Friday, 12 August 2011

Bonnie Parker.

I have this bike I really love.  Her name is Bonnie Parker and she is an early 50's Claud Butler frame who's been converted to a fixed gear bicycle.
She hasn't always been Bonnie Parker.  She was once my big brother Jason's race bike.  Dad was a commercial traveller for a bicycle parts company and had found the bike somewhere on his travels and it came painted gold and with Huffy stickers.  I don't remember it.  I remember that when it was handed down to me when I started racing Dad let me choose a new colour for it - shiny aquamarine and I was a little embarrassed by it and it's fat tyres.
I rode it in quite a few races, mostly handicap and never at scratch.  I was an OK cyclist. There were not many girls racing back then though so didn't find it overly inspiring.  Anyway.... time went by and I rode the Claude Butler until I got my first full time job and put a Mizuno red and white bike on layby at Davies Cycles.  Richard even let me take the bike while I paid it off. I guess the Claud Butler got stashed in the shed.  I didn't hear much about it and I think that Mandy may have owned it after me.  Somehow along the way Jason got hold of it and built it up for his wife.  They separated and the frame came home to Mum's - burgundy and gold and with Colnago and Shimano decals.  It was pretty ugly.  And so I rescued it.
I had some discussion with Mel about how to build it up and we rifled through the gear Jason had stashed in the shed.  We managed to get a decent crankset, stem and bar from that lot.  I took the frame and fork to the powdercoater in Cambridge and got them to strip the manky paint job and cover it in a colour that complemented the saddle I had ordered from Velo Expresso.  Torpedo 7 happened to have a mint set of wheels at a bargain basement price so they were duly purchased and stripped of a thousand stickers.  Next up was a white chain, a bottom bracket and a Soma cog from Velo Espresso and we were in business.  Lucky for me Melanie knows lots more stuff about bikes and bike building than I do and put some impressive effort into getting the bike built up.  I may have asked a thousand questions.
I'd rolled her out for quite a few commutes and loved riding her.  She was awesome around town but the bar I had on her was not really cut out for comfort so I ordered a Soma Condorina because it looked like a rad bar.  I did it without thinking and the bar required a new stem and adaptor which I didn't have.  Matt at Velo had a stem adaptor on hand and Mel has loaned me a stem while I wait for my new white Soma stem to arrive.
Some Claud Butler frame transfers were ordered from the UK and I made a complete cock up of trying to apply them.  Another set was winging it's way to me in no time but I was too shit scared to put them on.  Bonnie looked quite naked without them and so I somehow convinced Mel to have a crack at it.  She is much more patient than I and did a wonderful job.  It was not without it's woes but the end result is cracking good.
So all up... I am stoked with her.  She's got personality and style and is extremely awesome to ride.
Pics  are here for a start to finish look.
This is what she looks like today:
Smokin' hot.
She's such a pleasure to ride.  A new stem and some white bar tape will finish her off.  Can't wait.

Brooklyn Chewing Gum

So.. Mandy rolled me over to our brother Tim's place last night on account of it being nephew Cooper's 4th birthday.
Presents were duly opened and thanks given.  Tim made some mint pizzas for us all and I drank a beer on top of my voltaren (cheap date) and told everyone I needed a new watch.
We scrolled through a storage box of Dad's old cycling photos, scrapbooks and newspaper articles - nostalgia central.  Of course that got us talking about the good old days and Tim disappeared to his bedroom and rolled out the stash of vintage and retro cycle clothing and some other awesome stuff.  Mandy and I were like "Dude! Where did you get all this shit?" and he's like "I just stashed it away." and then...
He pulls out the Brooklyn Chewing Gum Jersey.  Me and this jersey have a history.  I tell Tim so.  He doesn't really care.  Dad goes "I'll give you the matching tights Megan."  I say "That would be great Dad."  and when I leave that night I take that jersey with me because there's no point in having half a matching set.  Is there?

Check this out:
That's THAT jersey hanging on MY wardrobe door folks.

I've said I'm borrowing it to get it drycleaned.

I fear I have writers block.

I have lots of things to tell you about.

  1. Vegas
  2. Bonnie Parker
  3. BMX with Mel
  4. Christchurch
  5. BMX bandits with Miriam
  6. Brooklyn Chewing Gum and a brother with a secret stash of awesome stuff he's extremely unwilling to share! 
  7. My baby is going to be an employee soon.  ZOMG!
Keep your eyes peeled.  

Tuesday, 12 July 2011


it would be nice if this rain would stop.  Though I hear Vegas is going to be primo on Saturday.

I'ma ride some trails.  At last!!!

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

I have a cricket chirping in my ear...

it is driving me mad and keeping me awake at night.  Must find ways to deal with it.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

I've been having dreams about Granny & Poppy ...

The first one was a couple of weeks ago and I got to hang out with Granny and give her hugs and have some conversation.   She told me that Mum had an affair with one of her friends husbands and I was like "oh yuhp".  Talked to Mum about this after and she laughed.  It didn't happen.   I cried my eyes out during the dream but when I woke up I felt happy.

Last night Poppy was there too but I can't remember much about what happened with him.  It was so nice to see him though.  I want more.  Granny was trying to get to her apartment and I wanted to walk with her to it.  It was an apartment building like you see in American sitcoms but with a big window down one side of it.  She was in apartment 199 and I couldn't get up the stairs to the floor it was on so it was heartbreaking to say goodbye to her when she went up them.  Later I saw Mandy and she said that she had been with her there and had managed to save the photo. I don't understand this now.  Today I just feel really sad.  I miss them so much.  I don't want these dreams to stop.

I saw this yesterday and thought it was beautiful and wanted to share:

I was recently told of an African tribe that does the most beautiful thing.

When someone does something hurtful and wrong, they take the person to the center of town, and the entire tribe comes and surrounds him. For two days they’ll tell the man every good thing he has ever done.

The tribe believes that every human being comes into the world as Good, each of us desiring safety, love, peace, happiness.

But sometimes in the pursuit of those things people make mistakes. The community sees misdeeds as a cry for help.

They band together for the sake of their fellow man to hold him up, to reconnect him with his true Nature, to remind him who he really is, until he fully remembers the truth from which he'd temporarily been disconnected: "I AM GOOD".

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A little excitement in my life this week...

My Mum had her 60th Birthday on Tuesday and Jo (the boss) organised a wicked morning tea at work with all her favourite reps.  It was so sweet.  She even booked her out on a measure at Burt and Thea Day's (Birthday - get it?) 60c Ake Terrace (60 cake!) Phone 871 1951 (1951 - the year Mum was born.) Mum had no idea.  We decked the shop out with balloons and streamers and wrote birthday messages on the coloured blackboard.  Mum smiled all day.
That night we went out for a family and close friends dinner at Keystone in Hamilton.  Here's a pic of Mum with all her kids:
A fine looking bunch if I may say so myself.
Mum had the best Birthday ever and she deserved it.  I think she is still smiling.  I love it.

And then...
Anthony gathered us all together at work yesterday to tell us that he has been selected for the NZ Marist U23 rugby team.  So proud of him.  He is a very awesome person.

And then...
This morning I got a parcel.

I'ma pitch my tent this weekend if the weather isn't too inclement and sleep inside it in my sleeping bag on my inflatable mat.  Because I love camping!!

Thanks for reading.  Feel free to leave comments.  I don't have any yet.  It's a heartbreaker.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Karioi Breakdown

I realise that my blog posts are largely devoid of photographs.  I just don't have a good camera.  I'll work on it ok?

Melanie and I rolled out to Raglan on the 11th of June for a stab at the Karioi Classic ride.....without the competition.  The emphasis was on 'riding' the roads the Classic follows around the mountain and it was definitely not intended to be a race.
It was to be my first ever 'long' cross country style mountain bike ride.  I've knocked out a few k's riding the trails at Whakarewarewa over the last two and a half years but had never done any sort of significant distances that required plenty of pedaling.  With the limited amount of time I have to ride and the inevitable drive that is required to ride a mountain bike I had decided that I would take the quality option and get to Vegas as much as possible.  It was time to break out.

Our day started out seriously foggy so we lit up and readied to hit the road.  Just as we were about to roll out of the carpark a parade of NZ Army tankers rolled in.  It was pretty impressive to see so we stopped and took pics... or Mel did and we got on our way again.

The ride takes on about 45ks of sealed and gravelled roads around the back of the mountain and then back up the coast.  The ocean views are incredible.  Our first uphill was less than a kilometre from the carpark and proved to be pretty long and arduous for an amateur like me.  I was wishing I was riding my roadie that's for sure.

We made our first stop about half way up to take in the view and stretch out a couple of tight muscles.  It was a good warm up climb and we hit the gravel just around the bend for more and more climbing.  I was begging Mel to stop again at the top of yet another climb and had to stretch and throw back a couple of dinosaurs.  We were 8ks in and I was seriously considering throwing in the towel.  My back hurt, I was sick of riding up hill and didn't know how to handle the tight left hand bends in the gravel... what an amateur!! I didn't tell Mel that though.  She whipped her laminated directions out of her back pocket - this is one ORGANISED chick - and said we would be turning right only another 1.8ks up the road into Ruapuke Road... and in my head I went "Oh Hey!! That's the beach - and it's not far from Raglan and I haven't even warmed up until I am 10k into a ride!!"  So I felt WAY better and was all like "lets go!!".  When we finally got to the top of the hill we stopped to have a chat beside a paddock with a huge cow with massive horns on it's head in it.  It just stared at us the whole time and the dog at the house across the road barked it's little heart out at us.

Some downhill - FINALLY - and I was hopeless on the gravel.  Mel took off at  a rate of knots and all I could think was "keep it rubber side down!!" I managed to get the hang of it and had a blast.  Until the next uphill.  There seemed to be quite a few.  So we rode gravel roads with a little bit of sealed road in between and stopped for the odd catch up and dinosaur at the top of the big hills and took time to soak up the amazing views over the Pacific.

We carried on churning out the revolutions and after the 10k mark I had an absolute blast.  It was so much fun and I felt really, really good.  When we reached the Ruapuke Beach driveway was decided we would roll out to take a look at the beach.  We pushed our trusty steeds over the sand dunes to about the half way spot between the beach and the carpark and I was thinking "man, this beach i'nt that special!" I said to Mel "I don't want to go all the way out there now and so we parked our bikes on some beach plants and Mel took a photo.   Mel's chain fell off when she picked her bike up and she said "better take a look at that when we get back to the carpark" and so she did and her chain was loose so she whipped out her trusty tool (seriously - I didn't even pack a spare tube!! lol) and undid a couple of bolts and shifted her bb and talked about some other mechanical stuff that went over my head.  Something about gears not working properly and I said "Mine are a bit noisy when I change" and in my head I went "Oh... that's probably not good... I should get that looked at." Mel is a mechanical genius and I would be lost without her.  Or I would probably find someone else to annoy with my stupid questions. :/

We rocked out of that carpark and over this little rise and I was thinking "fuck.. I have no legs!! What's up with that?"  Pushing a bike over sand dunes is not conducive to biking - at all.  Mel said all this out loud which was good.  I'm glad I wasn't the only one.  We had a pretty serious discussion about the house up on the hill which was quite ugly in our eyes and we wondered to each other what they were trying to achieve when they built it.  The conclusion was that they were aiming for a Tuscan look but the place needed a balcony or two.  And then there was the hill.  OMG - really... It just never seemed to end.  I know that there were quite a few downhills as well but they went so fast... and the uphills didn't!! And it was so easy to forget about the down bits.

There was this one time when we rode downhill past a Yoga retreat taking the opportunity to have a chat and the Yogi was at the gate planting her gateway plants or something and so we discussed Yogi's and my urge to shave my head and for some reason we both happened to look up from our front wheels at the same time and let out an identical audible moan at the view of the hill ahead.  It  was pretty hilarious.   But we slogged up that one and many, many more for quite some time.

The carpark at the entrance to the Karioi Track looked like an inviting place to stop and we rode out to the viewing platform to take in the view (as you do) and Mel took some more photos while I quietly shat my pants at the height of the platform and secretly checked  that it was anchored securely to the cliffside.  I was pretty happy to get off it actually.  Mel didn't seem bothered. I think I mentioned Cave Creek to her and she said something soothing back to me.   Engineer talk most likely.   I was beyond help really.

I'm not sure how far into the ride we were.  I do know that this point seemed to be the start of what seemed like an endless sealed road downhill.   We whooped it up all the way down to the  Manu Bay lookout, through a waterfall running over the road,  considered and discarded the idea of riding along the beach back to Raglan and slogged it out up the last hill back into town.

It was a good ride with good company.  I was stoked to get to the end of it still feeling good but wondering how long it was going to take for my face to return to it's regular colour.  And I was HUNGRY!! 48km of riding a new way gave me a whole new passion for cycling.  I'm so pleased I have bikes in my life.  I want to get stronger and faster and make more time to ride!!! Bikes are awesome!!

Last stop before heading home was at the Shack.  I ordered the dal fritters and they were bloody good.  Mel got the chicken roti and it was ho hum.

A special mention needs to go to the people driving cars along the roads we travelled.  They were awesome.  The roads are narrow and windy and they were extremely patient and friendly no matter whether they were approaching or passing us.  It was awesome to experience.

The verdict is - I loved it!! And I can't wait to do it again.  Next please!!!

Mel just happened to have posted her blog while I was writing this.  It has pics.  Read it here

Friday, 17 June 2011

So. Kathmandu are having a mega sale

and I have purchsed a tent, a sleeping bag, a dry bag, a self inflating mat, some good thermal clothing, as well as a compression bag for my sleeping bag and the boy bought me a first aid kit, some hand sanitiser and some of those cracker little gel hand warmer things.

This can mean only one thing.  I am going bike packing!!! OMG!!!

Melanie has been talking about S240 for the past few months and my initial reaction was to say "ugh.. camping?  Meh.. no thanks!" But then I did some research and thought maybe I could pull it off.  I even got a little bit excited about it.  I'm even more excited now I have some gear.  I actually can't wait.  I would like to point out that Mel comes up with all the good ideas and somehow convinces me to tag along.  I'd do nothing if it wasn't for her influence, research skills and enthusiasm.

At the moment I have this plan to contact a Pukeatua landowner I know to aks if I or we (meaning Mel and me) can camp the night beside one of their streams.  Their place is about 30ks from home so I will roll out there one afternoon and stay the night in my new tent.  Shane is a hunter and has quite a bit of cooking and camping gear so I won't have to worry about harvesting trees and lighting fires to cook by.   That would be too hard and being a pretty serious townie would most likely be a huge failure.  In the morning, after a really awesome nights sleep, I will cook up my coffee and oats, eat and drink and pack up the bike and head out to ride the Waikato River Trails from Arapuni to Whakamaru.  A ride of about 55km.  Shane will meet me at the Dam Cafe at Whakamaru and drive me and my gear home.  It's a good plan.  I thought it all up last night after my mega shop at Kathmandu.  I wonder if I can pull it off in less than 24 hours - if I don't then 'technically' it's not S240 but I don't care - I do what I want.

There are still a couple of things I need to do.  I'm not sure whether all the trail is open so need to make some enquiries about that, buy myself a freeload rack and talk to the God's about some warmer weather and I will be rolling.  Woot!!!

This is an awesome article about S240.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Today I rode my mountain bike.

It was further than I have ever ridden on it before and the longest ride I have been on in quite some time.

I will tell you all about it another day.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

I can do that.

I went for a massage yesterday morning

and Tanja (my therapist) and I got talking about how hard it is to motivate yourself to exercise when you have no significant events on the horizon.  Now, she is nowhere near as tryhardcore as I am and is swaying quite a way into the hardcore and non-mediocre at sports.  She has done ironman's and run marathons and once stepped into a boxing ring for some fisticuffs with another chick to raise money for Canteen.  You won't see me doing any of that shit.  Still, we talk about how it doesn't come naturally to  her and  she  has to work bloody hard at it.  I really admire her for her gutsyness.  Is that even a word?

I had this discussion with her about how I lurve to ride my biek but finding time during daylight hours at the moment is impossible. I told her I had this plan to light myself up like a fricken Christmas tree and  do some urban rides around sevenish when people were tucked up inside eating dinner and there wasn't so much traffic on the roads.  Tanja tells me she hasn't been out on the bike in 'forever' so we cook up a plan and she was keen as.  I sent the text off this morning to tell her I was heading out tonight and received an affirmative text in reply.  Pretty exciting stuff.    But - Best laid plans oft go awry and Tanja called to say she had hit the wall and was in pre-flu mode.

Up Fairview getting the strap stuck to my glove velcro. 
So I'm sat at me table thinking "Well,  I probably won't go either".  But I tell you what.. I bloody did!  No more co-dependent exercising for me!! I switched my lights over from the roadie to the mountain bike and hit the road.  Grabbed the camera so I could take some extremely crap shots to prove that I was out there and at the first pic got the camera strap caught in the velcro on my glove. I wasn't very coordinated.  I am trying to cram the camera into my back pocket, unhitching my glove from the strap and find myself half way up Fairview Rd, in what I would normally deem an inappropriate gear and too much pressure to change so mashed it to the top.  Damn it felt good!! I liked it a lot.

A little further around town in Mandeno Street and I was discreetly peering into Nikki's windows while I rode past when a car passed me and then turned a sharp left into a driveway directly in front of me.  Stupid people!! My brakes are a bit noisy and I have no mechanical skills so don't know if it's something I should be worried about or not.  Mel will tell me.  I will have to start paying her for all her advice, knowledge and spanner skills.  Bless her little bottom rocks.  Anyway, a few cursed words and I was on my way again.
Somewhere up Cambridge Rd.  Not really sure what happened here.  

I rolled up Cambridge Road and an old Hilux passed me and pulled over.  I rode past and the dude in the cab said something but I don't think he knows I am deaf and so I didn't understand what he may or may not have said to me so carried on and then he passed me again and in my head I went "that's irritating" and then he pulled over again and I thought "Hmmmm.. I'ma just turn about and go the other way" so I did and so he did.  Dodgy shit.  I rolled up a side street where some people I know live just to be on the safe side and didn't see him again but I was looking over my shoulder almost the entire rest of the ride.  I memorised his registration number.

And that's about as eventful as it got.  Apart from the guys up the Main on their bmx's and I thought they were going to chase me and steal my biek.  I was deciding whether I was going to put up a fight or not but there was three of them and one of me so it would have been pointless.  Really.  They looked like they had stolen those bikes too!! Maybe I just have a really vivid imagination?

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Today... I saw a pair of

Nice pants in a magazine.  They were four hundred and twenty dollars!!!

Well.. I don't have that kind of money for pants.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

I have a plan..

and it involves riding Bonnie Parker.  But I must get her up and running before I can get this extremely exciting plan rolling.  Soon!!!
She has a new bar but no headset... hard to ride.  :D
I love her.  Don't tell the others but she is my favourite ride.

So. What I really want this blog to be about is my biek antics...

but it's more likely to be about what I WANT to be doing on bieks.  I'm not very motivated you see.  I blew the cobwebs off my roadie yesterday and it was great.  Just a short ride around Puahue to see how it went since it's been so long since I actually rode a biek.  I loved it.  OH MY GOD... Parklands Road is cycling paradise.  When I die and go to heaven I am going be riding roads only like Parklands Road.  I want to go again today but it's a bit dismal out there and my pelvic pressure points are a bit bruised.  There's really nothing to compare with sitting on a seat again with a sore arse.  It makes you GASP!!  I can think of so many reasons not to go.  Here they are:

  • It's cold
  • It's damp
  • There's heaps of roadworks in the area
  • I see a little bit of a breeze
  • My favourite shorts are in the wash
  • I have washing to fold
  • My pelvic bones hurt
  • I get a sore lower back
  • I only have one drink bottle cage on my bike
  • Billie needs to go to the beach for a really good run
  • Oh wait... I see rain 
So.  And that's how I roll.  

But for your amusement I do have a couple of rides coming up over the next two weekends with some awesome chicks so I will be sure to take a camera and write some words.

Here's a Billie Holiday update pic

While I sit here waiting for my kids to grow up...

I wonder why I would go and get myself a dog who is going to live for quite some time.  I have plans to cycle the world.  I suppose the next fourteen years of her life give me time to train for my epic adventures and save some money.... or increase my credit card limit.