Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Move it on over...

After nearly four years of blogging on Blogger, I'm moving this over to Wordpress. I've been using it on Velominati and SPOKE, and like the look and usability of it better.

So from now, both of my readers should bookmark

It might take a while for me to get it up to speed.

This blog will still be archived here and linked from the new one.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Tracer

K-Man now has his new Tracer built up with a slew of new bits, after initially swapping the older stuff from his 5.5. So it's full XTR, Stans ZTR Arch rims on DT 240S hubs, Thomson stem and post and Fox Talas fork. Sweet. And it comes in under 27lbs... that's gotta keep him happy. Looks hot, K-Man!

It'd probably be a heap of fun to ride on these trails.

We (Mikey, Josh, Josh Junior and myself) got out for a pre-run of next weeks PNP race at Wainuiomata, there's some real fun singletrack out there. Check out Caleb's new helmet-cam footage of Spoon Hill, and other cool stuff including Makara and a downtube's eye view of a Fox fork in action here.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


No need to say anything, just watch and enjoy.

Monday, September 07, 2009


This monkey's gone to heaven... They may be older and fatter, but Frank and Kim's voices still make every hair on my body stand up. Can't wait (20 years is long enough).


Food (and beer) fuels cyclists, and I love both. One of my cohorts over at Velominati, Jim, has a wife. This is not extraordinary, but what is cool about his wife (Jess) is that she is a well-respected food writer in Seattle. And she has a blog. It is full of really delicious-looking recipes, and some good writing to go along with it. Gotta try those banana pancakes...

Monday, August 31, 2009

They're racing...

But I'm not. On Yer Bike was well represented by everyone except me on Sunday, with great results at the Makara PNP race, and Mikey (5th in class) up in Vegas at the N-Duro 50k'er.

I ummed and ahhed in the morning whether or not I'd have a crack, and went with "ah f#ck it". Shoulda gone with "umm yeah why not", as the boys and girls put in top rides, and it looked like a lot of (painful) fun.

Josh (here in 4th) got past Angry Clive (yellow) and followed in Jonty (black) for 3rd place in a classy M1 field. Why are they on the road? The race starts down at Karori School, and sorts the field out with a km of tar climbing before they hit the singletrack.

Ratas smashed the old guys for a win in M2, making me wonder how I would've fared. Probably not as well as him. He dedicated the win to his father, who has been ill. All class Karl, love ya work mate.

Marj keeps going from strength to strength too, picking up 3rd in Senior women behind two of NZ's best XC racers, and beating some other 'hotshots' too. She gave props to me and Josh on the podium for 'tuning her bike', which translates to 'forcing her to put expensive parts on it.'

Josh rails one of the last corners on Starfish on his "fast but harsh" hardtail Stumpy.

Simon from our Paraparaumu store was rocking his sweet singlespeed Stumpy 29er, have a closer look at it over at SSSS. Apparently he had a big off down Ridgeline when his front tyre blew off the rim. Luckily, the bike wasn't hurt.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

6AM Soundtrack

This is what was in my head on this mornings ride... truly old school.

So when I got home I palped this...

Talk about an intense breakfast!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

All kinds of wrong

Sometimes you just have to do things that you just aren't comfortable with, in order to satisfy a greater need. I need to ride bikes.

When I returned to Australia last month for my annual catch-up, I decided not to be burdened with lugging a box around airports and train stations at all hours of the night. After all, my network of friends own between them enough mountain and road steeds to start up their own retail outlets from their garages (and loungerooms in some cases).

Mountain bikes were easy to come by, and while they may have been Mongooses (thanks Mick and Youngy), they provided good times. The road bike choices were even more limited. But after busting a rib in the first week, I needed the low-impact, easy-spin option of the blacktop, and the only thing I could do was something I'm not proud of; I rode a Giant.

But not just any Giant, oh no. I rode 'The (road) Parts'. What the hell am I talking about, I hear you ask.

Years ago Col was looking for a new MTB, and he chose a Giant NRS over a Specialized Epic on the strength of the parts spec, rather than how the bikes rode. It became known as 'The Parts'. Then when he adorned his TCR road bike with full Dura Ace and Ksyriums, the logical moniker for it was obvious. Now Col doesn't like to throw old crap out, hence these two bikes, along with a selection of other museum pieces, still inhabit the mess he calls his garage.

So when I needed a road ride, I had to swallow my pride and ride The (road) Parts. But no more DA on this puppy, Col had seen the light a few years ago and got on board a Tarmac SL (and finally an Epic for the dirt) and some old Ultegra 9 speed was taped to the TCR. Col doesn't attach, bolt or fit things to his bikes, he tapes them, zip-ties them and binds them with bits of string and wool. (What's more, he's a doctor, so god only knows how he fixes his patients.) I was just glad to be riding, even if I was wearing his old shoes (a size too big) and my MTB helmet and gloves.

The pump rattled like a bitch, and after 100 metres I was stopping to look for a flat rear tyre. Col assured me the "thunk, thunk, thunk" was just the big bulging lump of rubber he'd used to repair a cut in the tyre's casing. 50km of "thunk, thunk, thunk" and a rattling pump is one of the methods of torture used in Guantanomo Bay, I'm sure.

But the bike fit me more or less, it was a nice sunny day, I was with a good mate, and all those things helped to erase the shame I momentarily felt. Cheers Col, adios Parts.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Weight a minute...

How can this (size Large, 8.2 kg)

be heavier than this (size Large, 7.7 kg)?

Someone needs to go on a diet, and it ain't the Roubaix...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Swap Meet

Here's a look at the frame swap of K-Man's 5.5 to the new Tracer.
From this...

To this...

This is a long way from over. K-Man is going to pimp this thing to within an inch of bankruptcy. Thomson stem and Masterpiece post are already palped, along with a Gobi XM saddle. Next up, new wheels, fork and XX gruppo. Prepare to wipe the drool.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First and last

Before I managed to put myself out of action in the first week of my holiday, me and the Kman took a trip out to Awaba to ride the new (to me) trails that have been built by the local club. It would be the last ride for Kedan's Intense 5.5, as his new Tracer frame was waiting in the wings. More on that soon. The Awaba trails are nestled at the foot of the Watagan Mountains, and it's a fair hike to get out there. Not what I had in mind when I envisiged 'Awaba'. I was hoping it was worth it. It was. The trails are cool. 100% singletrack, twisty, up and down, and more fun the faster you ride them. There's only about 6km of track built so far, but there's a lot of potential there for a cool network to sprout. It's just a pity it's so bloody far to drive to, and hopefully the scourge of motocross bikes doesn't get wind of the place and start digging trenches a la Killy. Check out this cool footage from Dan, notorious metalhead SS'er.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Finishing touches

The Resurrection Part 1 is now in the books as done and dusted. The old man's old Speedwell is looking probably better than it's original incarnation, all red and chrome and leather. I had a hand in its transformation, getting to wrap the Brooks leather bar tape and punch in the cool cork/wood bar-end caps. Now its onto the BSA track bike and a folding Peugeot 20".

Friday, July 10, 2009


It's funny how when you are away from your home-town for a long time, that everyone wants to catch up with you when you return. It's not a bad thing, but when you are on limited time, it's hard to squeeze in a ride/beer/chat with all and sundry. But I try. Today was the turn of Freemo, Australia's lankiest Nick Cave-impersonating mountain biking drummer. I'm sure he's had a growth spurt, or maybe I'm shrinking; that happens as you get older, doesn't it? We met up at Glenrock, and both made it clear to each other that under normal circumstances we wouldn't be riding after the overnight rain we had. But time's of the essence, right? Freemo unloaded his singlespeed from some sort of pre-mid-life crisis sports-type car (well, a Honda) and I knew I'd be in for some pain. Luckily he's been only back on the bike for a few weeks, but I was still in for some pain. Crash-induced pain, as it turned out. I hooked my bars on some Bitou Bush at the top of Bus Stop, launching me over the front before being crushed by the cartwheeling heft of the Mongoose coming over the top. Feels like I've cracked a rib, but Freemo's expert analysis was that I haven't. Still managed to get a good ride in though, slippin and slidin around the 'rock for a couple of hours. Thanks Freemo, next week I'll even it up (I'll ride my SS, you break a rib).

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Joining the Velominati

Getting bored with this blog? I am. I'll be posting from time to time in a new blog called Velominati, which is the baby of an American Dutchman named Frank, and which I've been given the opportunity to use as a sounding board too. Hopefully I can add something to it, I've been enjoying Frank's writing so far. Also trying to get the ball rolling over at SPOKE too, so I could be glued to my computer and tv even more than usual. Old square eyes is back.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Mon Ganso

Mongoose. The name conjurs different things to different people. BMX rats love them, MTBers have always been a bit leery. I was always in the latter camp, being unimpressed by their bikes for the last few years. Last visit I rode a Canaan Team, and was somewhat underwhelmed. So when K-man offered me the use of a Teocali Super, I was a little apprehensive to take it up; but as there was only a singlespeed as the other option, and with my fitness below par, I was soon loading it into the old Peugeot. In rather than on, as the 15QR fork was incompatible with my roof racks. Before I'd even wheeled it out of the shop, I managed to snap off the remote lever for the adjustabe seatpost. The Mongoose quality had me wondering if It'd make it back to the shop in one piece. But once I got it into Glenrock, all my pre-conceptions were quickly dispelled. This is a good bike. I had a blast, railing through the newly bermed corners on BJ's Surprise, dropping over ledges and roots, and it even climbed up Log On/Log Off fairly well, except for the tall fork wanting to reach for the sky a bit. I noticed the extra heft over my Stumpy on the climbs, but other than that, it's a bike that I'd be happy to own, if only it wasn't so ugly. Thanks to Mick at Gateshead Cycles for the loan, I'll get it back to you eventually, as soon as I clean it (and the after-ride glow wears off.)

Monday, July 06, 2009


Breaking your hip and still finishing only 7 seconds behind Nico.... nuts. The Downieville defence is on...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better...

...the big S brings out a new, better, lighter, longer travel Stumpy. 140mm front and rear, and 22 pounds! I know what my next bike will be.... full story here and here...
There's also big changes to the Enduro as well, this thing is a beast at only 27lb. This would be a great bike for Caleb and the K-Man.
And there's a new Epic 29er, but everyone knows 29ers suck.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Ok, so it's a Specialized ad, but it's Ned. On a Stumpy. And that trail looks cool too.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Darkness

It's descended on Josh. He'd been murmuring about getting a hardtail for months, throwing up pros and cons on a daily basis, before deciding to stick with the squish. I knew it wouldn't last; after all, he'd had the Turner for a year, which in itself is some kind of record. Then a couple of weeks ago I walked into work to see a stripped Flux in the stand. "Where is it?" I knew what was going down. And here it is. 10kg of carbon goodness, all dressed up with no race to go to. Pure stealth. Black as the ace of spades. Someone called it the Grim Reaper. The Turner took it's place in the shop, looking for a new home. After one ride on The Darkness, the Turner wasn't going anywhere. For some reason that has bemused all who sight it, Queer Eye For The Straight Guy were enlisted for the makeover, and pink cables were palped, making it a bike only Josh could love. Until today. It's back on TradeMe, but where's The Darkness?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Looks like a great ride. Best viewed full screen.

Asheville, NC from RAPHA on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I tips me hat...

Riding up the Tip Track is hard enough; racing up it is, um, not for me. It's for the masochists who did the Hawkins Hill Climb Challenge last weekend, like Josh and Marjolein. Not necessarily any more sane were Bella, Freda and myself who braved the wind, rain and cold to goad the suffering.
Stu Houltham turned up and set a new record of under 24 minutes. That's with a kilometre of road to get to the TT, then some more road after it gets to the top. That's quicker than I can do the TT on its own.

Josh wasn't far behind and finished fourth, like all good Kiwis do. He did win his age group though. Here he checks out the short shorts/boxer brief combo sported by Marco, who he just accidently called 'madam'. As in "excuse me madam, may I make a pass?"

What's it all about? Runners vs roadies vs MTBers, mass start on the coast, up the road for a km, MTB and runners turn up the TT, while roadies continue up some pretty steep tarmac. Fastest wins. Everybody hurts.

On Yer Bike's own Marj has been on fire lately, winning the Grand Traverse, Crazyman and she did a job on Melissa Moon up the TT. Who's she? Oh, only a two-time World mountain running champion. Under 30 minutes, on foot.

Did I mention it was a bit cold up there? Maybe if Josh had a lighter bike, a hardtail even, he would've gone better. What's that? Watch this space...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

R.I.P. Grandma B

My Grandma Bootham passed away on the weekend. She was only 100. Not a bad innings that. Rest in peace Grandma.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

At least someone's riding...

The cold is encroaching here in Wellington, and my motivation to ride is pretty low. Ratas has been laid up with some old-man hip injury, while I have no excuse other than wanting to stay warm. Meanwhile, in lifestyles of the rich and infamous, Col aka The Slug is in Canada, enjoying the warmth and some epic singletrack. Take it away Col... [Pristine scenery, but why do people leave their rubbish lying around?]
"SINGLETRACK GOLD that is. Miles and miles of it. Just across the river from downtown Whitehorse and only 4k's from our caravan park. A mix of walking trails, cross country ski tracks and purpose built bike track. And you can ride it all without restriction whether you be a Mtber, horse rider, walker, skier or whatever. And no interference from Parks Office. And fabulous tracks; up, down, smooth rolling twisty bits, fast downhill rooty bits, sandy bits, fabulous scenery. (dare I say frozen lakes and snow capped peaks). Even managed to trick Kelly into riding some of it. And followed by a refreshing ale at the end of the day."
Hands up, who hates Col....