Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Damn frustrating SRAM X-0 shifter !!!!!!!!!!

After spending hours trying to get Carl Crous' shifter to work, I eventually realised that the worn pawl was not going to co-operate. Not now, not tonight, never.

Do your best, your best will vary from time to time, but do your best.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Saturday afternoon well spent

Unashamedly like the Park Tools workstand, but with that originality of the home-made option.

Oh yes, and it didn't cost R2000.

The White Gloves are no more

On the first day of the school holidays I always used to joke that Michael Jackson was coming to South Africa. Yes, I know, tasteless senseless and not very funny....

Well, I suppose the excitement of the coming school holidays was finally too much.

Tim James through...

After much searching around on the vlaktes late last night and in the wee hours of the morning, Tim popped out at about 09h30.

He's 100% and on his way after a quick breakfast.

Tim is riding in ideal conditions, not a cloud for a hundred miles, not a breath of wind, crisp and fresh with the Swartberg covered in a high blanket of snow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bloody Hell, Barnes

Andrew Barnes is in Kasra........................

After getting severely stuck in the snow yesterday, Andrew rode from the top of Seweweekspoort to Kasra. One time.

That's Seweweekspoort, Rouxpos, Anysberg, Montagu, MacGregor, Kasra. A week's riding to ordinary people.

Must be the saddle. Couldn't possibly be his natural talent, fitness, drive, determination, etc!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Barnes Charming his way across the Vlaktes

Andrew Barnes is through, in fact by now, he's probably well on his way to Rouxpos.

We met 35km out on the Swartskraal road yesterday morning, with a howling North-Wester blowing in his face. Looking on the bright side, it was a relatively warm 6 degrees with no rain.

The challenge for me was to fit two new tubeless tyres for Andrew while he slept for a few hours...or so I thought!

On arrival at Dennehof he calmly announced that he planned to leave "in about half an hour".

I now know that it's possible to remove the wheels from the bike, take them down to the workshop, remove the old tyres, clean the mess of old Stans, refit new tyres, seat them, Stans them, pump them, go back to Dennehof and refit the wheels and find Barnes lounging in front of the fire at Dennehof. All in 31 minutes.

Andrew will no doubt deny this, but I had to kick him out of Dennehof.

To give some idea of the sacrifice Andrew made yesterday.... there was a room, warmed for his arrival, lots of hot water, a soft dry bed, lots of great food, Lindsay pacing up and down the driveway, even someone to open the gate for him.....typical Dennehof hospitality.

To choose between the luxury of Dennehof and the Swartberg pass yesterday took sheer determination. Maybe that's why Andrew didn't even look inside the room!

Dennehof is fully prepped for the riders as they come in, full-on bike park with a high pressure cleaner, lights, 24/7 on call mechanic. You might even be met by Lindsay on his bike out in the veld (his BMW bike, that is)

And that's before you get to the front door.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Waiting for the RASA09 riders........

Every year it's more exciting, every year it's different; waiting for the little specks to arrive on the Swartskraal road.

The rewards for me are huge, seeing the surprised looks on rider's faces when I pop out of nowhere with the hot beverage of their choice. Knowing what it means to these riders is fundamental.

From the first year, when I got the "I'm not sure if you remember me, my name's David Waddilove" phone call, to this morning's excitement.........

Graeme Murray (saddlemaker extraordinaire) is watching the race closely because Andrew Barnes is on one of his saddles. When Graeme heard about Dave Barr's plight, his immediate reaction was "well, why don't we get a saddle to the *&^%**&%$ Aussie bastard!"

That's to me what the Freedom Challenge is about. Creating a space for the good in people to shine.

So it happens that there's a saddle winging it's way to Dave by overnight counter-to-counter courier (the Post Office play a big and often un-acknowledged role in this kind of thing) Who else can get a saddle from Velddrif to Rhodes in 24 hours?

While this was all being arranged, we received news that Dave Barr had turned back due to bad weather (I assume his sore backside played a role). Hang in there mate, we're getting the real thing to you as fast as is humanly possible.

Something else that deserves a mention, in fact much more than a mention, is that Steven and Di Thomas have donated a large number of bikes to cycling projects along the Freedom Challenge route. I'll stop gushing here, Steve, and just put a picture instead...

Gert Swarts with his "Gerrie Visser" bike,

....and Jan Smit with his,
both courtesy of Steven and Di Thomas of Daytrippers

You two, of all people will know what these bikes means to Gert and Jan.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My apologies.

It appears that this blog has degenerated into a bike-porn dump.
Couldn't help myself.

While there are no immediate trips or requests for trips, the bike-porn will continue.

This is worth a laugh........!!!!


Muti-angle-wheel bicycle appears in Qingdao

Well, it appears that Africa's influence is great; Muti angles and all...............
More here http://www.china.org.cn/china/photos/2009-05/07/content_17738257_4.htm

No Flats, No Stan's. Tubeless, spokeless, speechless. At least it's singlespeed.

None of that CNC, Hydroformed, Carbon-wa-wa-wa bullshit here, this is a "Real Man's" bike, probably well-suited to the legendary Sheldon Brown's "Real Man" saddle (You can Google that for yourself or contact Kevin Davie and Steven Thomas (they know) http://sheldonbrown.com/real-man.html

Case of Windhoek for the first rider to complete the Freedom Challenge on one (the bike or the saddle)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


We all know North Americans are not famous
for their tact, but.....??

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