Monday, March 19, 2007

Torque the Talk

Just in from a supplier in the US of A are some brand new precision tools that should bring a whole new level to Mountain Pedaler's operations. Traditionally frame builds have been offered but have required the assistance of a local bike store, but this new arrival should expand our capabilities to amazing new levels!

First up is a torque wrench which will allow for precision tightening of pivot bolts (amongst others) ensuring fasteners are torqued to manufacturer's specifications while avoiding the dreaded stripped thread!
Next is a headset press which will allow for an accurate press fit for this vital component. Adapters are so versatile that this gadget will also be invaluable should suspension bearings require replacement.
Finally a star-nut installer and steerer tube cutter should allow for straight forward fitting of forks on new bikes!
With these new tools and the experience and knowledge of our assembly gurus, all new Ventanas can get the care and attention to detail deserving of their pedigree.

Mountain Pedaler Out...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Rainbow Rocks Rolls and Rages!

Some file footage of 'Fix-it' Felix showing that
when pushing hard, the Rainbow Rage
can be somewhat exhausting!!

One of the must do races in NZ would have to be the annual Rainbow Rage run by Mike Gane from Stoke Cycles. The atmosphere there is one of the best to be found, with everyone from harry hardout to nevil newbie in it for the challenge of a 106km off road adventure though some breathtaking and historic scenery.
Our friend Neil Ellis , a downhill demon from Krank Dirtwear tackled the route for the first time, and his report on the experience is top notch! He scored a terrific result for a first timer, pulling off 6th in his grade and 20th overall. Czech his report below....

"....I didn't know what to expect to be honest and I was wondering what the hell I was doing there on the starting line. Then Mike did the rolling start which was really cool, chatting with some of the other riders and everyone juggling for position as we rode behind the ute. Then the race was away, all these guys were riding in small groups doing small spurts. I just ignored all that stuff and rode how I felt I could handle right to the end.
Then we got to the shingle and the roadies slowed about 10%. That’s where the fun began. Picking off riders one by one all the way to about 10k's from Island Saddle, where the quad muscles started to cramp. I was thinking there is no way I'm giving up or not making it to the end so had to back off just slightly to make it home. I rode from Island Saddle to Hanmer on my own with a tail wind. It must have been good for about 50k's an hour most of the way.
You wouldn't read about it though 100k's almost to the end and two guys got
past me. They had pulled a good half to one k lead on me heading into Jacks, but I got past the first guy just after the water tank and the second on the next bend going right around the outside of him. I then proceeded to pedal my ring out till the end. There was NO WAY they were getting past me again. That last minute tussle made my day!! Ending with some adrenaline. All in all it felt really great to have finished and done the race. I'd have to say it was fun in a sick kind of way...."

Mountain Pedaler out....

Monday, March 12, 2007

Terror and turmoil on the Akatawera

This just in from Tristan Rawlence who bravely battled the infamous Karapoti course on the 3rd of March.

I think the photos and the T man's excellent report accurately convey that he was well inside the 'hurt bag' for the majority of the race!

"....Well were to begin my gearing was 34x17 so 2-1 ratio which i think was about right because the top 5 at least ran that gearing.

So the race started and 5 of us broke away in the first few kms and Nelson was representing in the bunch with Aaron, Chris and I plus 2 as it became obvious later on absolute animals from up north somewhere.

Aaron and the other two got a gap after the a few hills and Chris and I were running/riding (in that order) together. Chris was riding a single speed steel jump bike which was to put it lightly rather heavy, and understandably wasn't sparking due to his 444km ride/win in the chch 2 nelson the previous weekend.

In fact he was having so much fun on the downhill, forgetting he was running xc tyres suffered a puncture.

I caught up and passed with Aaron down the rock garden and then ran up devils staircase and moved into 3rd(for now) on the last walk, well for everyone else it was a climb as loyal single speed rider Aaron rode past giving his orange Ventana SS death as i could only look on blurry eyed and think hmmmm perhaps if i had actually ridden one of these single speed contraptions before i might actually be able to ride up here aswell and then i thought perhaps if i had done any riding in the last month would have helped too.

In the end i finished 4th, 50sec behing Aaron in 2hrs 51 being the 5th ever person to do a sub 3 on a single for karapoti. the two animal i spoke of earlier were 10mins ahead setting new records of somthing silly around 2hrs 40...."

like i said never again!

Cheers for that Tristan, you did us all proud!

And I guess credit should go to, but that goes without saying!!

Mountain Pedaler out...

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Behind the scenes at Ventana HQ

Chad who runs Red Barn Bicycles State side (US of A) took a sweet tour of the Ventana factory, and his write up gives an interesting insight into the lengths Sherwood and the team go to for each and every Ventana. Czech the link here for all the details:

Great to see their new in house painting facilities which should see top quality finishes in a range of custom colors, as well as the CNC machines beavering away on the bottom bracket cluster and chainstay yokes that define Ventana's attention to detail.

Some nice photos, especially of the Johnny Tomac shrine and the row of completed frames, ready for assembly. Truly child in a candy shop material!
Mountain Pedaler out.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

El Toro storms to 3rd and 4th in Karapoti

Aaron Reardon and Tristan Rawlence, members of the Ventana NZ team and all round madmen piloted their El Toros to kickass placings in the 2007 edition of NZ's perennial cross country race.
For those unacquainted, the Karapoti features toe numbing river crossings, ring popping climbs and the infamous 'devils staircase' hike-a-bike section.

And what could make it more fun?
Try riding it with one gear!!

These mental guys hurtled round the 50km course in 3 hours, putting many geared riders to shame. Just goes to show that with a superior handling frame like the El Toro, a good set of calves and a few disconnected neurons, anything is possible!
Look for some action packed details in Tristan's race update (Coming soon!)

Mountain Pedaler Out