Thursday, February 8, 2007

Posts from 22-1-07 to 6-2-07

22-1-07 I’m on Waiheke Island on holiday, but Simon Kennett is trying to bike up the TT 10 times! He wants to see if he can do 4000 metres of climbing in a single day as that’s the average daily amount on an 18-day epic ride over the Rockies in the US he’s thinking about doing. I reckon he’ll need someone slow like me pacing him or else he’ll go too fast and blow out. I wonder how he’s going?

25-1-07 Waiheke is great – swimming every day. But today I hired a bike and cycled round the island. It’s not such a big ride – probably 40-50 kms. There are a few reasonable hills in the loop, but nothing too challenging. I hope they never seal the road round the loop. It was stinking hot – I managed to go in the heat of the day. Stopped a few times to admire the views and eat. Took about 3 hours? The few cars were considerate!

2-2-07 Back in Wgtn. Had mum’s car so drove up to the Turbine and biked along to the Golfball with Anna (9). She did well, because it’s still a long steady road climb and she’s a little small for her bike and not used to gears. She stopped three times on the way up and none coming back. It took us about an hour.

In the afternoon – perfect weather, by the way, no wind – I went up Makara Peak. Just went up Koru, Sally Ally, Missing Link, Aratihi to the top and down the Ridgeline, Magic Carpet, Live Wires (difficult line) – all cleaned. Ridgeline has been made easier by people avoiding the rocky obstacles – and it’s always easier when dry. My forks felt very dodgy, so stopped in at Jonty’s and he pulled them off and lent me a pair of Surlys. So now my bike is fully rigid.

4-2-07 Got lent a kayak, so paddled to tapu te rangi with Tessa (7) – the first time we’ve been there. Catherine and Anna went in the afternoon. A bit breezy, but hot. Tessa jumped off the wharf.

5-2-07 Simon only managed six times to the Golfball a couple of weeks back. He did three up the TT and three up the road, then got called away to work. He thinks he would have ‘been fried’ by eight. I guess going up the road counts; it’s a lot longer than the TT, but an easier gradient – which probably just makes you go harder. I’d get bored trying to go up the TT more than once. I sometimes go up to the Golfball a couple of times in a ride, but always by different routes. Usually up the TT then down to Red Rocks, then round the coast and up to Long Gully and back round to the GB from the south and down the TT. Sometimes up the TT, over to Makara Peak via the Sanctuary and come back to the GB the same way and back down the TT. Going up twice is a good solid ride, but if I throw Makara Peak in as well it’s a big day out and I struggle up to the GB on the last climb.

6-2-07 Waitangi Day. Went round Karapoti with Ben Wilde and two friends of his – Nathan and Toni. Ben and Nat were on single speeds and I had no suspension. Toni had full suspension. It was a beautiful day – it’s lucky the Karapoti is so shady. Made the warm-up climb, but dabbed three times on the first climb – arrgghhh! Rode the first two drop-offs of the Rock Garden, but baulked at the third. Big-ring boulevard was even worse without suspension, but I made the third climb – so there were no dabs from the top of Devil’s staircase to the river crossing that completes the loop at the top of the gorge. I like no dabs. The others whizzed away down the gorge, but my upper body was feeling it by then. I think we did it in about 5 hours?

Stopped in at VIC cycles, which was having a sale. I like the look of the 07 Giant XTC 1, but would prefer a Reba fork with U-Turn, as I’m used to dialing down suspension on the TT. But they weren’t interested in changing it or in giving me more time to think about it (the sale ended that day). Sorry guys, but that’s crap service. It’s basically buy the bike or don’t. I didn’t. The thing is: I’m in the market for a bike and I’m prepared to pay about $2500 for a reasonably good hard-tail. It’s a lot of money (to me) and so I want something I’m totally happy with, and that includes the right fork. I also may need time to think about it. Bike shops who aren’t prepared to try and accommodate the vagaries of customers may as well just sell online.

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