Ryan Leech shops by bike

It’s possible some readers may not have heard of Ryan Leech. I pity your sheltered lives! He is a megastar in the world of elite trials riding, requiring sublime physical fitness, bike handling skills, concentration and balance. Here are some examples of what I mean. Prepare to be amazed.

What I really like about the guy, though, is that he has used his position as a platform for environmental advocacy, incorporating it into his public appearances and films. Here’s a clip of Ryan’s riding that probably isn’t what his usual fan-base was expecting, but sets out the case for more people riding more often and at the same time shows him to be someone with bikes central to his whole lifestyle.

I like it a lot (including the Fat Freddy’s track)! And would love some more of that cycling infrastructure here!

About Kevin Hague 163 Articles

Green Party Member of Parliament

13 Comments Posted

  1. jh – I used an Avanti Explorer for my commuting and touring bike for 5 or so years and my commuter/tourer now is an Avanti Illusion, which is very similar. It’s a different (slower) riding experience to your racing bike, so may take some getting used to. However, fit is very important. I would recommend that you take it in to a reputable bike shop and get them to adjust it to fit you. If it is the right sizing then persist with it for a month or so and see if you get used to it. If it doesn’t or can’t fit, then sell it as soon as you can. Feel free to email me directly if you want.

  2. Lose some weight and get a pair of platform-heeled bike shoes?

    Probably someone will get a bargain on trademe and I’ll get something different.

  3. I just bought a new bike and managed to make a bad choice. I’ve ridden a light racing bike for the last 25 years but this time I bought an Avanti Explorer, thinking strength for panniers, good tyres to avoid punctures and a touch of comfort with front forks. I underestimated the effect of additional weight. Also I think I got the sizing wrong as it is uncomfortable.

  4. Hi jh. Depends a bit on what you want to talk about. I used to use the forums at http://www.mountainbike.co.nz a lot, and they are still really good for some particular topics (have a look to get an idea what I mean), but now find myself spending more time at Vorb (www.vorb.co.nz). There’s a lot on the site, but the forums are under the heading “Posts”. They are organised by topic, but there are various ways of organising and viewing who has posted what, so I just look at all posts and select the ones that I have been following or that look interesting. Some have been going for a long time and have literally hundreds of thousands of views. As with any online forums there’s a real mix of considered argument and serious stuff, and social stuff, with a sprinking of dumb or even offensive, but I like it!

  5. Are there any good cycle forums around?
    I used to find usenet easy to use as you got a list of groups with number of users, whereas, if you use google you get google groups and it isn’t the same.

  6. aah, ‘fly –
    it’s the second time I’ve sold a bike – my original ten-speed went to a friend’s sister just after I got married, when I had hardly ridden it for several years & kept it chained to a balcony on my flat… Welli was a lot less safe for cycling then!

    I figure I’ll find another bike when I need one (in fact, we have a ‘Mechanical Tempest’ bike workshop and bike lending outfit in our chunk of Te Aro, so I might even take a ‘loaner’ out for a spin occasionally, when I feel up to it again), there’s quite a good second-hand market in Welli, too, from all the folk who get one then discover that it’s a bit harder than the gym membership.

    genji –
    you’ve reminded me of the bike accessories that used to be available here, and used by families, including child-seats and saddle-bags. These days, it seems that the accessories are more geared to the sport market than the family-oriented cyclist, but I’m hoping that will change, especially if a group of laydee cycle activists we have here gets their way – check out http://www.frocksonbikes.org for a view of cycling not usually seen in NZ 🙂

  7. What, tell me is the point of driving to a gym. I can’t understand why people are so dependent on cars.
    I only use my car to visit my bach 100 km away, or if it is raining.
    I brought back wide comfortable seats and carriers from Tokyo several years ago and refit each bike as it wears out.
    You can buy a bracket that attaches an umbrella to the handlebars along with all types of extras for carrying children.
    Honestly mothers in NZ are spoilt rotten compared with mothers in Tokyo and other big cities in Japan, China etc.
    It’s going to come as a huge shock to many fat lazy people that petrol is not PC anymore. SUV’s, V8’s and other gas guzzling vehicles are no longer desirable for our planet.
    I read in yesterdays NZ Herald that Toyota are selling 27,000 Prius cars a month and there is a 6 month waiting list.
    When is National going to pull their finger out and play catch up to the rest of the world on changes to protect our environment.

  8. I spent my adolescence cycling across Palmerston North to get to school, along with most of the other secondary students in our town, which was then very cycle friendly.

    My willingness to take up cycling again in my 30’s was mostly due to good memories from my cycling teen years, added to a bit of a longing for personal fitness and the awesome feeling of freedom that cycling gives you (and I was living in a very flat suburb…).

    It took me a few months to build up the skill to risk cycling into the CBD, but then I never looked back, and despite moving around four times, kept cycling wherever I was living. My favourite ride was from home to the swimming pool and back again via a great little Vietnamese cafe, for a refuel on my way home.

    I used my bike to go shopping, take library books back, visit friends, and generally just hoon around town with like-mided fellow-cyclists.

    It was only an accident too many, when my CFS was deteriorating, that led me to sell my bike, thinking that I was getting a bit past coping with grazes, bruises and maybe a bone-break in the future if I kept up riding.

    In 30 years of cycling, I never had an ‘off’ bad enough to break a limb, although I did a spectacular ‘endo’ one time in Palmie that saw me carted off in an ambulance for a checkup – no damage, then I had to get back acrosss town to collect my bike, lol.

    It was harder to get my kids cycling (although one of them competed in the Kids Kiwitri for a couple of seasons), but I persisted because I wanted them to know just how much freer it feels to be on two wheels instead of four. So many kids now don’t ever get the chance to find out, ‘cos their parents are too scared of damage or risk.

  9. “sublime physical fitness, bike handling skills, concentration and balance”

    Nah! You just need a bike!

    Off ya go! (I’m on mine and about to head home, across the bridge, around the edge of the estuary then up the hill! I’ve no particular talent for it. I just pedal and try to keep to the left)

  10. @genji – you ride to the gym? I ride so I can avoid the gym!

    If I didn’t live at the top of a hill I’d also use the bike more often. The recent Bikewise month did inspire me to bike all but 1 day during the month and the stats the page generated was rather interesting: 35Kg of CO2 saved (Really?). It’s a shame that so few kids bike to school today vs 30-40 years ago. Obviously the Fear of Cycling propaganda has done its job well.

  11. I agree 100%. I ride to gym and back (6k’s). I visit the library or supermarket on my return trip. I go to my bank on my bike.
    Just recently the crank on my $99 Kmart 3yo 15spd broke. On Trade me I bought an 18spd Milazo in perfect condition for $40. With petrol at $1.78/ltr I will have paid for it after only 225km. Last year I save over $200 on petrol costs.

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