11 April 2011
Kennett Brothers are hosting a talk by renown American cycling author David Herlihy on his latest book The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance.
The book tells the story of American cyclist Frank Lenz who cycled the world in the 1890's on what would now be called a "29er fixie". (Although in his case the bike weighed 26 kilos.)
This is a private function to which all our cycling friends are invited. Drinks and nibbles provided.
Time: 6pm-8pm, Thursday 28 April 2011
Location: Wellington Central Library - Mezzanine Meeting Room
The Lost Rider by David Herlihy, http://www.amazon.com/The-Lost-Cyclist-ebook/dp/B004H1TBOY/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_3
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O to be young and biking in America at the close of the 19th century and have nothing to worry about, except perhaps the roads (which were an issue only if they were good: on the big-wheeled “boneshaker” bikes, as one cycling reporter put it, “the element of safety is rather distasteful to a good many riders who prefer to run some risk, as it gives zest to the sport”)! O to ride when cyclists were called wheelmen, Bicycling World covered bike races as if they were moon launches.
Frank Lenz in 1892 with his 29'er fixie and 6 kg Kodak camera.
When the bicycle first gained popularity in the 1880s, intrepid daredevils were quick to seize upon it as a tool of exploration and an indicator of resourcefulness. Frank Lenz and William Sachtleben were two such enthusiasts. Sachtleben and a partner had gained notoriety for cycling almost across the globe, including through China, a region that was alien to Westerners at the time (they traversed particularly difficult sections by train). But Lenz proposes something truly dangerous: he will cycle the entire world alone, and he won't shy away from the hard parts. Lenz's exploits become the talk of the cycling world, but don't reach prominence in America until he disappears in eastern Turkey, a hairsbreadth from reaching his goal. Sachtleben is sent to Turkey to investigate and ends up wading through government corruption, tribal alliances, and a region in the throes of revolution.
Lenz, a 25-year-old bookkeeper from Pittsburgh, was riding a 57-pound “safety bike,” the name given to bikes with same sized tires (as opposed to the more accident-prone high wheelers). He carried 25 pounds of gear and a 13-pound Kodak camera, which he used to take photos that he sent to Outing. This New York-based magazine paid him $2,000 in travel expenses and agreed to publish photos and stories from his around-the-world trip. By the time Lenz reached China, he had already ridden across North America, taken a 1,000 mile tour of Japan and was set to travel across China, India, Persia and Turkey and then through Europe.
Audio interview with author David Herlihy: http://onpoint.wbur.org/2010/07/01/lost-cyclist
28 March 2011
We're finally relented to the Facebook vortex: http://www.facebook.com/kennettbrothers
In a vaguely related move we've redesigned http://www.mountainbike.co.nz - the stale old forums are gone, RIP.
When Paul started the the forums in 1995 they we're pretty damn cool. But, after about a decade they'd pretty much run out of energy. These days even http://www.vorb.org.nz looks like it may be past its peak. Is that because of Facebook?
13 December 2010
Another two book launches:
The three Kennett brothers had a bit of an adventure after riding the Taupo Cycle Challenge mountain bike event - we rode (mostly) to the Bridge to Nowhere from Taumaranui. We''ll post a full description here before Christmas.
17 November 2010
Classic New Zealand Road Rides - the best 100 recreational road rides in New Zealand is out! We're having a book launch at the Taupo Cycle Challenge 8pm Friday, 26th November (in the Great Lake Hall). You can buy advance copies from bike stores and book shops. If your local bike/book shops doesn't have it yet - tell them to get it!
10 November 2010
Had a great book launch for Louise Sutherland - Spinning the Globe last night in Wellington with a mixture of local cyclists and family members. Jonathan is heading down to Christchurch next week for a South Island book launch - which should attract even more of the large Sutherland clan.
The Carbon Forest - A New Zealand guide to forest carbon sinks for investors, farmers, foresters and conservationists is back from the printer and on its way out to book shops. We'll be having a book launch for it with Rod Oram on the 6th December - get email updates.
Classic New Zealand Road Rides - the best 100 recreational road rides in New Zealand is due back from the printer on Monday. We're having a book launch at the Taupo Cycle Challenge 8pm Friday, 26th November (in the Great Lake Hall).
19 October 2010
We're crazy-busy right now:
Louise Sutherland Spinning the globe our latest biography in the Cycling Legends series has been sent to the printer. We should have the printed books ready to sell in about two weeks.
The Carbon Forest - A New Zealand guide to forest carbon sinks for investors, farmers, foresters and conservationists goes to the printer today! It'll be back in about three weeks.
Classic New Zealand Road Rides - the best 100 recreational road rides in New Zealand should go to the printer next Wednesday. We'll have it all printed and ready to launch at the Taupo Cycle Challenge on 27 November.
Jonathan is still doing a lot of work for the Technical Advisory Group of the New Zealand Cycle Trails on trail design.
9 August 2010
The Tararua Adventure Guide is now available in book shops and outdoor stores around Wellington. It covers tramping, camping, rafting, mountain biking and running in Tararua Forest Park. Recommended Retail NZ $24.90
3 August 2010
We've been busy.
The Tararua Adventure Guide is now at the printer and due back on Friday. This is Jonathan's baby - he's been a keen Tararua tramper since his university days.
Cycle Legend: Louise Sutherland is having the finishing touches put on the layout.
The Carbon Forest: a New Zealand guide to forest carbon sinks for investors, farmers, foresters and conservationists - is progressing through its second edit. We hope to have a rough layout later this month.
And Jonathan and Kieran Turner are in the final stages of writing Classic New Zealand Road Rides. Paul has start working on the maps and elevation charts.
Oh - and Jonathan and Paul have been working on some background work for the New Zealand Cycle Trails project - which we hope will be announced later this month.
10 March 2010
Last Sunday we helped organise a re-run of the original Karapoti route as used in the inaugural 1986 race.
Start line of the 2010 Karapoti Original mountain bike race. Photo by Craig Madsen, www.hedgehogphotography.co.nz
A modest 19 people lined up. The three Kennett brothers repeated our roles from 25 years ago; Simon racing, Jonathan was tail-end charlie and Paul handled the start and finish. We enjoyed ourselves immensely.
From left: Rob 2nd, Jonty 3rd, and Alex 1st (full results). Photo by Paul Kennett
Note for history buffs: this is pretty much what Karapoti Park looked like in 1986 too - it felt like a big space then.
Paul had fun the day before riding in the Karapoti Challenge with son Adam. After having a picnic half way up the climb they finished in 260th place, out of 269 finishers.
Paul and son Adam enjoying the Karapoti gorge.
11 February 2010
Jonathan's work on the New Zealand Cycle Trail Project Technical Advisory Group has just about concluded now that the Prime Minister, and Minister of Tourism, John Key announced the next stage of Cycle Trail project.
Paul has been mostly minding the office and doing some track work.
We're near the end of a contract with Meridian on their Makara West Wind project - but an announcement on that may be some time away.
And we're working on a couple of small non-cycling writing projects - more detail when we have something to show.
Simon has just completed the Kiwi Brevet a 1100km no entry fee, no prizes, completely self-supported "fast tour" around the top of the South Island.
7 December 2009
Another month - another book. Wellington’s Best Bike Rides guides you to over 60 local mountain bike tracks and 10 popular road rides – all within 100 kilometres of the capital. It includes full ride descriptions, maps and elevation charts plus a directory of local bike shops. The recommended retail price is only $12.00 and available in all Wellington bike shops.
Also; Jonathan has been appointed to the New Zealand Cycle Trail Project Technical Advisory Group which is currently assessing new trail concept proposals.
4 November 2009
We launched Tino Tabak: Dreams and Demons of a New Zealand Cycling Legend at the National Library last night.
7 October 2009
Jonathan has been doing a little bit of work on the New Zealand Cycleway Project and a new Polhill track.
Simon is working on the Kiwi Brevet.
Paul is working on a new mountain bike track at West Wind (Makara Wind Farm).
6 May 2009
This summer has been our best selling season yet of Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides. We sold over 4000 copies in the first four months on sale.
The Skyline cattle stops between Makara Peak and Mt Kaukau are almost all in - there's just one to complete.
Simon has completed a rerouting of the Southern Walkway on Mt Vic - just north of the soccer field.
Simon and Paul are working on a kids skills area on Mt Vic - just north of the Constable Street saddle.
And Simon has got himself a day job - at the end of the month he'll be the new Active Transport and Road Safety Coordinator for the Greater Wellington Regional Council.
9 February 2009
The book has sold really well over summer. Mountain biker's don't seem to be taking this global financial meltdown too seriously. We've sold just over 3000 copies since December.
Currently we're slaving out in the hot windy sun on the Wellington Skyline Track building cattle stops - or "people goes" as I had to explain to a friend recently.
Jonathan is working on early drafts of the next Cycling Legends book.
18 December 2008
After much delay and frustration we finally got the mountain bike books out of Customs last Monday. Since then we've been feverishly packaging and sending out almost 2000 books. Plus 500 Warwick Dalton books.
This is about a month later than previous releases and means most shops won't have time to order second for third batches before the all important Christmas panic. The rumour in the book trade is that 80% of all books sales happen in December.
Jonathan left for a holiday at his Rameka carbon sink.
Yay! We've just sent the 7th edition of Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides off to the printer. We'll have it back in 5 weeks, ready for the run up to Christmas. The rumour in the book trade is that 80% of books are sold for Christmas - so we always aim to release our books at this time of year.
And the fourth book in our cycling Legends Series is being printed now too: Warwick Dalton - The Lone Eagle.
Look for both in good bike shops and book shops around the country.
25 June 2008
Jonathan was in the South Island is month doing more mountain bike book research. He's now spending a (cold!) week at is carbon sink Project Rameka.
Simon has started the Great Divide mountain bike race - from Canada to Mexico; non stop, unsupported, mostly off-road, over the American Great Divide. Follow his progress on his Great Divide Kiwi blog. As of last night he was in 5th place, with 2 weeks to go.
Paul is in the office working on the 7th edition of Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides.
We sent off the last of our copies of RIDE last week. It is now out of print. When Simon and Jonathan get back from their adventures we'll work out our future plans for it.
28 May 2008
Jonathan is in Auckland this week doing more mountain bike book research. His carbon sink Project Rameka got off to a good start a few weeks ago with the launch of the Rameka Society who will manage activity day-to-day. The Nelson Mail published a story about it: Couple buy Golden Bay 'carbon farm'.
Paul has just returned from a couple of weeks mountain biking book research around Nelson, with Patrick.
3 April 2008
It's been waaay too long since our last update...
Jonathan has been working on the design of mountain bike parks around the country, including Canaan Downs near Takaka, Queen Elizabeth Park south of Paraparaumu, and Totara Park in Manukau. He has also been researching the fourth book in the New Zealand Cycling Legends series - Warwick Dalton: The Lone Eagle.
As a response to increasing climate change, Jonathan and Bronnie have bought a 50 hectare block of land near Takaka to turn into a carbon sink. Look for more details on the Project Rameka blog.
Simon finished his CAN job yesterday and has headed south to start researching rides for the next edition of Classic New Zealand Mountain Bike Rides. This is also a great opportunity for him to train for The Great Divide mountain bike race from Canada to Mexico along the Rockies, non-stop, unsupported! More details on his Great Divide Kiwi blog.
Paul is also back working on Kennett Bros projects full time after finishing his Police job last week. His first mission is to overhaul our web sites before heading north to research rides for the next mountain bike book. His quest to improve the sustainability of his life continues with his currently obsession being rainwater collection and irrigation. More details on his online diary.
23 October 2006
There have been major changes for the Kennett Bros over the last few months. The World Mountain Bike Championships in Rotorua was a great success and we enjoyed working with so many keen mountain bikers from Rotorua and around the country! The excellent weather was definitely a huge blessing.
Paul was the Trials Director, which was a great opportunity to rub shoulders with the worlds best trials riders. It also reminded a few of us of the time when trials riding was a common sight at mountain bike events in New Zealand and Paul was the national champ.
Simon directed the XC Championship races, which all ran like clockwork. It was hard work, but with so many great volunteers to help, the load was much lighter than expected. Simon has also started a new job! He is now the Project Coordinator for CAN's networking project. His mission is to boost the number of cycle advocates in New Zealand.
Jonathan helped Simon organise the XC Championships, and enjoyed the opportunity to discuss track design with several leading trail builders. He also co-authored Harry Watson - The Mile Eater, an inspiring book about the first New Zealander to race the Tour de France. He has also continued working at Otari-Wilton's Bush, reforesting the Kaiwharawhara streamside, and designing the T3 Track and the Lazy Fern at Makara Peak.