Wednesday, September 29, 2010

These are a few of my favourite things....

These are few of my favourite things...
 A lunch-time lap of Dry Creek now that Danzig is pretty mucky.

Podcasts
Ideal for when you are doing a long ride (yeah right), or gardening, or painting the house.

This is one of my favourites, with US Legend Steve Larson, who passed away unexpectedly last year at the tender age of 39. He is pretty much the Forrest Gump of cycling and has achieved in all disciplines from Road, MTB, Xterra, Ironman. Its a great interview. http://competitorradio.competitor.com/?s=larsen . Competitor radio has masses of inteviews with all sorts of Endurance athletes from Rod Dixon and Lance Armstrong to Dave Scott.

This one is from The American Life. An amazing place for stories about things, some everyday, some completely out there, like this one about how before the US stock market crash, the company Magnetar brought up "toxic" debt and on-sold it, at the same time betting on its imminent failure. All completely legal, if morally corrupt.  http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/405/inside-job .

In this one, the Police install a new system for measuring crime stats, and before long they are "reclassifying" their crime to make it look like they are achieving new goals and meeting quota, something which is illegal. A cop disagrees with it, and wears a hidden microphone, right up to the point where they come into his house and have him "committed" to a mental hospital. The whole thing is recorded. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/414/right-to-remain-silent

You can download these for free via itunes, or stream them on the web.

Socks, a top and a multi-tool.
Everyone used to hate it when they got socks for birthdays as kids right? I know I did. I got these socks for the Kiwi Brevet and they are still going strong, I dont think they were cheap, but they are comfy and showing no signs of wear. Lorpen XBTC Multisport is the name.
You dont always have to pay top dollar to get a good product. This Kathmandu multi-tool has everything, including chainbreaker, a torxc and 4 spoke spanners. This Kathmandu "Altica" top is the best Poly-pro I have ever had, it doesn't get smelly, it doesn't get wet and it doesn't get too hot, once again, like the multi-tool, brought and used in the Kiwibrevet. We used the Multi-tool to re-true Sepps busted wheel during the Ride to Erewhon 155km event the other week.

Cupcakes.
Hmmm cup-cakes. Arent they lovely? Good enough to eat. My youngest daughter made these.

Look at thoses jugs!
The Kettle on the right in this picture has the name that was always associated with quality - when I was a youngster. If you had a Russel Hobbs, you were to be envied. They turned themselves off automatically, and they lasted for ever. Shiney steel with an important looking red button. The one on the right in this photo lasted about a week before the "lid activator" broke off. We got a new one. It broke off too. I think we put up with it for another two years, pouring the water in down the spout, then the "start" button broke off, so I managed to whittle down a close peg to do the job.... then it started leaking water all over the electrical parts.... It also made a noise like a 1989 3.7 litre Toyota Land Cruiser idling with the choke out. You had to turn up the TV 2 notches and shut the two doors between the lounge and the kitchen just so you could hear the telly.
And then, after at least two years of putting up with this monstrosity my wife brought home a new one... the one in the left on this picture. A Sunbeam. Well.... she wont tell me what it cost, but I dont' care, you can listen to the radio in the same room ! Right now that Sunbeam kettle is up there with my favourite things.

What should be done with the man that designed my previous kettle

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Its raining... and I dont care.

There is an MTB race on at the Wainui Trail Park on sunday morning.
Its raining. Its been raining off and on all week, all month, all spring, all winter.
Its poo!
But I dont care.
I dont know why.
I used to sit around freaking at the prospect of bad weather before a race.

Maybe its the advent of disc brakes?
Maybe its full supension?
Maybe its contact lenses?
Maybe I have a life now?
Maybe is the awesome trails in Wainui.

Anyway, its gonna be fun : )

Monday, September 06, 2010

Oonce! Oonce! Oonce!

Pre-ride briefing in the Cafe Lembas
How many times do you get to do a cool ride with your buddies and have a tail wind for 154 kilometres?
Not many, if any!

Oonce! Oonce! Oonce!
It was Matt who convinced us it was a good idea to enter in the "Road to Erewhon" event, not that he had ridden his bike at all in the last month, but he is a very determined person, and he never gives up, no matter how crap he feels. He has also done more 160km plus solo rides than anyone I know, so I figure he has to have a bit of the "memory muscle". So with that in mind we set out looking for more likely suckers to join our team. Given that a predicted distance of 170kms was on the cards, Sepp and Ed thought it would be excellent training for the World Single-speed champs in October. Yeeeeeeeeeeesss.
Thats snow on the mountains in the background

The rules were few, 4-man teams, leaving at 5 minute intervals. The start and end points of this event were a well kept secret, and were only divulged at 6pm the friday night before, at about the same time that it was snowing on the Rimutukas. At precisely that time we learned that we were to start at Raumati, and end at Alfredton (inland of Eketahuna). We could go over the Pahiatua track, or the Akatarawas and the Rimutakas. The one of us who had a PHD did his sums and he reckoned the hilly route was the fastest. The clever people with the local knowledge thought otherwise.... Fortunately for us we had a massive tail wind pretty much the whole way. We also had a secret weapon..... a high peformance sound system aero-dynamically mounted to the front of my aero-bars. This enabled us to listen to motivational music at appropriate times in order to get us through the tough bits.
Ed, keen to try his new
position courtesy of Silas


Ed Matt and myself all elected to ride our TT bikes, while Sepp rode his roadie. Everything pretty much went to plan except Sepp had a rear spoke breakage as we came into Carterton. Ed did the mechanicing with my Kathmandu multi-tool while the rest of stocked up on Coke and lollie water. We were spanking along at up to 50kmh at different times on this leg of the ride. Navigationally we probably messed up a bit by taking the heavy traffic bypass too early, but we need not have bothered, Sepp is only about 96kgs these days.
Still friends.... OK?

The last hilly segment over Dreyers Rock was a bit tough but we were sticking together as per the rules and rolled up to Alfredton to be the first team there at about 5 hours ride time, with an actual distance of 154. I think there was at least 1 other team who rode faster, but we got to ring the bell first, nah nee nah nah!

Power-haus Ed's top secret numbers.
( Dont tell Radio shack ).
This was a very cool event to do, with the emphasis being on teamwork, having a good time and beers and BBQ's at the end. Even the start of the event was all class with free coffee and muffins at Cafe Lembas at Raumati. There was a real friendly vibe to this event,  and no one took it too seriously, which is a real good thing. We need to thank the awesome Hutt chicks who ferried us to and from the respective starting and finishing points of the race.  Lets hope there are more events like this to come!