Stories of Zane riding his Mountain Bike in New Zealand

September Update

Yeh I know… been a while since I posted anything up here!! Thought I had better post something so that you know that I have not fallen off the face of the earth, I have not been taken out by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake, and that I am still riding my bikes!

So what has been going on?? Well Winter = Skiing, so I spent much of my time on the weekends up the slopes enjoying the snow. Also this winter has been a very wet winter here in Christchurch, which means that many of the local tracks have been closed, and that many of the tracks I ride in the mountains have had snow to low levels. All of this has added up to no bike riding, and especially no nice trips out in the mountains to take photos of and put up here on the blog.

Round Hill Skifield, from the new rope tow. Carpark + ski huts in center

I have been riding a fair bit through September on a Transition TransAM that I have built up as a Single Speed. While I am of the opinion that Christchurch is not the ideal place for SS, I happened to enter the SSWCs (Single Speed World Champs) and so thought I had better do some SSing! My goodness the first few rides hurt after 4 months of next to no riding!! The world champs is being held in Rotorua on October 23rd, so I now have less than a month to have my SSing and beer drinking down to a fine art. I am really looking forward to the event, and have a costume half organised. Should be a heap of fun tooling around the Rotorua trails with 900 other crazies on bikes with one gear!! http://www.sswc10nz.com/

As I mentioned I do not think Christchurch is the ideal place to be riding a SS, but the idea of no derailleur does appeal to me. So the long term plan for the TransAM is to put an Alfine 11 Speed internal geared hub on. It would make a fantastic winter bike, and is a nice frame to ride. Good angles, a through axle fork and a steel frame add up to fun on the Port Hills tracks.  I am just waiting until I find someone with an 11 speed alfine on their bike that I can have a play on so I can decide if it is what I really want.

Other exciting happenings include the 7.1 magnitude earthquake we had here in Christchurch on the 4th of September. Extremely scary event to go through, although us, our cat and our house came through with no physical damage. Plenty of older buildings in the central city have been condemned and are being demolished. Amazing that nobody died in the quake. The Haiti quake was of a similar magnitude (slightly smaller) and 230,000 people died. I have heard a number of stories of lucky escapes, and know of many people who have had to leave their wrecked homes. Due to a wet winter and some of the city being built on liquefaction zones some suburbs have had major problems with liquefaction and houses have sunk by up to 400mm while their backyards are now a pile of silt. Very scary and not something I would like to go through again!!

What you dont realise about big quakes if you have not been through one is that the aftershocks keep on going for weeks, and this really affects people. The aftershocks are not as big as the initial event, but each time one comes through you start thinking it is the big one coming again… which is not great for your mental health!! We are now 3 weeks after the event and the aftershocks are still rolling through. Some graphical info on the Christchurch quake here http://quake.crowe.co.nz/

Anyway, Spring is here and the days are getting longer again. There is still a bunch of snow on the mountains, but I am sure it will not be long till I have some photos and trail riding tails to write up on here again!

Seeya

Zane

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