My 2016 in eight simple bullet points!

What an interesting year 2016 has been, one of many changes in my life. I started out in England with no intention of that changing and here I am now living at the opposite end of the world! There have been some curve balls I did not see coming. There were some sad times, but many happy moments too. All in all I think it was a positive twelve months of my life and a year I won’t forget.

1) I cycle commuted right through the British winter and out the other side into the start of Spring. There’s nothing quite like that first taste of Spring after all the frosty pre-dawn commutes.

2) I finished my time at Sigma Sport. Working in the cycling industry was a blast and a real eye opener. I learnt a lot and met so many great people (and some super strong cyclists). The hours were long, the workload high, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff discount afforded me some kit I never would have dreamed of buying otherwise too.

img_1489Farewell drinks with Elz (The Lonely Cyclist) after my last day at Sigma Sport

3) In fact in 2016 I cycled a lot. Well, not a lot, but a decent amount. Not as much as last year. As soon as I stopped commuting to Sigma I knew I would never surpass last year’s total mileage. That’s cool though. Plus there was my discovery of…

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4) Zwift! This has totally changed my outlook on indoor training, giving me so much more motivation to hop on the rollers. Never before have I thought “I can’t wait to get home and jump on the trainer!” But with Zwift, that’s what happens! Of course, it’s no match for a sun soaked outdoor ride in the fresh air!

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5) I said farewell to my parents, again. After Mum and Dad retired they moved across to join me in England (Dad is English) and bought a beautiful place down on the South Coast. It was great having them close by again and being able to spend more time with them both, so breaking the news that I was off to the far end of the earth was hard.

6) The big one. I moved to Tasmania! So after 11 fantastic years in England I find myself back in the Land of Oz. I absolutely love it here with its fantastic weather and laid back lifestyle, but I do miss England some of the time, the people I’d met, the places I’d experienced, the European travel. England had become my home and I very much get “homesick” when I think about it or see people’s travel photos.

img_2876Beach on my doorstep, Tassie does have it’s advantages!

KLR_0097) I also got back on motorised two wheels after a long break! Owning a motorbike in the UK wasn’t going to happen. The weather and road conditions just doesn’t make it an all year option. Back in the land of sunshine and blue skies, I didn’t waste any time getting back on board. This is my first dual sport style motorbike and it’s helped me explore parts of Tassie. Nothing like 650cc’s of Kawasaki engineered motor doping! I’m all about life on two wheels, pedal or piston powered!

8) I rounded out the year with old friends. The Christmas break was spent with two friends from Brisbane that my wife and I have known since we were teens. It was a great getaway for the four of us in the Blue Mountains just relaxing, catching up and shooting the breeze. I even got a few cheeky outdoor rides in. Aaaaand relax….

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So to sum up an eventful 2016, that’s a wrap! #thanksforreading #keepcycling

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Aussie Christmas!

Just a quickie to wish  you all a wonderfully relaxing Christmas! :-) Extra kudos to anyone who is taking on the annual Rapha Festive 500 challenge. I am sitting that one out this year, instead I’ll be kicking back with old friends. I can tell you one thing though, the weather this Christmas is a fair whack different to last year! This is my first summer Christmas in over 10 years.

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Dear Santa, PowerTap P1 Pedals

High on my Christmas list (yeah sure, I haven’t been that good this year) how I’d love a set of PowerTap P1 powermeter pedals. I love my G3 hub, but it does mean you’re limited to using it only in the one wheel. PowerTap P1’s give you the option of putting your powermeter on any bike simply by switching pedals. It is a very expensive way to basically tell yourself to pedal harder though!

img_2571_thumbImage: DC Rainmaker

There’s no need to a torque wrench when installing to ensure accuracy either unlike the Garmin Vector pedals, making the P1 pedals the most portable and transferable powermeter currently on the market.

The biggest downside I can see with these (and all pedal based powermeters) is that pedals are easily damaged in a crash,  drop your bike, scrape them on curbs, etc. Here’s a little video from the GCN boys showing how they’re made and tested:

The things we do…

…for a little cloth badge from Rapha! :-)

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Finally received  my Rapha Festive 500 celebratory badge. I’ve been waiting for this since I finished that last ride on the 28th of December to cap off six days on the bike.

The badge was accompanied by a postcard full of challenge statistics. One of the more interesting numbers is 1277. That’s the total number of riders in the UK who managed to ride 500km or more and complete the challenge. A nice little elite group I’d say!

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Retro bike fettling with Dad

I’m having a bit of R&R time down at Mum and Dad’s before the Festive 500 starts in a few days. This morning I was mostly tinkering with some retro and custom bikes that Dad has in the shed. Here he is test riding the “longrider” custom cruiser:

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The bikes were packed up with the rest of their belongings earlier this year and shipped by sea from Australia. Dad’s a bit of a “tinkerer” himself, which is where I get it from!

Photogram-20141222112342The bike hadn’t been ridden since the move so was in need of some care. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve messed around with Sturmey Archer internal gear hubs! This particular 3-speed hub was stamped 1986. Almost as old as me. The bike is a chopped road frame of unknown origin and most of the parts have been sourced from various other donor bikes over the years.

I’ve got my own bike to start working on soon. It’s a beach cruiser brought over from the US by a friend of a friend. It sat outdoors in the elements for around four years rotting away before they moved back. It’ll be my winter project, obviously the basket will be the first thing to go!

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See, I’m not all “need for speed” road warrior! I’ll probably strip this one down, paint it black, add some white wall tyres, new bars and saddle plus a few other “rat rod” style touches then use it to cruise the beach front boulevard! They see me rolling… :-)