Monday, 9 September 2013

What's the attraction?

When talking to people about attempting the Brevet, I am often asked .. but Why!!!

So what is the attraction about enduring 1100 kilometres on a mountain bike over eight days or less?

For me it is the sense of an adventure! There is one definition of adventure which I really like and that is ....  " to attempt something where the outcome is unknown." 

Throughout the majority of my life I have been having adventures, as a kid during our long hot summer school breaks, my mates and I would get on our bikes or go by foot and explore the local country side. swimming in the river, building forts in the local farmers hay barns, sliding down the local sand dunes on old car bonnets.

As I got older my interest developed towards the outdoors, particularly kayaking, soon road trips around the country to explore different rivers, compete in slalom and down river races, multi-day trips camping on the riverbanks were standard. Additionally there were hiking, rock climbing, ski trips, all that while at high school!

Eventually these "adventures" became a lifestyle, which then became a full time job! Some of the big adventures included sea kayak guiding in Prince William Sound, Alaska,

 rafting and kayaking the Grand Canyon.

So why do the big ones stand out ... well the were pretty challenging environments, they were both self supported, both were incredibly beautiful parts of the world, both were physically challenging and above all there was a fantastic bunch of like minded people to share it all with!

They are the same things I experienced in 1980 when I did my first overnight kayak trip on the Rangitikie river from Pukekahu to Mangaweka.

I see those attributes in the Kiwi Brevet ... that's the attraction!

Monday, 2 September 2013

The difference 23 years make!

The difference 23 years make ... that was my thought out on today's ride. During the week I had received my Revelate bags for the bike, I had headed out to watch my daughter, Anja play a game of Netball then a bit of a shake down ride to see how these bags changed the handling of my bike ... it has been 23 years since I last did a bike tour 

1990 Molesworth Station


So here are some of the differences ...
Avanti Chrome moly,  fully rigid, , cantilever brakes, shimano biopace 21 speed triple, straps on the pedals, Scott AT4 handlebar (was the beesknees!), Blackburn Alloy racks  with Tika canvas bags, oh and a Giro helmet, (which saved me about a month later when I crashed going downhill at 60 kmh into a lamppost).
Specialized Stumpjumper Carbon Comp, Rolf Prima Ralos 29 wheels set up Tubeless, SRAM X9/X0 2x10 drivetrain, XTR clipless pedals, XTR hydrulic disc brakes, Garmin 705 GPS, Led lights, lightweight Revelate bags. Still wearing a Giro helmet ( a new one!).

Both have the same engine!

What hasn't changed is I am still enjoying being out there on the bike ... which ever it is!

My other rides ...
 Giant TCR Advanced
 Kuota Kueen K
Specialized Epic 29er