Archives for July 2013

A Beautiful Restoration

Recently while visiting a very close friend, I found him working up a sweat 3cleaning his garage. This guy had stuff piled up on stuff so I offered to help for a while. While digging through the mess, I noticed what looked like a vintage bike in the corner of the garage. The bike looked pretty cool and I love to restore old things, so I asked what his plans were for it. Since he was going to trash it along with most everything else, I asked if I could have it and he agreed.

After putting in a couple of sweaty hours of help, I tossed the bike in the mini-van and headed home. Looking over this tattered little jewel, I found the 7frame seemed okay but I would definitely need to find some wheels. I decided to spring for a electric bikes conversion kit to bring it back to life properly. I found a website where I could order the needed wheels. I also fit the rear wheel with a Shimano Nexus internal gear hub. Before installing the new wheels, I stripped the bike and sandblasted the frame to make it suitable for a good paint job.

After spraying on several coats of paint, I rebuilt the carrier to fit the battery 4pack I had acquired. I had some old mudguards and a chain guard that I also painted a complementary color to the frame. I then began the task of  reassembling the bike and all its parts which took a little time as I didn’t want to scratch the new paint job.

All in all, the project took a little over four months as I had to wait to get the needed parts shipped to me. The rebuilt bike ended up costing more than if I would have bought a new one, but I was able to feed my passion for restoring old vintage bikes and I just love the bike I ended up with.

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My Australian Electric bike “Ticoon” purchased in Bowral, NSW

Introduction – the Challenge

On turning 70 earlier this year (2012) I wanted to challenge myself to do something memorable.
I decided to ride a bike from one end of New Zealand to the other.
I’m doing it in two stages – the North Island in November, and the South Island next February.
Fortunately, I came across ebikes.  The one pictured above was purchased in Bowral, NSW, and is a gem. However, I cannot take the large Lithium Ion battery in the plane, nor air-freight it without an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) which I have been unable to obtain.Picture
Amazingly, the importer of Volto ebikes in Auckland, Mark Koudelka, has generously offered to provide an electric bike for my use, free of charge. In return I had to supply photos and an honest appraisal of the Volto bike.
I pick it up on Saturday, 3 November. Annie will fly to Auckland the next day and we shall drive up to Cape Reinga to commence the ride the following day.
Wish me good weather and a tail wind!
Eddie Jones
30 October 2012

 

My wonderful support crew – Annie, plus car with bike rack.

 

 North Island journey Enter here

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30 days 1309 Km

South Island journey Enter here

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17 days 1108 Km

 Two stages – the North Island and the South Island total distance  2417Km in 47 days.

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This is the VOLO I ride across New Zealand

 

Today (the ides of March) I am adding a summary to this blog.  Keen readers can read the lot, but this will distill the essence.

North Island :  I chose secondary roads for the route in the North Island as far as possible as safety was a primary consideration.  From Cape Reinga I came down to Awanui then across to Manganui and down to Waipapa (near Kerikeri); thence to Dargaville via Kaikohe.  The Auckland Harbour Bridge does not permit bikes (or pedestrians) so I came in from the west, after a busy ride down Highway 1 from Brynderwyn to Wellsford.  Went east from Papakura to Miranda then to Cambridge and across to Otorohanga, Te Kuiti, Inglewood, Wanganui and thus Wellington.

South Island roads are quieter – main traffic comprise rental cars, vans and motorhomes!  I started at Bluff, up to Queenstown, over the Crown Range to Wanaka then a stunning ride to Makarora.  Beautiful weather day after day as I rode on to Haast, the Glacier villages, alongside the Grey River to Inangahua, then to Murchison, St Arnaud, Renwick and, finally, Picton.
Highlights?  1: The first day.  2: Arriving at Picton.  3: Miranda.  4: Golf at Jacks Point.  5: Riding in the rain through King Country.  6: Staying with family (both Islands) and friends (three lots in the North Island).  7: Being joined in my ride by family in New Plymouth, in to Wellington, and on the West Coast. 8: The ride from Wanaka to Makarora alongside Lakes Hawea and Wanaka.  9: Other cyclists, far more adventurous than I (Tammy Lightle and A, B & C Wright). 10: All the rest!