Sunday, October 5, 2008

A week of bicycling

Lots of riding done this week. Commuting duties, daughter hauling, food shopping, two lots of mountainbiking and unicycle training. My legs are all worn out!

A visit to Lake Pupuke to look at the movie set of "Under the Mountain" being taken down.

My sons have joined the school unicycle club and have loaner bikes (they're not really bikes, are they?) to get the hang of it. How cool is that, a primary school with a unicycle club. On mondays the school bike-rack has as many unicycles as bicycles locked-up in it.

Have you ever tried to ride a unicycle? I'm giving it a go as well, but seem to have made no progress at all, it's damn hard. I can ride a two-wheeled bike on one wheel no problem, but I'm finding it a great challenge on the real thing. A circus career is some way off. 

I have learned one thing: When you start to fall, don't try and catch the unicycle. I read this on some internet instructions and ignored it to my detriment. I ended up in a pile on the garage floor with the uni on top of me and a gored leg from pedal-bite. I will let it drop next time! 

Surly actually make a muni (mountain-uni) called the Conundrum which has the same Large Marge/Endomorph wheel as the Pugsley. Now that would turn some heads.

Bad drivers with small penises and stupid vehicles have made it down to our corner of the South Pacific. Look how this mental-midget has parked across the footpath.

I took Thursday off work to look after the boys as it's school holiday time and we went out to Woodhill Forest to the mountainbike park. Finn and Hunter aren't keen cyclists but they enjoy riding out there and we had a lot of fun together. 

Finn and I got shown-up by eight-year-old Hunter attempting every jump and structure he came across, so we were shamed into trying some of them. I rode a lot of stuff that I would normally avoid and gained some confidence, but I think one metre off the ground is about my altitude limit. I must be getting old.

Thing-Two stealing water from my Camelbak

I went out to the same forest yesterday with my friend Murray and had a good 2.5 hr ride at a much faster pace. Last night my thighs were sore like I'd been to a gym or something, but I feel fine today. The great thing about Woodhill is it's a plantation pine forest effectively planted on coastal sand dunes, so the soil is very free-draining, even in the middle of winter, and just about never gets muddy.

The park is run as a business and you have to pay to use it, but the trails are fantastic and well maintained. It's $6 for adults and $4 for ten and overs which I think is reasonable. If it was more expensive I would go less.

Showing-off for the camera


Marla said...

Maybe that Surly uni with the Pugs wheels would have helped me back when I was trying to learn. But being the picture of perfection when it comes to balance, I didn't get very far! You'll have to post a picture when you get it!

Antoine said...

... If I ever get it!
I have just managed to punch a hole in my other calf muscle in a late night garage training incident.

Doug said...

Awesome wheelie dude!

You so have to get a Conundrum Uni now!!

Antoine said...

Don't think that thought hadn't crossed my mind Doug.

Marla said...

Curses! Those late night, punch a hole in your calve, training accidents!

Vito said...

Antoine...I'm seriously considering a Pugsley. It's that or a Cross Check.

What kind of gearing are you running on your Pugs? Do you think the SS is the way to go for winter riding?

Just looking for some opinions and suggestions.

Antoine said...


I have never ridden in snow, Auckland just doesn't get that cold.

You should have a look on the forums in the Surly and Alaskan groups. Lots of good info there and pictures if you register (free).

Singlespeeding works for me as I don't need gears for riding on flat beaches and it makes cleaning the salt and sand off very easy. I also like the challenge of mountainbiking with one gear and you get a good workout, but I am pretty stuffed after 3 hours riding hilly terrain (this is good).

Most people gear their Pugs and I would suggest you go that way. The standard frame-set comes with a 135mm offset fork and the front and back wheels are interchangeable, so effectively you are running two back wheels. You could have a cassette rear hub with a derailleur and a singlespeed hub on the front which you could swap around without too much work. Just remove the derailleur(s?) and fit a shorter chain when you do the swap.
You wouldn't want to do that too often, but it gives you options.

Antoine said...


I usually run a "double-dinglespeed".
That's 2 cogs on the back (my singlespeed hub takes 2) and 2 chainrings.

I have to loosen the back wheel to swap the chain between them but that gives me 2 different ratios, or 4 ratios if I let the chain go slightly diagonal, or 6 if I bring the front wheel into play, but now it's just getting confusing!

With 32/20T and 34/18T the tooth counts are equal so my wheel always sits in the same place relative to the disc brake caliper.

Vito said...

Thanks so much Antoine for the feedback. I've at the White Industries "Double/Double and have considered going that route.

On the downside...It's much more $$$ than I would like to spend.