I like it steep

December 18, 2011

650c front end on my new Cannondale. It rides nice. Might ditch the double stem set up, or run some risers too?

Look KG381 Team

August 25, 2011

Picked up my new (well second-hand but in excellent condition) Look KG381 Team with full Dura-Ace 7800 groupset and new Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels. Can hardly wait to get out for a decent ride on this full-carbon weapon and see what it can do.

Gourmet Tuesdays

June 21, 2011

Salt and pepper squid x home-grown roast potatoes with coleslaw and sweet chilli mayo dipping sauce. I whipped this up this evening, not the most presentable but sure tasted good.

I’m glad our cops here in New Zealand aren’t like this.

Fresh carrots

June 13, 2011

I pulled these carrots from my garden this evening. I slow-roasted them in the oven with a honey-citrus glaze. They were delicious. It’s good growing your own veges. Each time I harvest something it makes me want to expand my “patch” which consists of the raised beds on my back deck along with a dozen or so tubs, mainly fish bins, which are proving to be ideal. They’re much cheaper than “garden specific” plastic tubs and are also more resistant to UV damage.

Potatoes

May 28, 2011

I planted some potatoes several weeks back, a few on either end of the garden. The plants on the unsheltered end were nailed by heavy wind gusts which caused them to become twisted and mangled. Most of the stalks and leaves started rotting after this.  This morning I ripped them out two sow some more seed potatoes in their place. I really surprised to find about 2kg of potatoes, several of decent size. This from damaged plants that hadn’t even come to flowered. I’m looking forward to digging up the healthy plants on the sheltered end of the garden in a few weeks’ time, they should yield an impressive amount of potatoes considering today’s harvest.

It’s been almost two months since I last updated this blog. Damn. My excuse is that I’ve been doing other things, like building a flat tray for my new townie.

“New townie?” you ask. Yes, the Claud Butler is getting a makeover. You might remember it from my earlier classic-inspired build, which funnily enough I posted up a year tomorrow. That build never really worked out, the geometry was really lax 60s roadie and no good for a fixed ride. The frame, with its 53cm top tube, was also on the small side for me which meant running a tall seat post and a ridiculously high saddle to bar height; cool on a true track or pursuit frame, not so cool on an old road frame with a shallow rake. In the end I stripped the frame and mounted it on the wall in my room where it stayed until now.

I’m going to run a set of box section wheels with a coaster brake on the rear. I’ll be ordering this wheelset from the States soon. Other than that the bike’s almost good to go. I have a spare set of low-end Sugino cranks where the driveside arm, spider and ring are all one piece. Not so good for high-stress fixed drive trains, but perfect for this townie build and coaster brake setup. The front rack is my own design with parts bought from my local hardware store. It’s a bit of a work in progress but will hopefully be strong enough to hold a 12 pack when finished.

More pics to come once this build it rolling, watch this space.

On bicycles

April 1, 2011

Man on a bicycle can go three or four times faster than the pedestrian, but uses five times less energy in the process. He carries one gram of his weight over a kilometer of flat road at an expense of only 0.15 calories. The bicycle is the perfect transducer to match man’s metabolic energy to the impedance of locomotion. Equipped with this tool, man outstrips the efficiency of not only all machines but all other animals as well.

– Ivan Illich

Used and abused

March 23, 2011

I think it’s time to get myself a new pair of riding shoes. I’ve got my money’s worth from these.

This is my friend Roei. I met him during my South Island ride. He’s near the end of a 64,000km round-the-world adventure.

He’s seen some amazing things and met some very interesting people along the way, to be expected when travelling through six continents and 39 countries on a bicycle.

You can follow his journey on his blog and read my story in The Aucklander here.

Roei is riding the length of New Zealand with his friend Etamar. They arrived in Auckland last week and stayed a couple of nights at mine before making their way up to Cape Reinga.

To talk to them about their home – Israel – is to have an eye-opening insight into how complex Middle Eastern tensions are. These two young men show a wisdom and understanding (although they say they’re no experts on the politics) beyond their age. Speaking to them made me realise how lucky we are to live in the relative peace of New Zealand. I think this is easy to take for granted.

Roei and Etamar seem resigned (perhaps realistic is a better word?) but certainly not cynical that there will be a World War III in their lifetimes and that their country will be involved. Although quite possible, the idea still scares me. Roei recalled an interesting saying that I’ve never heard before:

“We don’t know what weapons will be used in World War III, but we do know World War IV will be fought with sticks.”

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