Friday, September 28, 2007

Buck's ride

After my no-show for last Sunday's ride with Klink, a Friday morning G'rock blast was inked in and deployed for a 9am start. As the poor fella was getting married the next day, it was his last chance to ride as a free man (but not like Adam Freeman, who the grapevine tells me doesn't ride now? And is a pro wrestler in San Salvador? Freemo?). Tomkinson pedalled up in his ubiquitously languid manner, astride a new Yeti ARC hardtail... nice. Klink rolled up a bit later with the back of his van filled with new Stumpy goodness. Me and the Tomk tried to ignore the new bling for as long as we could, but it was just too new and, under the dirt, shiny to resist for any substantial amount of time, and Tomky cracked first and started to run his finger suggestively along the top tube and... um, where was I? Oh yeah, riding bikes.

The rundown (from top): Klink catches the 10.15 to good times ('Bus Stop').

Tomky uses his 'charms' (snake sunning itself on 'Shit Happens').
OK and Tomk in the undergrowth of 'Little Borneo'.
Klink leads Tomk up 'Shaft', as painful as it sounds when you're on a singlespeed.

Two ways to get around a switchback (JK and OK, 'Bus Stop').

We got a good loop in of the 'rock and it was a good little send off for Johnny before his big day. The wedding went really well, although a 9am start time? Could've been out riding mate! But a good time was had by all, congratulations Klink and Elissa, enjoy Hawaii and thanks for all the beer!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I do like to be beside the seaside

I've swapped cool, windy bays for warm, windy beaches, and fixed gear/dually for road bike/singlespeed in the last week. Kicked off last week with a Glenrock session with Col and Christian (photos still on computer getting fixed). Then a couple of solo road rides and another Glenrock SS bash with Steve. I regrettably blew Johnny K off on Sunday after a night on the tiles for Steve's 40th. And he had his new Stumpy out for it's maiden voyage, so I missed out on that too. Sounds like he loves the bike though (but not me!).
Col had told me last week that he was "tapering" for the Club Championships on Sunday. All for this....
That's what you get for looking-behind-for-Scotty-who-isn' respect for yourself Col.

Swansea Heads. Sometimes you can see dolphins from here. Not this day, just a heap of ships waiting to get into Newcastle harbour.

Heading down the hill towards Caves Beach. It's hard trying to take a pic at 45kmh, getting the camera out of the jersey pocket... by the time you've done that, the scenery has passed you by. I need a smaller camera.

Col's Tarmac looking over Caves Beach, towards the north. A seagull is fascinated by the amount of crap hanging from the handlebar, especially the string.

And south towards Pinney Beach, the old breakwall, and further on to Catherine Hill Bay.

Gratuitous arse shot of Col. He's got the lucky socks on too....

Our nemesis. Usually gives us a good going over, but couldn't be coaxed down for a photo, not even when I made Col ride underneath to induce an attack. Never work with kids and animals... or Col.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Yeah yeah, I'm back in Aus. I've been on a few rides. I have pics. But my computer decided to expire and it's in the shop til Monday at least. Then you'll get something to look at. Hasta luego.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thank you and good night

Today sees the end of the NZ Experiment Part One. I fly back to Australia this afternoon for a month to catch up with family, friends and cats n dogs and to celebrate Steve's 40th and Klink's nuptials. And in a role reversal, I'll be riding my singlespeed mtb and my geared road bike while I'm there. The fixie and Stumpy stay here, and I'll probably bring the roady back too for some of the big road events that are on in the next few months. Perfect training for the Mt Vic race and Karapoti. Wellington has certainly got into my blood, and I've made some great friends with whom I've drank some great beers in some cool bars. The riding has been top-notch too, but I want to do so much more and the summer looks to be promising for that. On Wednesday night I took my last spin around Makara, and a good bunch turned out, including Josh, his brother Paul, Amy and Clare, Hadley, and a couple of others whose names escape me. It was well windy up on the Peak, so Ridgeline was avoided and I got to ride Aratihi in reverse for the first time. Ridgeline Extension and Swigg/Starfish just rock so hard that the smiles take awhile to dissipate after finishing up the ride. Thursday evening was drinks for Josh finishing up at Crankworks before coming back to On Yer Bike, and Friday was my little gathering, my last 'Friday Brews' for now. We've been organisind after work drinks on Fridays for about six weeks now, with the aim to try a different bar each week. So far we've done the Bristol, Bar Bodega, Perret's Corner, Tupelo, and Hope Bros the last two weeks. thanks to Karen for picking Mike and I up at all hours of the night... I've got a plane to catch, I'll see you in Oz.

How did I miss this band first time around? I heard them on late night Alt Tv a few weeks back, but they no longer exist. Who said Swedes can't rock?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The 6-speed experiment: F

After a few months of running his Stumpy hardtail as a singlespeed, Josh decided to tinker with his Hope hub and turn it into a 6 speed. He ran an Ultegra 10 speed cassette broken down into a 13-21 I think, with a Tiagra road derailleur and a DMR chainguide up front.
The verdict? "Neither here nor there." The fact that you are shifting but not really getting much mechanical gain through such a small selection of gears rendered the experiment a big 'F', and the little vegetarian was seen sporting a full complement of cogs at Makara last night. Top marks for effort and wasting time and money though.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Got to take the new 08 Stumpjumper FSR Expert test bike out for a spin up Makara on Monday. The wind was howling but the trails are nice and dry at last, and I pretty much had the place to myself. Is that a Yeti? No, but the test colour looks pretty good, better than the colour the production bikes come in I think. Turned a few heads in the car park and looks good on the trail.
Aratihi, looking from Ridgeline. You don't realise how far you have to climb to get to the top, but it's not too steep and the ride back down is worth it.
Ridgeline extension. I got blown off the bike on an uphill pinch near the top. The wind even down lower was strong enough to blow my camera off the table. The hill in the background is near the top of the Peak, and Ridgeline comes from up there.
Most of the ride was spent thinking about how the bike was in comparison to mine, and also how those (long) shorts I'm wearing feel, as I'm reviewing them for Mountain Biking Australia. Bike: awesome. Shorts: too long. Riding a bike in the bush on a day off work: Priceless.

Yeah Na on the streets (and the box)

The yeah na phenonemon is out of control. I noticed this on a wall in Oriental Parade on the way to work. It even features at the end of this Toyota commercial.