Saturday, 17 August 2013

Thank Youse and Yonder Horizon

It's a week out from our national championships in Wanaka, which also signifies one of the last races of the season. I wanted to acknowledge the support I've had of late from people and places most generous.

I have been riding and racing on my Yeti ARC-X for the last few years, a great bike that is now also a great piece of memorabilia - for me personally as it took me on many great rides over and through the cobbles and muddles of Belgium, but also because it is no longer being manufactured.

There have been many good times on Yeti bikes

Photo: Gregg Germer

Photo: Caleb Smith   

Although it's had a fairly hard life with lots of riding and cleaning, the Yeti is still providing most excellent service. It will be joined in service, however, by the recently acquired Singular Kite.

I'm currently building it up with parts from a conflagration of sources, united in their jaunty and unerring generosity. Especial thanks to Jonty at the hallowed bicycle retail establishment of Revolution Bicycles, in Northland, Wellington. When not being raced on the Kite should make for a lovely gravel road navigator, and explorer of the world of somewhat-un-chartered terrain.

Also helping me, but more with regard to either when the conditions deem it less than desirable to go forth and explore or if the ride will involve a certain dedication of purpose as to render other essential faculties less than adequate, are the folks behind LeMond Revolution turbo trainers. It takes the place of your rear wheel so one machine can fit any bike - road, cyclocross, MTB - and doesn't involve melting your tyres down to a flattened rubbery mass, so is ideal for cyclocross preparations. They have a showroom where you can try one out at Armstrong Sport on Barker Street in Wellington.

From the same people I have also been given a helping hand into my shoes, courtesy of their Mavic agency. Even when it's muddy you still can't miss them.

Photo: Lisa Morgan/Cowbell Coaching
Riding through mud is quite hard work, especially when it's really thick. Fortunately there are FMB tyres to ride, which make it easy. Well, if not easy they at least make it possible. Paul Larkin is the Australasian distributor and a lovely guy to boot, who has helped me ride much closer to where I intended than I would have otherwise, and is a wealth of information and practical advice for fitting and riding tubular tyres for cyclocross, road and track. They are handmade in France and awesome.

FMB Super Mud

While the cyclocross season will be winding down after nationals in New Zealand next week, overseas it is just about to begin. About a month ago invitations were sent out for riders interested in competing at the first ever Chinese cyclocross race, in Yanqing, Beijing on September 21st. Myself and Jenna Makgill, supported by Paul Larkin, are heading over to participate in what promises to be a historic and awesome occasion, and marks a milestone for the growth of the sport outwards from Europe and America. It promises to be a remarkable experience and I'm sure I'll have plenty to write about from it so I can't wait.

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