Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm just going out for a ride. I may be some time.

Technical Director Richard and I have been thinking about a ride (for next year March/April 2010). A race, sort of, but mostly against oneself. A test of stoutness and fortitude. An investigation of body and soul. 
Broadly, we all catch the Overlander train down to National Park Friday morning. We'll stay the night at the Chateau (port/cigars/tales of bravado etc). On Saturday we set off on our bikes back to Auckland. 340km. Mainly downhill. Ideally we'd ride individually.

Participants carry nothing but a can of baked beans (no opener) and $3.49 in cash. No phones, cash/credit cards, or pre-organisation. We will encourage digital cameras to record interesting events along the way.

Some may try to complete the trip in one day; others may take it easier, using their skill and luck to find somewhere to hunker down for the night.

Just putting it out there. Keen to here your thoughts...

Monday, April 13, 2009

It’s a hard road finding the perfect glove

The benefits of gloves stretch much further than protecting fingers
from the bitterness of frosted air. A well-chosen pair disguises
telltale signs of toil beneath one’s station and emboldens the wearer.
While suburbanites suffer the indignity of shopping mall fatigue and
price promotions, those in possession of the right pair of gloves are
endlessly rewarded with unspeakable joy. The elegant cocooning of
fingers is a close second to the cocooning of another appendage;
pretending to not notice admiring second glances from appreciators of
gentlemanly accoutrements stirs a tremendous warm feeling; and, in
quieter moments, the thrill of inhaling scent of leather stirs images
of goat slaughter and a manual curative process.

But where does the gentleman cyclist find such a thing? Trademe?
Certainly not. Trademe is a clearinghouse for mass-produced synthetic
impostors. Chock full of dinkyness; crude instruments for crass

What about golf gloves? More promising and certainly finely engineered, but still golf gloves and below the station of every self-respecting bicycle rider.

Saddleries are more fertile ground. Horse folk have long appreciated
the magnetism of leather tastefully contoured for maximum efficiency
and social intrigue. The horseman’s wardrobe is inspired by traversing
the pencil thin line between silk lined tents heaving with post chukka
twittering and the slapping of hot rump in the musty confines of horse

Yes, if anyone is going to make a fine pair of leather gloves it is
horse folk. But, alas, their eye for detail stops short of commercial
distribution. Finding a pair for sale is nigh impossible.

Perseverance and luck eventually lead to K Road icon and lesser known
gentleman outfitters Leo O’Malley. There,
the mention of gloves brings a smile to the pursed lips of a
delicately wristed shop attendant, who at the working day’s end fondly
recollects the personal highlight of fishing a fine leather selection
from a secret draw.

The bicycle rider departs a better person, in a better world.