Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Why is Africa Calling?

Why is Africa calling Me?
Well the calling has been a long time! Its been calling me since watching TV back in the late 1960's the show was called  Daktari (TV Series 1966–1969) with the cross eye lion etc.
I have been to Africa before BUT it was not the true Africa that I saw on Daktari! It was North Africa, sand and scorpion's.
No Big cats, Elephant's etc.

I'm looking forward to seeing them! (until one is chasing Me!)

Monday, 26 December 2011

Africa is Calling.

Well Africa is calling Me back and its almost time to pack up the bags (wait the bags are still being made) and head off to see the wild of Africa, the roads, the People, and the wild life.

To be camping again in wild camp site's on the way down to Cape Town.

Its hard to make and do all the list of things to do before the departure.
After 2 years of planning and saving it's almost time to start.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas

Well its Christmas Day and Nice and Sunny, Only two weeks to go before Flying out to Africa?
O' No its time to start packing up!
Today I have been putting all the clothes that i'm taking into a box and checking of my list? (Ha list? I have just put in all the clothes that I think i'll need, and think about it for a few weeks)
Next is to go with the cycle spares.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Taupo Times

Well I have to say a Big THANK YOU to Libby O'Brien (reporter with Taupo Times) for a good write up about my trip to Africa in only a few weeks.

This is the full page with photo of Me, But to read click on the page below.

Just click on above to read in full.

I also have to say thank you to Topgear Cycles (Mark, Ted, Joe, and team) for all the help so far, all the last minuets things that I have been ordering this week.

For all the people reading this from outside of Taupo. This weeks Taupo Times (Tuesday 20/12/11)  newspaper had a half page write up.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Mirror's?? I'm looking in to it.

Well training for Africa is going along (not so good having time away etc).
But some things are going well my new tent is in one of my bags and is very easy to put up, its a

So tent Yes, one thing off the list. More going to be added.

Bicycle set up, well late last night Warren was around and we designed up a small front bag to fit onto my small front carrier (Nitto M12) and i'm in testing about a mount for a Mirror to be mounted off the same carrier, the plan is to run it on the right hand side when we are riding on the left side of the road and to switch it over to the left when we are riding on the right side of the road.
So far its good BUT a friend (Ted) came up fast and in my blind spot?
So i'm looking into to the Mirror about Mirror's
It time to eat and go for a ride again... and to look into a Mirror again...

Update after Sunday training ride..
Well after an adjustment the Mirror is working out good, just going to make up a new mounting and move the mirror out 20 to 30mm.

As for my left knee! at last almost pain free, Today I droped my saddle 5mm's and the charge is great.
I'm thanking that a may have to look into tyre's for Africa more, I like my Road tyres (that is in photo) so it the offroad tyre's?

Monday, 28 November 2011

Some Photo's of Weekends Cycle Training Ride (Having Fun)

Just about at the top of 1st climb with a strong tail wind!

A long line of Cyclists

Having Fun riding up one of the few (small) Hills

Passing time around a 25kph bend at 35kph!

The Finish Line! 1st 160km ride this year! More to come..


Sunday, 27 November 2011

Taupo Cycle Challenge!

Well I finished working on my bicycle and went for the 1st ride with STD gear set up, all working well and me having to lean to charge gear with two shifters!!
Went for 1st train ride 35km's and find that my left knee was in pain (for the 1st time) I adjusted a few things but no luck? So I went to see Mark (@TopGear Cycles) for help we worked out that maybe the change of BB and moving the left crankarm over (to the centre of the bike) had up set thinks I removed a plate from under my toes and I tried that? I still hard some pain so I lowered my seat by 4mm.

WIND, WIND, and More WIND on Thursday, Friday, and of course Saturday the 26.11.11!
Well it was time for my 1st long training ride around Lake Taupo 160km's and it was very winded (the MTB race on the same day was call off because of trees being blowen down!)
So of I cycled with a knee in a little pain and high winds (head winds) I put my plan of sub 7 hours aside and just cycled for fun.
I rode at a speed that my knee pain was just a little and keeped my bike in low gears all the way Finishing in just under 9.30 hours

Today the wind has dropped and the Sun is Hot, Knee is OK and its time to train some more.............

Sold off the Rohloff

Well my Rohloff Speedhub (6 years old) SOLD on for very good money, (Thanks)
So I went for one last cycle ride along some of the cycle ways around Taupo (35kms), all worked good. So it was time too remove and packed it all up. Rohloff parts and the rear wheel (with Hub of course) to its new home.

So I had luck that a new BB came in the post the same day, To rebuild my bike with STD gear set up.
Cutting cables and work out the best way to route the cables, Fit new brakes and set them up. To find some of the small parts losted in my shed full of box's of cycle parts, I lost a week of training but the bike is almost set up for TDA and the around the lake Cycle Challenge on the 26.11.11

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Hard Day..............

....... __o
....... \<, Life is like riding a bicycle.
 .... ( )/ ( ) To keep your balance you must keep moving.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Gear Listed

Camping Gear

Tent Two/Three Person  Yes
Sleeping bag liner
Dish, Mug, Plate, and Fork  Yes
Sleeping Bag  Yes but old
Camping mattress
Small tarp   Yes

Cycle Clothing

5 x Cycling Shorts  Two new shorts more to come?
1 x Cycling Shoes   Yes New
5 x Cycling Jerseys,  2 x Long Sleeved, 3 x Short Sleeved  Almost 3 x SS Jerseys Yes.
5 x Pairs of Cycling Socks
2 x Gloves, 1 x Full Finger, 1 x Short Finger
2 x Rain Jacket, 1 x Light, 1x STD Cycle Rain Jacket
1 x Soft Shell Jacket  Yes
1 x Cycling Helmet
2 x Sunglasses, 1 x Dark, 1x Light   Yes to one so far and One new pair Yes..
Chaffing cream Worked out that i'm going to run with DZ Nuts!
1 Pair of Cycling pants
Arm and leg warmers?  Which ones??

Spare Parts

3 x Chains  Ordered
5-10 patch kits?
Loads of Spare Tubes  Yes came today (4.11.11) tick.
40 x 292mm Spokes. As front wheel, rear wheel drive side and rear wheel non drive side are all the same!
1 x Spare Rim  Ordered
1 x full Spare set of Brake and Shift Cables.
4 x Brake pads  Ordered
1 x Spare Saddle  ?
1 x Spare Seat Post ?? may go with a spare std one?
3 x Set of Tyres- one set road specific and one set off-road specific and a fifth for sandy conditions.  Yes
2 x Front wheel bearings  Yes
4 x Rear wheel bearings  Yes
2 x BB bearings  Yes
1 x Spare full BB with bearings and Axle  Yes
1 x Set of pawls for freehub  Yes
1 x Spring for freehub  Yes
1 x 48T chainring  Ordered
1 x 36T chainring  Ordered
1 x 24T chaining   Ordered


1 x Multi tool   Yes
2 x Bottom Bracket Tools (for Phil Wood BB)  Yes
2 x Mini pumps  Yes
1 x Set of Tyre levers Yes well maybe?
1 x Bag of Zip ties  Losted?
1 x Small Backpack (for off bike days only)  Yes
1 x Cycle Clean brush

Wash Gear

1 x Soap  Still looking for it?

Yes I cut and paste this list from Ian with a few changes for Me and My Bicycle.....

Monday, 24 October 2011

Training so far.................

Well this weekend I had planned to ride all three days (long weekend) BUT work mate (?) went fishing so I worked and it was a busy Saturday (Big Motocross meeting on) then after work meet up with some Unicycle friends as NZ Unicycle Nat's were on too.
So Sunday morning I at last fitted a speedo to bike and after Lunch it was time to go riding, Good fun ride but still a little Cool.
Today I planned to go for a long ride of about 80kms? Well for the 1st time I was Warm (That's Warm?) well the planned route was a pain flat (almost) and the Big Pine tree's along the road had been cut down so windy and not so much fun to ride so I turned around and ride a shorter but more fun (rolling hills) route.
But at the end of the day it was only 62kms!
The plan for this week is to ride after work (Tuesday), Wednesday day off work and go and get my Yellow Fever etc for Africa.

SUNDAY           23/10     20kms road 10kms dirt road = 30kms
MONDAY         24/10   54kms road 8kms Mountain track = 62kms
TUESDAY         25/10   20kms road 6kms dirt track = 26kms
WEDNESDAY   26/10   walked about 12kms and got Yellow Fever, etc
THURSDAY      27/10    8kms road (just to work and home again)
FRIDAY            28/10    8kms road!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Less then Three Months to Go!

Train is back on course after feeling ill for the the last week or so. Today was a good ride? Head wind's, Sun, Rain, Sun again. Then ride off road for 6 kms on wet (muddy) tracks a good test for my Schwalbe Marathon XR 42-700c tyre's? on coming back down the last down hill my front tyre washed out! (off again)
So good test but the XR's will not be used on muddy days in Africa, I'll be using a set of Schwalbe Marathon Extreme tyre's for the muddy days.

I'm looking to replace the Surly Cross Check forks with some custom designed forks that I have been working on, The idea is to have some more room for a bigger front tyre for the rocky days and to have sum bottle mounts for more water bottles on hotter days? Still thinking about it! But may wish that I have them on if I do not go with them????? once in Africa!

Also my friend (Warren) has been looking into making some custom cycle bags for my Bike?

All this and the time is flying by?

Some photo's from today's ride

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Sunday, Sun, and Pain...

Well at last the Sun was out still a little cool. A short ride with some pain?
Pain because I changed the brake's over to V-Brake's and the V-Brake brake levers aren't the most comfortable to hold onto! As the hood top's are bit pointed (cut into hands on the offroad tracks). So I'll be changing back over to Cane Creek SCR-5 Brake Levers and have ordered some Avid Shorty 6 Cantilever brake! so  the brakes will be fixed.
Next is the change over to STD derailleur gears from the Rohloff hub gears!
I have also ordered two 2 litre drink bottles (got today) and cage's (to be mounted onto the lower front fork legs) to top up the main drink bottles on the HOT long days.
I have also ordered a Showers Pass VelEau drink system
so I hope I have drink water worked out!

Time to clean up and make lunch for work Monday!

Hi KIWI UNI thanks for getting it back for me. :-)

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Three Sundays in a row Rain! and Cold!

Well this last weekend was Raining and cold again so I changed the brakes over on my bike to see if I got some more power, and going to try out gel pads under the bar tape too.

One of my friends show me this photo below.

Its would make a good TDA sticker's for on the bikes.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Daylight Saving Started This Weekend....................................

At last it daylight saving and good light until 7:40 ish.. So it Monday night (1st daylight saving work day) so I cycled from work for almost 2 hours 25+ km's on road and over 10km's off road. a fun night ride...........

       Photo from Satursdays bike ride on one of the offroad tracks close to home...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Spring is in the Air

Well it was a great sunny weekend so get to ride two days in a row.
Saturday was a short 3 hours riding on road and some off road tracks.
Today (Sunday) an easy 4 hours ride with 50/50 mix of road and off road cycle tracks (about 45 + km's)
stopped for lunch and a read in the sun (13c)
Bike going well but need to change from my Rohloff Speedhub to STD gear set up.

Note new saddle bag? may not use it in Africa but good for long training days.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

1st Training Ride after Bike Fit

Well in the last week or so it's been cool?

A Cool Morning's start! 

 Well Saturday morning I got my bike set up adjusted (Bike Fit). Thinks to Mark at Top gear Cycles my seat is 10mm's higher and offset to the right a little. I will have to off set my cranks to fit me better too.
Well today was my 1st days ride and I can not be live it, cycling is fun again more power on the hill (little ones). The Sun was out today too.
Short 3 hour ride in the Sun. Temp about 12c

New cycle bag too.

Food stop! just out of Taupo


Monday, 15 August 2011

A little more about Me!

Well yes I have been cycling for almost 40 years.
Most of the time off road or short tour's around parts of the UK, and parts of NZ.
Also day ride's for fun/and some times to find parts to fix Bus's or Truck's I drive on tour's around Europe and North Africa.

I started riding Singlespeed MTB's back in 1992 long before all the mad singler's.

In 2004 I switched to Unicycling "KISS" (keep it simple) and have been riding Mountain Unicycle for the last two years, having fun? I have some friend that keep asking if i'm going to ride on one wheel in Africa???
the Answer?? is a BIG NO that is NO!

Out on a training ride.

Yes its Ti and has two speed gear hub!

Climbing a small hill at speed?


Sunday, 31 July 2011

Friends have started helping Me for next years trip......

Well after a hard week at work trying to fix/find why things stop but are still going all OK at the same time????

                                          One of my friend delivers a Cap for me to use next year! Thank you Warren.

Monday, 25 July 2011


Today on ride to work I got to ride in snow for the 1st time, if only I did not have to go to work playing in/cycling in snow may have been FUN!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Sundays easy ride

Well Sunday and Sunny again! so off riding again (at last some riding).

My dirty bike!

So I cycled down to Huka Falls (stopped for photo) then ride off road along the river until I can across closed track sign! because of logging, so turned around cycle back until the new Waikato river bridge, crossed over the river and cycle down some new tracks that I have not riding on before. than onto the road and a little hill going to ride longer but pain (from last weeks Endo) was getting a little too much, so turn for home and a good 3 hour ride, a good day.

Huka Falls in the Sun.

Waikato River Trails

Well Saturday was a great Sunny day and some friends TXT (SMS) about going for a offroad ride. We car pooled up to Atiamuri and cycled along Waikato River Trails for a few hours, great days ride with some good friends (thanks) as I would have stayed home with my pain's after last weeks big OFF.
Good training for the dirt roads in Africa next year.

Ted & Erin

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Test Dummy Day

Today was my 1st day offroad on the new (TDA) bike, I was the tail ender in Saucony Off Road Half Marathon in Taupo. The day started all ok, just a little rain from time to time. Then at around the 8km mark the track came out onto a fire road climbing up a little hill to 9km mark and a turn around before going back down the hill! as the road add no runners (or walks) (there was no one for about a km or two) so I was off back down the road at speed! (about 60+ kph) all was ok until the 1st wash out (hole) at speed? I was riding on the front wheel (O'no) hit a 2nd wash out and did one  BIG ENDO landing 20 metre's down the road and in a lillte PAIN.
Bike ok apart from the brake levers moving down the bars.
Me? cracked rib, road rash, broken helmet, painfull shoulder, etc But Ok!
So the bike is going to be ok and in a few day I will be Too.
Test Dummy! was the socks I had on today (and the last time too I think)
Back to work Monday.

Moved brake lever after off?

Bike set up with offroad tyres.


Saturday, 2 July 2011


Well as Willy Nelson sing's "On the road again" i'm at last rolling again with my new Surly bike and today is the 1st day (loads more) of training for TDA a short 25+ km's

                     Still some more changer's to come, But the start at Last..

Sunday, 26 June 2011

New Bike Build

Busy weekend building up new bike for TDA 2012

New bike so far.

building up front wheel

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

T day!

Well today my new frame came, a nice brown Surly Cross Check.
Just have to wax/oil frame to stop frame from rusting from the inside!
The front hub has come too and is just waiting for me to lace up this weekend.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

It's Sunday

Well its Sunday and its raining only lightly so the walk into Taupo is all good.
Working out date's to book the flights for at this time and to book them.
Also working out which brakes to order etc.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

New Bike for TDA 2012

I have been walking to and from work (7km's a day) for the last two week's waiting for My New Surly Cross Check to come (delay with the ash cloud stopping some planes flying in NZ), and a New front hub from the USA.
In the time that I have been waiting I have laced up/build up my old Rohloff gearhub into a new rim.
Reading up about Africa, and working long hours to save money.
Also selling some more of the part that are left over for my old Ti 29er. it would make a good bike for TDA but I like to have a simple bike so going with rim brakes and away with the disc's (brakes) it was a nice bike to ride and looked good too.

I did charge some things for training over the last 8 weeks.

                                             Playing on a river close to Rotorua in NZ

                                       Playing again but this river is close to Wairoa in NZ

                                                 Losted in Czech Repuplic, But on Safari!


Friday, 17 June 2011

It's all go for My next Safari.

I have been traveling to new places for year's, be it next door, around the block, or around the world.
Be it to see some one, or a new place.
Going on Safari is to travel.
Next year i'm off to Africa, To cycle with TDA
I'll be riding all the way ? well try too!
It will be fun, hard work, hot some days, wet (raining) some days.
The main thing is to see Africa at a slower pace.