multi-sporting which seems to work well with their minimalist approach.

I had never actually run my battery completely out, so I decided to test it to failure the other day. You are supposed to get 6 hours out of the bigger battery, but 8 hours later it was still going. Admittedly it was a lot dimmer, but they weren't going yellow, just a very gradual lessening of intensity over time.

After a year my battery’s cord developed a small nick in it where the cord comes out of the casing. An email to Ayup and within a week they had replaced my battery. That’s pretty good service.

I think the next part of their arsenal to try is the new “gecko” version of their helmet mounts. The old one didnt agree with my old helmet’s worn out padding so well , so I will let you know if I get my hands a the new one.

The heavier 6 hour battery still only weighs 156 grams and is about the size of a pack of cigarettes.

Shown here are the handlebar mount, helmet mount, light and a 6 hour battery (and a ballpoint pen for scale).
Another review here from a unicyclist.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Auckland harbour bridge: the 30 year plan

How are they going to build a bike trail the length of NZ, when we cant even ride over the Harbour bridge?

Last weekend a bunch of people stormed across the Auckland Harbour bridge on foot and bike.

Listen to these podcasts on national radio. The first interview is by Rowan Quinn who talks to Bevan Woodward from the "Get across campaign".

The second interview by Sean Plunket is with Wayne McDonald, the "Regional Director for Northland and Auckland" at Tranzit New Zealand.

Hear Wayne McDonald say that the plan is to wait another 30 years before doing anything about a walk-way or cycleway.

You can hardly blame people for getting a bit militant.

Podcast 1.
More bridge protests promised if access call ignored. (Stream)
A protest group is promising more traffic-halting protests across Auckland's Harbour Bridge.
(duration: 3:38:)
Ogg or MP3

Podcast 2.
Protestors' fight for right to cross harbour bridge not over. (Stream)
The organisers of a traffic-halting protest on Auckland's Harbour Bridge aren't ruling out taking further action. (duration: 4:36:)
Download: Ogg or MP3

A link to a public address blogger who was on the ride.

Some very good video of the event from SportZhub.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How to remove spider from Tune Big foot crank

I have had this Tune crank lying around for a few years. It's never shifted brilliantly but I have always liked the look of its smooth lines.

I ordered a new spider in the hope that it might help in the shifting department. (From old-style down to compact). I probably could have bought a whole crank for the price of this spider !

My next dilemma was how to get the spider off the crank. Its screwed on via male threads on the crank arm.

The answer to the predicament was quite logical.

1. Remove the small anchor bolt at the bottom of the spider.
2. Loosely attach the crank to the compatible bottom bracket of a fixed-gear bike.
3. Pedal backwards slowly, with force, until you feel the crank arm move independently of the spider/sprocket/chain/wheel. Gently continue using the crank pressure, or remove and continue doing it with your hands.
4. Pre-heating the crank with a hair dryer may help to loosen it.

Anyway, it was a great success. Now I change my spiders as I need too.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A new wheel.

I've just built up a new front wheel. Its has a Tune front hub and a Stans Olympic Rim (335 grams) with DT Swiss Revolution spokes. This is 140 grams lighter than my old wheel. I guess most of that is in the rim. The Stans rims seem to be pretty popular around Wellington. Its pretty easy to run tubeless on it although I dont know if I am convinced of the merits of tubeless yet. I guess I need to try it again and see. Last time I felt it was a messy pain in the butt.

I have re-installed my old Tune crank as well, after getting a new "compact" spider for it . I had to "wind" the old spider off by installing the MTB crank on my fixed gear track bike and pedalling backwards!!! I am not sure if this was money well spent, as the difference in weight between the Tune Big Foot - (one of the lightest cranks in the world), and my old 1996 LX Shimano crank was 83 grams...

Friday, May 01, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kermie lives!

Kermie came away with a 2nd place in Pro Women at Xterra 2009. Well done to the pilot Susie Wood !