Monday, July 30, 2007

Okoroire Mid-Winter Fun Ride 2007

Due to truly Biblical weather, a number of people stayed abed yesterday and missed the Okoroire Fun Ride.

I was not one of them.

Arising at 5:45 to the sound of torrential rain, I breakfasted, packed my bag and awaited the arrival of Richard Oddy with the Pedaltours van. Collecting Richard's son-in-law Ivan from Ngaruawahia, we headed for Okoroire, where it was merely drizzling, in good time. By the 10am start, it was raining steadily, and as the day went on, the wind and rain increased steadily .

Usually I ride the fixie at Okoroire, but this time I rode the Hurlow. With my present lack of fitness and the strong wind, I made frequent of the 12 gears as I shamelessly wheelsucked my way to the finish. This strategy got me to the last couple of kms, but a strong effort up the last rise (and past the official photographer) finished me off, and I crawled to the finish.

RESULTS 'alla Francaise'

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I could not have said it better myself...

BRUTUS appears to be a lifestyle magazine for stylish young Japanese persons.

This issue looks like it has plenty of meat for the Kanji-literate cycling enthusiast, though the back issues on offer indicate that it usually concerns itself with mundanity like cars, clothes & coffee.

Monday, July 23, 2007


This is meant to show a map of the Retro Ride route, generated by Map My Run, a cunning web based device that seems to piggyback on Google Earth.
Unfortunately the embed code generated by their site does not work, but regardless, it's a very cool thing for mapping out routes.

In the absence of a functional embed code, here's the link .
Use the Map Settings to the left to turn off the annoying Distance Markers.
'Display Elevation' produces a course profile, while 'Map Type' allows you to switch from a street map to various Googloid satellite views.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Chris Money's new steel bike

On Saturday afternoon, we swapped Money's late 20th Century Avanti Kona frame for this fine Salsa Casseroll.

Needless to say, these jobs are never straightforward.
The Shimano BB was frozen into the Avanti frame, so I stripped the Campagnolo AC-H cartridge and Suntour Superbe Pro cranks off my neglected windtrainer bike.

The Casseroll frame makes a great all-round road bike.
It has a full set of rack and mudguard eyelets, and clearance for 32mm tyres with mudguards, or 35mm without.
Long, stainless steel, horizontal dropouts allow easy conversion to single speed or fixedgear.

Sizing is, maybe, a bit weird.
A 55cm Casseroll fits almost identically to my 60cm Ritchey Breakaway.
The frames are large for their nominal size, and I would recommend paying attention to top tube and head tube lengths when ordering.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mafac Top 63 brakes

A few years ago Jonty Ritchie gave me two sets of old Mafac brakes that he had no use for.

The set of pimpy gold Mafac Competitions found their way onto a Witcomb I owned for a while, but these Top 63s stayed in their plastic bag until I saw a set go for ₤273 on ebay.
Not that I will be cashing in- they will go on the Hurlow when I have found a few small parts that are missing.

Top 63s were the most expensive centre pull available in their day.
According to Mick Butler:

'Regarding the 1969 prices of the various makes of centre pull brakes in that year. Balila Q.R. 49/6. Universal Q.R. 55/-. Mafac Racer 55/-. G.B. Coureur 66 60/-. & Mafac Top "63" at a whopping 75/-. '

This works out at a little over ₤6, pretty cheap compared to the 27 guineas (1 guinea =₤1-1s) that Richard Oddy paid for the then-new Campagnolo Record sidepulls in the same year.

Image above from Classic Rendezvous

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Frenzy of bike acquisitions continues unabated...

except that this time it is Donna's turn.
This Bob Jackson touring frame is brand new. Imported by Sheppards in the mid-80s, it languished in a Christchurch bikeshop until it appeared on Trademe a couple of weeks ago.
Everything that I needed to build it into a civilised road fixie, except cables and bar tape, was lying about in the shed.

This is very much a work in progress.
The Superbe Pro seatpost may yet be swapped for a Campag 2-bolt post to get a little more seat setback, the rims don't match, and the mudguards are clapped out from my previous misuse.


Gearing________________42 x 17
Bottom bracket__________Campagnolo AC-H
Crankset_______________SR Royal track 165mm
Brakes_________________MAFAC Racer
Brake levers____________Dia-Compe AGC251 Compact
Saddle_________________Brooks Swallow, by Tony Colegrave
Seatpost_______________Suntour Superbe Pro
Stem__________________TTT 9cm
Handlebars_____________TTT Competizione
Pedals_________________Campagnolo Superleggera

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Okoroire Mid-Winter Fun Ride, July 29

The Okoroire Winter Fun Ride is on July 29th.
Details and a downloadable entry form are at
Usually there is a small but congenial Retro Grupetto. A report on last year's ride here.
If you are planning to join us this year, email me so that we can arrange to rendezvous before the start.