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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Alternative 2-wheeled technology and other stuff

It's been a pretty good and interesting few days!  Funny how you can go for weeks without anything significant happening and then all sorts of good things occur in the space of a few days.  The burst blood vessel in my right calf has now healed to the extent that it doesn't prevent most forms of physical activity which is marvellous now that the warm weather has arrived. 

First test of the leg was going out in the boat for a spot of fishing with Jennie.  Gorgeous day but unfortunately, my lucky red shorts weren't so lucky as I had my line snapped twice by something big which had other ideas about being caught.  Everything else I caught was undersize.  Fortunately, Jennie is far better at fishing than I am (there.... I've publicly admitted it!) and she caught a decent Trevally and a snapper which made a very nice evening meal.  The leg handled the expedition fine, which was very good news indeed.


Jennie's Trevally


Heading home in perfect weather

We also had my old corporate boss come to stay for the weekend. John is also a motorcyclist and has a Yamaha FZ1 Fazer.  Since I last saw him nearly 3 years ago, he's shed 15kg and turned into a very competitive ultra-distance extreme conditions mountain biker.  Last year, he competed in a 500 km endurance ride across Australia's Simpson Desert in 40 degrees C temperatures and this year, another in the Great Victorian Desert; 587 km long, finishing 5th which is remarkable seeing that he's 57 years of age.

Anyway, he brought his hi-tech mountain bike, a Surly Pugsley with him. An amazing bit of kit, unbelievably light with huge balloon tyres which are fantastic for most off-road conditions in snow, sand or anything in between.  The wheels on this bike weigh virtually nothing and with spokes offset from the centre line, they're certainly a technical bit of kit.  I might also add that the cost of these bikes is a sizeable percentage of a decent motorcycle! I took John to the very top of the Coromandel Peninsula in the 4x4 and he rode 40 km back down the dirt road to civilisation which has some wicked hills at the northern end as a light training ride!  Here are some photos of John in some scenic locations.

 Up in the clouds - John's bike next to NZ flax plants  in flower

A long uphill grind!
 A long drop to a beautiful clear bay

Barking up the wrong tree! (groan)

John's visit wasn't completely social and without going into detail, next year, I may come out of retirement for part of the time to help him out on a project.  I'm loving the freedom of retirement but here's an interesting philosophical thing.......  most of us count ourselves fortunate if our bosses are merely competent.  John is a true leader as opposed to just a good manager.  An outstanding visionary, treats everyone the same irrespective of status, gives his staff all the support they need, energises them and gives them the freedom to develop and flourish in the job.  A rare person indeed and I'd walk over broken glass for him, even though I'm normally a cynic when it comes to executive management behaviours in big corporates.  How many of us have been fortunate enough to have had bosses like that more than once or possibly twice in a lifetime?

I've saved the best news until almost last - as of today, I'm back on the bike again....... YIPPEE!!!!

The month-odd of not riding since the 1000-miler due to the burst blood vessel in my leg has been very trying to put it mildly.  Depressing would be another and more accurate description. Didn't expect to find a relatively short unplanned break from 2 wheels quite so hard to take.  Well Sonja, we made it back onto 2 wheels at pretty much the same time but at least I'm a bit warmer than you will be!

 All is well with the world!

Even though it's only been just over a month, it was surprising just how rusty I felt and after just driving my barge of a 4x4 during in that period, the Triple felt super-sensitive and powerful.  Didn't do anything dumb, and practised situational awareness out loud to dial back in.  Sooooo good to be back on 2 wheels again and into my summer leathers now the good weather is here.  Besides, they make me look slimmer than I actually am!!!

Finally, Jennie recently received complete clearance from her hip operation this time last year which means that we can now make some decent travel plans outside the South Pacific at long last.  We're now booked to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia in April 2011.  Must surreptitiously look into hiring a bike up there!

Yep, it's been a great few days alright!



10 comments:

  1. Welcome back Geoff!!

    So good to see that you are back on the Striple. Did you attach the knee sliders?? :)

    Have an awesome week!

    Cheers.

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  2. OK, here I am sitting in front of my fireplace with a hot cup of tea, it is minus 8C outside, and what do I have to read about: boating, fishing, and riding... ARGH! No wait, it actually makes me all warm and fuzzy inside ;-) Can't wait to return one day and see it all for myself.

    Glad to hear you were healing well and are back in the saddle, that Striple of yours must be happy to be back on the road again.

    I really love the pic with your friend/ex- and soon to be again boss (?) up the tree. I think it is pretty cool, that he offered you an opportunity re-join the work force. He must regard you highly to try and convince you to take a break from retirement. I wish you guys good luck with the project.

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  3. Welcome back Geoff, bummer about the fishing, next time I come down I will bring you some snapper , brought locally from our fish and chip shop!

    You do look slim in your leathers, perhaps next time you take a pic do a side on one, then Sonja and I can judge properly.

    Cambodia......I am jealous. Diffinitly on my bucket list.

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  4. Thanks Anthony! No knee sliders attached yet, got to build up the skills again first. Scuffing them by hand is a dishonest option, haha!

    Oops - how insensitive of me Sonja :-(. We'll share it all with you soon enough with a bit of luck, including the fresh fish!

    I liked the photo too - thanks. It'll be some time next year if it goes ahead. Jennie has given her permission to go AWOL as long as it doesn't take too much time. Interestingly enough, it's in the H.R/people development area which most people think is foreign territory for an engineer, haha! However, it's something I developed for my old team which worked well and the principles might have wider application both in NZ and internationally. Exciting times and thanks for the good wishes!

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  5. Cheers Roger!
    Got a good chippie in Coro that does snapper but it's the principle - got to justify the expense of the darned boat somehow!!! nice of you to think of us though :-).

    I'll pass on the extra photos. Why do you think I took it at a distance?

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  6. Geoff:

    See, I knew if we hung around long enough we would understand local jargon, like the comment above. You do look trim and fit in the photo, but it's hard to tell. I agree that we need a Side Profile. That will settle the discussion.

    I also like the photo with the bike up the tree.

    . . . and your LUCKY RED shorts, I just had to make mention of them, but where are the Crocs ? but we all know who the good fisherwoman is, don't we ?

    bob
    Wet Coast Scootin

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  7. G'day Bob!

    I know it's cold in your neck of the woods but Hell will freeze over before you get a side profile :-).

    I had the Crocs on Bob, would I let you down? Jennie has hers on too as you can see by the evidence but hers are a girlie version with adjustable straps and stuff. And yes, you do know who the fishing star is and it ain't me!!!

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  8. Congrats on being back on the saddle again ..... its amazing how it can affect you. N.

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  9. Yo Nick!

    You're spot on about that mate and it certainly took me by surprise. I guess it reinforces the difference between being passionate about something and merely enjoying it! Ankle is still a tad stiff and swollen but not enough to prevent "normal" riding. The seriously fast stuff will have to wait a wee bit longer :-)

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  10. Glad you're okay and back on the Triple again Geoff. I feel bad making a point of not being able to ride for almost a week and here you've been off for a month.

    That fat tire mountain bike is really cool and your previous boss sounds like a great guy. Ride safe Geoff!

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