Bike Hutt Cyclocross Jeff's Bike Singular Kite

Jeff’s Bike – Jeff’s Bike Blog: Cyclocross in Upper Belgium

My Singular Kite, a very fun bike.

We are pretty lucky in Wellington, well
Upper Hutt actually, with a great Cyclocross series put on by the crew from the Bike Hutt. The series actually
started 4 years ago. The first race had but a handful of CX bikes and
most of us were on MTB’s of some kind. I opted for an old  single
speeded Diamond Back until the next year’s series where I used my newly acquired 
Karate Monkey with Cross tires. It was great fun but the Monkey is a pretty hefty bike
to shoulder with discs. The next year I put my back out in the very first race of
the series and was knackered for the rest. At the end of that year I
took delivery of a proper cross bike frame, a new Singular Kite. I
quickly built it up and have done some awesome rides on it of both on
MTB trails and on Gravel Grinding rides.

Cross racing is unlike anything
else I have done on two wheels, and I have done quite a few different
things. It doesn’t have the cut-throat style of road racing, or the same kind
of intensity as track racing. It doesn’t feel as serious as MTB racing
and there is a real camaraderie amongst the riders as they battle each
other lap for lap, until one of them blows, and they
often do blow. There is no sucking a wheel in CX. There is mud, and spills, but injuries are rare. And afterwards there is always a heart-felt hand shake from the competitor you have been racing.

Why Cyclocross is a good idea
1. You don’t need to do a lot of training, races are all under 1 hour, doable with a bit of commuting and maybe some running to boost your cardio fitness.
2. It’s great to spectate at. Friendly sledging and cheering is encouraged.
3. You can watch the other grades race as well and get to know those riders as well as the riders from your own grade.
4. Because of the flat nature of the courses its very easy to include a kids race into the programme.
5. No matter what bike you ride, you will be welcome. No one will look down their nose at you if you don’t have the latest gear.
6. You can be deadly slow but you will never finish more than 1 lap after the winner. (Those are the rules).
7. When you are not CXing your bike will make an awesome commuter and adventure bike. You may even want to do some Brevet style riding on it. It will also pass as a road bike with some slick tires one.

A good thing about the Bike Hutt series is that we have some very good photographers recording the racing and publishing or putting videos on line. 

Craig has also published a Coffee table book of some of his favourite shots from the last two years racing. 2012 and 2013.

Check out one of Ricoh’s videos.

The as always immaculately dressed Gav flinches as Marcel
monsters past and roosts all over him.  Awesome shot Ricoh.

Ricoh’s Flickr stream

This year was the first year I have actually ridden a proper CX bike
in the races and it makes it a lot more fun. I was actually planning to
do a bit of training for the CX series this time around but we sold our
house and moved into Wellington so there was basically no time. I had a
race entry carried over from last years Night Time Madness night-running race so
I thought I could probably train for that instead with a few lunch time

A shot of the Harcourt Park final from Craig Madsen.

Here is my schedule in a bit more detail if anyone is interested. As I said it was a minimalist programme aimed at a running race, not Cyclocross racing.

Basically it was (weather dependant) 3 runs a week, one of them long and 3 commutes by bike on the flat. My commuter bike is a 2×1 with 50/36 – 17 gearing so it was mostly spinning. Before that, for maybe 2 months I was doing pilates once a week with 3 short runs and maybe one ride a week. Before that I was doing some pretty hard cross-fit sessions at lunch with one of my work mates. I am sure the core work is a great help. I think I got a far better return in my cardio fitness from the hill running as I would not have been interested in riding hard at that time of the year. The commuting was just enough to remind the legs that they needed to go around and around hard, once a week at a CX race on the sunday : )

M – Sa shift house
Su CX race 16th California Park

M 50 mins commute x2,
Tu 50 mins commute x2, 1.09hrs hill run
W 50 mins commute x2, 55 mins hill run
Su CX race 9th Moonshine Park

M 50 mins commute x2,
Tu 50 mins commute x2, 1.02hrs hill run
W 41 mins hill run
Th 1hr hill run
Su 2hr hill run

Tu 50 mins commute x2, 60mins hill run
W 2hr hill run
Th 50 mins commute x2,
Su CX race Nats round 9th O/A Blenheim

M 50 mins commute x2, 28mins flat run
Tu 50 mins commute x2, 38mins hill run
W 50 mins commute x2,
Th 2hr hill run
F 25min run
Su CX race 9th California Park

M 50 mins commute x2, 53mins hill run
Tu 50 mins commute x2, 39mins hill run
W 50 mins commute x2,
Th 2hr hill run
F 50 mins commute x2
Su CX race 8th Moonshine

M 50 mins commute x2, 42mins hill run
Tu 50 mins commute x2,
Th 1.38hr hill run
F 50 mins commute x2, 29min run
Su CX race 5th Harcourt Park

A word of caution, Cyclocross is a winter sport. If you put a lot of effort into it you may well find yourself feeling a bit fried at the time of the year you would normally be starting to get serious with some base training for your summer season.

See you next year.

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Alex Revell Cyclocross Cyclocross national series De Snor Geoffrey Notman Jeff's Bike Mondo Kopua Singular Kite Yeti

Jeff’s Bike – Jeff’s Bike Blog: Mainland weekender

De Snor, Alex Revell
was keen to head down and asked if he could stay in the Voodoo Lounge.
His fellow Revolution Cycles rider Geoffrey Notman had to head down
south anyway to take photos for some painting he was doing, so it
would have been rude not to fit in the race while he was there as well.
For me it was a good chance to catch up with my family and bring back a
motor scooter my brother had offered me, and obviously I would take part
in the race too.

There was a taste of things to come when on the Friday morning
as I was getting ready a particularly nasty quake rocked our house. It
was a lot worse at my work where people were getting a bit more
excitable, as is there job to. While I was sailing over the Cook Strait
on the Bluebridge Ferry later on I got a text from my daughter saying
another one had struck.

Alex roosts it up. Image from Sarnim Dean.

Things seemed to cool down for a bit that night while my
brother shouted us out to tea at the Redwood Tavern. The next day,
Saturday, like a couple of gun-fighters, Alex and Geoff rode into town
rather than accept the complimentary Voodoo Lounge flat-deck-truck

They checked out dads latest “eagle” and made themselves comfy
in the Voodoo Lounge. It was the first time for Geoff but Alex had
stayed before and after the 2012 Kiwi Brevet..

We tweaked
the bikes for the next day’s event and after a wholesome meal topped off
with a complimentary bottle of wine left over from the Grape Ride three
years previous, we hit the sack.

Around 7am on Sunday we were awoken by a sharp quake that knocked a
picture frame off the shelf. Hmmm. A bit of a swarm thing going on

I had first heard of Mondo Kopua at the inaugural Kiwi Brevet in 2010 and he seems to have taken up the role of
introducing CX to the locals in Blenheim. They were very organized and I
think they also had a points system for the non-CX class where they got
credits for things such as skin-suits, costumes and leg-shavings.

Image from

The course had some good technical bits and was quite a bit rougher
than the manicured stop-banks and parks we are spoilt with in Upper
Hutt, or “Upper Belgium” as its known. I was happy to be on my steel Singular Kite and wondered how much battering Alex and Geoff would have
been getting on  their alloy Yeti’s as they bounced over the
myriad of cow-pocks that were in parts of the course. I don’t usually
race CX with gloves on, and this day was no exception but by the end of
the event I had a very nasty blister from my cow-pock induced

My speedy starts seem to be a thing of the past so
these days I seem to be relying on a consistency that manifests itself
in a 14 second spread on a long 7-8 minute course like this. Geoff
and I were both racing vets men 45+ and I watched as he started putting
putting a good 10 seconds a lap on me as he rode off leaving me to battle
with the fastest ladies. Anja McDonald and Jenna Makgill were both riders I had heard about through mountainbiking and I knew technically
speaking both of them would ride rings around me. Downhill, Cross
country, fixed gear and Singlespeeding, these ladies have big reps, World champ and National Champs status across all codes, but I had no idea any of them were CXers. 
Me flying my Kite.
Check out the levers.

I busied myself at trying not to fall off on the
slimy off-camber and after a few laps I managed to haul Jenna back
probably courtesy of my running fitness, up one of the grunty walking
climbs. It was common for me to come a cropper at least once a lap, and
to fail at reclipping into my pedals as my crash point was usually
followed by a pocky descent that was bumping my feet off the pedals.
Sucks to be a nana!

The race was to be a bit longer than normal at 60
minutes plus 1 lap and eventually I pulled back Geoffrey and started
catching a few more riders and lapping a few more. The “other” Mike Anderson from
Stoke Cycles was just around the corner and for two laps I tailed him
and Anja as Anja’s lap times started to blow out. On the last lap I made
a move and somehow cleaned the technical bit that was stymieing me,
dropped Mike and ran past Anja on the next climb. Great I had it nailed.
Unfortunately the last zig-zag proved too much for my nana-skills and I
lost the front-end yet again and with my levers getting progressively
lower with each get-off there was no way I was going to make the time
back with less than a couple of minutes to go!

Somewhere along the way we caught Jut Bishop who I
remember from back in the 90’s as being the area’s top MTBer. Its cool
to see him still out there giving it a crack. 

Geoffrey Notman with his racing head on.

Alex was having it mostly his own way after his main competition,
Logan Horn from Christchurch burped his tubeless tires twice on a firm
part of the course, not that it meant that Alex slowed down at all, indeed
he came a good cropper on the triple-set of stiles at the start-finish
and scored a good haematoma for his efforts. It was great to hear some
of Alex’s tales from his CX racing in Europe last year.

We were late in starting the race so Geoff and I split ASAP
when it finished to get out to his next appointment at Renwick where he
was taking some shots for inspiration for his next series of paintings.
Alex also took off so sadly missed the prize giving which looked
particularly salubrious with some very nice bottles of wine and other
goodies up for grabs.

After attending the Renwick Boar Slaying comp we realised what a
completely fringe activity Cyclocross is by comparison. Thanks Mondo for
lifting the profile!

After another
wholesome meal from my mum I was contemplating jumping on my new scooter
for its last ride on the mainland, to the ferry, when the next quake
hit at 5.09. A 6.5 ! What a monster. I cant say I’ve ever been scared of an earthquake
to that extent in NZ before. Suffice to say it was a busy week at work
the next week.
We really enjoyed our brief shaky interlude down
south and would recommend anyone to check out the CX events Mondo, Brent and
his crew are putting on down there. We travelled via the Bluebridge Ferry which has free wifi and movies. Compare this to the
Interislander Ferry where you have to pay for both of these, on top of a
more expensive passage fee, plus The Bluebridge people had a half price
deal on : )

Thanks to Sarnim Dean for the use of his awesome images on these pages. Check out the classic one below. This is Kim Swan (the one on the left ; ). She is a good friend of my fathers and has written many books on Pig-Hunting and horse riding.  For more on this theme check out Sarnim’s pix in his Flickr feed.

Kim Swan, look harder, no, on the left !

Results here.

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Amgen tour Bike tech Blood medicine Huka Challenge Jeff's Bike Kathleen Sharp Singular Kite USADA xx1

Jeff’s Bike – The things you see on the side of the road…

Dan’s Singular Peregrine

Its been another busy month. Everyone is building new bikes. Ben has built up his Ibis Hakkalugi cross bike, waiting only on a head-set and Dan has finally finished his very classic looking Singular Peregrine.

Marco and Dave have gone to XX1, the crazy new 1 x 11 drive chain that has a rear cluster ranging from 42 to 10 teeth, the bottom 9 sprockets being engineered from a solid billet of steel.

The Bike Tech crew, Dave, Simon and myself, teamed up with Voodoo Lounger Ran for a cross bike ride a couple of weeks ago, the high-light of which was Simon falling off (NOVICE) while Dave proceeded to ride over his bald head. Lucky Dave was the only one not on a CX bike and his patented VPP suspension meant that he didn’t feel a thing. Neither did Simon, but he could be head injured, who could tell ; )

Daves Ibis Mojo with XX1

Previous to that there was a weekend away where a bunch of us, Marco, Ash and Peter went up to Taupo to do the Huka Challenge. Marco had some issues with a wheel that would barely freewheel and his crank almost fell off within minutes of the finish line. The 85km course was a continuous single-track blast and the race seemed to be over in no time at all. I snuck home 1st in my age group, (as did my roomy Peter Reynolds), and caught all but two of the age-group riders that started 5 mins in front of us in the Huka XL race. Pete is 61 and finished less than 2 minutes behind me. Lucky he sconed himself at the start or I would have been “crustied!” We did the Huka Challenge which is for people without race licences.

Marcos 17 pound Cannondale Flash with XX1

After talking about racing my Cyclo Cross bike I chickened out at the last minute and rode my trusty Santa Cruz Superlight fully. I didn’t regret it. I finished with almost two spare full water bottles so I’ll know not to take so much water next time. I could have done with another bottle of coke though for the last hour, nutrition was great up until then as I had a bit of a bonk after catching up to Ant Bradshaw and Samara Sheppard. I got stuck behind a pretty fit guy on a 26 inch Cannondale Flash earlier on in the race but it was only a matter of time before he face-planted and I could get past. Those bikes are dangerous with anything less than a 650B wheel on the front, especially in the hands of your typical weight weener.

Ran, Dave and Simon

Apparently numbers were down quite a bit on previous years, (only 8 thousand)  maybe some people are wondering if 100$ is too much for a free water bottle?  I have only just learned that the sponsors actually have to pay to put their product in the “swag-bags”.You couldn’t fault the marshalling or course marking but it would have been good to know that there was a prize giving so we could have heard what happened at the front end of the MTB race. Taupo was certainly jam-packed with cyclists and we managed to sneak in two parties before the night was done and all good crusties hit the hay at 10pm. First up was the Bushlove pool-party and then later on the Roadies party with Ray, Barney and Hendi. A very nice way to spend the remainder of the day.

Paddy and I at the 09 Karapoti
Classic, his ability to live every
 day to the fullest is something
we can all aspire to. Anton Cooper

Nobody was ready for the shock of Paddy Avery’s death in a short race in Rotorua last week, but it brought up the question of just how much good, or harm racing at intense levels is doing us. While Paddy was only young, there is an increasing list of people in their 50’s being diagnosed with various variations on heart arrhythmia’s. How much of it is genetic and how much is long term abuse? The Avery family are one of the most well known families in NZ MTBing with Clinton the “Tank” Avery being one of the first wave of Rotorua youngsters to follow their cycling passion onto the world stage. I met his equally passionate mother Mary Anne once at a coaching clinic, she was a bit bummed that the roadies had stolen Clinton away from his MTB roots, despite the response that Clinton could one day win Paris Roubaix. The Avery’s all live for cycling and as the second tragedy to hit Rotorua biking this year it just seemed too much. See attached a tweet from NZ’s junior world champion Anton Cooper. What an amazing photo. RIP Paddy.

I went for a ride with Peter Reynolds on Sunday on the cross bikes, me on my Singular Kite and Peter on his BMC. Poor Pete was hampered with the most debilitating fork shudder I had ever seen. There is some work to do to make that bike safe! Last night I took off my rear XTR cantis which were effectively useless, and replaced them with some very old-school over-length cantis which were ex Marco’s spare parts bin. What a revelation. Pad clearance is still massive and they really work. This what they look like, on the right.

Peter Reynolds

I tested the new rear brakes out on my Belmont Road Moonshine River Trail commute this morning and they rocked. I was listening to a podcast at the time from Kim Hill’s interview with Kathleen Sharp on her new book “Blood Medicine” which talks about the drug EPO and the corrupt ways it was pushed by the companies that sold it and the many deaths it caused.

The author commented how she thought it was ironic that while watching some Tour de France coverage she saw an advert for Johnson and Johnson’s version of EPO, Procrit. What would she have thought if she knew that Amgen sponsored the biggest race in the US, the Tour of California, and knew that the UCI, effectively the world franchise for cycling wouldn’t allow USADA full control of the drug testing process for the event? How many elephants can you fit in the one room?

On a weirder note, a couple of weeks back, on my morning commute via Belmont road, I came across this guy in the middle of the trail. At first I thought I was hallucinating, he waved his one good arm at me agressively so he still had plenty of fight in him. What the hell a 6 inch Koura (freshwater crayfish) was doing in the middle of a gravel road was beyond me, so I stuck him in my backpack and liberated him a couple of hundred metres up the road in a stream I knew of in the Kilmeister Block. He seemed pretty happy at that point.

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Jeff's Bike Kite Singular Singular Kite Towai track Wainuiomata trail park

Jeff’s Bike – Flying Kite at Wainuiomata Trail Park

I have had an inkling to do Taupo’s 85km Huka Challenge on my CX bike next weekend, but before I commit to it I thought I better get out onto the most similar terrain I can find on my own back yard. That would be the WTP (Wainuiomata Trail Park). Taking the “long way home” was the plan, and although the direct route of going straight up Summit road was the closest to  my work, it would have been a bit of a push with only 34-25 gearing. Its usually granny-granny on my MTB. WTP has some great smooth trails, and I’d heard a lot of work had been done on their most recent one “Towai “. The last time I rode it was in a race (before I got lost) on my rigid Karate Monkey, and although it was a handful, it was a fun but demanding trail.

The Towai track

The recent work had taken a lot of the rough edges off the trail and made it 99% rideable on my Singular Kite. There were just a few bits that had me stepping off for a pace or two. The Kite continues to amaze me with its forgiving nature. I have got into a few slides on it, but never crashed, and the lightness, compared to a fully or heavier 29er really starts to be noticed after a couple of hours.

I was happy to be using an overbuilt Thomson stem when I whacked into a hole at the bottom of the Snail Trail but that was about the only moment I had. Jungle Gym and Labyrinth were all sweet as was the wetlands track. I wasn’t going to hit 491 just yet : )

I noticed something else which was completely unexpected. While riding at WTP I am often skidding my rear wheel when riding my drop-barred Karate Monkey or Santa Cruz Superlight. The relative “ineffectiveness” of rear cantis put paid to that! I am convinced that the mini-vees on the front though are the best thing next to discs and I was very impressed with how well they handled the Summit road descent, up to 23% in places, according to Strava. I only had to get off once at the very bottom where the deep rain ruts directed me into the bush. I am still not sure whether to ride it at the Huka at the moment. I might head out to WTP one more time.

The view from the Pylon road across the Harbour
Coming down Summit road, 23% in places, according to Strava.
Another view of the ride, going to WTP via the Wainuiomata Hill, and back down Summit road.
A screen grab of WTP with Towai high-lighted.

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Bike Hutt Gravel Grinder Hinakura 100 Jeff's Bike Singular Kite Wairarapa

Jeff’s Bike – Hinakura 100 Mile Gravel Grinder

Mike tells us the way its gonna be.

Mike at the Bike Hutt had been talking about a Gravel Grinder for a while now, and so it came to pass. The
Hinakura 100 was a 160km ride on a secret course in the Wairarapa. As we had all guessed, it would take in the back end of
Admirals Hill, and possibly head out along the Pahaoa River to the coast
and back. A beautiful piece of gravelly road that flanks a normally
emerald green river down below.

 We collected our laminated map and course
notes and rolled out of Martinborough Square at more or less 8am. It was
a beautiful crisp and sunny day with the potential to get very hot. The
action started almost immediately when the first turn was missed, and a
rider went down when his front wheel was clipped. He banged his head a
beauty at quite a low speed. Unfortunately it was game over for him 5
mins into the ride.

Punters ready to rip

We carried on, sniffing out the elusive gravel that was going to
justify the usage of our knobbly tires and shiny Cyclo-cross bikes.
Dave Sharpe was already up the road by now, getting some run-up for the
first hill on the fixed gear single-speed bike he likes to call the

I tried to take a photo and then struggled to get my camera back in
its bag as we started the first of our gravelly ascents, which just
happened to coincide with the first real move from the riders at the

The Hinakura 100. A 100 mile romp in the gravel. 1558 metres, or 5111 foot climbing for the old school imperilists. There was also a 100km version for those with more sense. The shorter event still crammed in 1100 metres of elevation.

I found myself in a little group with Ken Feist, Dave, Nick Kennedy
and the NZ women’s Cyclo-cross champ Kim Hurst. By the time we crested the hill
there was a bit of a gap to the more sensible riders and as we
concentrated on pulling back Dave we must have increased it a bit more.

Dave, Nick, Barryn, Kim (hidden) and Ken.

The problem with Dave’s death-machine was its inability to descend at
speed, due to it not having a coasting hub, so as Dave continued to
smash us up all the Hills we would eventually pick him up going down the
other side. Ken must have decided to be more sociable and drop back to
the next group behind.

The next big Hill was the one approaching Hinakura, while not
gravel, it was still a beauty. Somewhere up there we lost Dr Nick and
despite seeing no sign of Dave up ahead, we soon pulled him in again
down the other side. Kim and I, making the most of the tail-wind and
down hill, pushed on, at a very sociable conversation pace down to the
coast for the turnaround.

This part was fun, because it was out and back, and we could see who was
closest to us. Dave, Nick and then the group with Trevor Barryn and Ken. A spot of rain in the hills that week had the
normally pretty river flowing a muddy brown. The upside was that the gravel
roads were not putting up any dust. More of a concern to me though was
the head wind, the return elevation, and how long Kim would put up with
me sucking her wheel !

A short section of tar seal lead us up to the turn at the Hinakura
Hall and it was into the farmland proper. These were farm roads. The
domain of tractors, Big Reds and Hiluxes. This was the high-light for
me. It could have been anywhere in rural New Zealand, but here we were grovelling away, trying to ward off the cramp. With no sign of Kim up
ahead I stopped at the top to take a photo. And and as I was about to
leave, Dave and the death-machine turned up. This was a contentious spot,
as Map-my-ride had omitted the road name in the course maps it had generated. I had
been up here once before, and so had Dave. Gut feeling was that left was
right. A bit of downhill followed then the big one. Admirals hill.

At the top of the farm track before the infamous fork. Kim was long gone. Dave turned up on the Death Machine a few minutes later and we spanked it down some nice gravelly descents.

Admirals hill is the Queen stage of the Tour of
Wellington each year. It’s the big one, but the mostly untraveled “back side” of
it is gravel. This was our route. It was getting hot. Not Wairarapa hot,
but hot enough that riding through the short patches of shade made you
want slow down and linger a while.

If you were a Magpie would you be scared?

I was really suffering by now, hoping for the gravel to abate. Looking for signs
of civilization. Seeing a school bus sign always does it for me.
Children live nearby, therefore it cant be more than 50kms to the
nearest country school. Unbeknown to me Dave was a long way up the road
getting dive-bombed by magpies. I wasn’t, either my slow progress wasn’t
deemed to be threatening enough to them, or the big white eyes I stuck on the
back of my helmet were doing their job. More aerodynamic than the
zip-tied porcupine look.

Good news bad news. The gravel stopped but the tar seal got steeper.
This was particularly testing for riders like Dave, Mike Anderson and
Ben Knight on their single speed Cross bikes. I think there were single speeders in the Metric hundred as well. They also took in this part of the course. I stuck my head down, spat
the “milk bottle” lollies out of my mouth as there was obviously not
enough saliva left in my glands to swallow them.

I crested the hill and enjoyed the long descent and as it flattened out who should appear
beside me but Kim. She’d taken the right instead of the left at the top
gate and reckoned she added about 10kms to her journey! We rode on and a few minutes
later picked up Dave suffering from his usual gear shortage on the long
flat section back to Martinborough. I think The hill on Millars road
was the last time we were all together, and as Kim legged it off down
the other side I only gave a half hearted chase as I knew my goose was
crispy on the outside.

Dave caught me up again and must have a photographic memory or
something as he seemed to know exactly where to go without looking at
the notes. I was in reptilian mode and all ability for cognitive thought had long gone. I would like to say that we rolled into the
Martinborough Square to the adulation of our peers, but we didn’t. They
were still out there. Anyone that respected anyone else silly enough to
do a 100 mile Gravel Grinder was out there participating.

Tom was out
there, having not been on a bike in about 7 months. Thomas was there
having left home at 2am in the morning to ride over the hill from
Wellington. Owen borrowed a bike because his brand new one broke a week after he built it up. I’d be surprised if anyone of them regretted it.

For me it was a chance to test my new bike, and it came through nicely. A
steel frame on a long ride like this was perfect. Not one scary moment
and no sore bits anywhere. I’m not sure how much of the smooth ride was
due to my carbon rimmed wheels but it may have
helped. Although I had several periods of bad cramping I was still able
to stand up and move my position about on the bike. Riding more than
twice a week would probably be the best way to address the cramp issue in future I
would think.

On the day around 30 hardy soles entered the inaugural Hinakura 100’s. About 20 in the Imperial, and 10 in the Metric. Thanks to Mike Anderson and his
team from the Bike Hutt for organising it and giving us another reason
to go out and play in the gravel. I am sure we are all looking forward to the next one.

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Jeff's Bike Kite Singular Singular Kite

Jeff’s Bike – Jeff’s Bike Blog: Flying a kite.

This is my first real ride on my Singular Kite cyclo-cross bike. I am loving it so far. It was hard taking it out into the wild where it might get muddy, but that day had to come. Its all been good so far, except for one thing. The elephant in the “CX room “.Cantilever brakes. Life is too short and brakes have come too far for me to put up with them. Tradition be damned. My good buddy Marco kindly donated some pristine XTR canti “stoppers” for the back, and while they may score highly in retro points I can only tell they are activated when I hear a slight howling sound from the back. On the other hand, the standard v-brakes I have on the front feel very similar in feel to the Avid mechanical discs I have on my drop-barred karate monkey. There will be some mini-vees making it onto this bike as soon as I can afford it!

I am loving the Salsa Bell lap handlebars at the moment too, 44 cms wide. The ride is smooth and the handling very predictable. Not a hint of a twitch anywhere. I will have to wait til I get some dedicated wheels before I can tell how much of the ride feel is because of these carbon rimmed wheels currently on it.

 Getting pinkified

Still lots of bits to come, has only travelled 2.2 kms to date. Felt very very smooth.

Heres the frame. The drop-outs on it are very pretty. Better pictures later.

 Hopefully will have one of these built up soon. A bit late for CX season though.
This sure is a purty one. Singular Kite.

Image borrowed from the “interweb”.

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