Roadworks Logo

Hi! Welcome to ROADWORKS. My name is Oli Brooke-White, and I fix bicycles…

To understand how I run this business, you need to know a bit about me, so I'll start with some words about me and my philosophy on some things. I'm married to Jacq, and we have three sons-Kester and Harry, from my first marriage, and little Bodhi who joined us in 2003. We're all keen cyclists, although Bodhi can't actually ride yet!

I've always been obsessed with bikes since even before my seventh birthday, when Mum and Dad gave me a shiny red Healing Lo-Line from Bluebird Cycles. I moved on from that to an ape-hangered, banana-seated Mike Regan Special, that I explored the whole of Wellington on, which was followed by a green Raleigh Arena 10 speed that my friend Derek and I spent hours figuring out the derailleurs on. In 1980 I graduated to my first Real Road Bike-a TI Raleigh 531, with jewel-like Campagnolo parts…I've owned many beautiful bikes since then, and they've all helped to give me the same sense of freedom and excitement that I felt when I first carved the corner from Moana Road into Tui Road on that old red Lo-Line…

I got my first work in the hallowed environment of a Bike Shop in 1979, fixing punctures after school at Couchmans on Wakefield Street in return for copies of International Cycle Sport. I really wanted to work at the Bicycle Village, because the guys there were much cooler, and the shop guy Mike actually raced, so I hung around there so much that Roland Hoffe, the owner, eventually crumbled and gave me my first proper job in 1980. Roland was a great character who helped me immensely, both with my riding and with life-skills (some necessary, some not so…), and Mike was a talented, NZ junior champion trackie, who I got up to all kinds of shenanigans with. I stayed at BV for 6 years, learning repairs and wheelbuilding from Bruce Stewart (now of Mavic NZ). This was also where I met Henry Chlebowicz, who was the comic relief of the shop, but grew to become one of NZ's finest bicycle mechanics. Bruce used to drive Henry and I to races all over the lower North Island, and the three of us lived and breathed Road Racing for those fine, carefree years…

I left there to work in the first incarnation of Penny Farthing Cycles, which was not a great move for one reason or another, then got out of the trade and sport for a few years. I did stints as a Filmie, a car groomer and a nightclub bouncer. I had started selling advertising for a short-lived magazine called Scope, when I decided to put the moves on Henry and his friend Ian Gregson (now morphed into Wheels…). Along with Wheels' partner Deb Gully, they had just started up a funky little bike shop called Cycle Services in Cuba Street. After fleecing them for their first (and last) print ad, I decided that the lifestyle they were living looked like much more fun than selling ads, so I started hanging around CS and bludging bikes out of them…This tactic had worked for me before, and it worked again, so I ended up working there for 8 years.

This shop was the spiritual home of Mountainbiking in Wellington City, and we shralved hard-core…At some point in the CS era, I got married and had my first two sons, but in late '98 my marriage imploded, starting a new phase in my life - that of the Solo Father. Not long after that, I met the beautiful Jacquua, and our relationship quickly blossomed into love.

Cycle Services came to an end as all great things must in early 2000, and Jacq had gone to Japan to teach for a year, so I decided I would become a Great Writer and I began some papers at Victoria University…I soon found out that as a Great Writer I made a superb Bike Mechanic so, after juggling kids toys and domestic duties, a part-time job at Mud Cycles and Varsity work, I made the plunge into my own business. ROADWORKS was born!

I needed space to set up my tools, so I rented half a garage up Holloway Road in the Aro Valley off my good friend Andrew, built a workbench, threw up all my old cycling posters and started to fix bikes again. I was blessed with many friends who gave me work, and one of the legacies of Cycle Services was the custom of many of the regulars following me up to the Valley of the Mist. Wheels and Pip Thomson helped me design the logos, and the name just came to me on a ride…

I've recently moved from Aro Valley to Berhampore, and I haven't moved ROADWORKS into the City for several reasons: Firstly, I only want to work part-time, as looking after my family is what I consider to be my first priority. When I gained custody of Kester and Harry, I decided that the time I spent with them as children was going to be the most important time of their lives, so I geared my work towards giving us that time together. My second marriage in 2002, and the somewhat difficult arrival of the lovely Bodhi, have made this time even more precious…Anyway, between school picking up and dropping off, Ket's soccer, Harry's karate, swimming lessons, riding together and general family life I'm amazed I can find the 7 hours a day it takes to actually fix any bikes!

The tool boardSecondly, I decided long ago that I'm not into retail. I love fixing bikes, and the politics and hassles of selling this brand or that just ain't my style! I like the freedom of not being tied down to specific brands - it means I only have to sell the stuff I like, and that I think will do the best job for its intended purpose. I can't afford to stock parts because they are pretty, or the latest thing, so I focus on the stuff I need to keep your bikes going on a day to day basis. At this point I should note that I'm definitely not a mail- order outlet!

The last reason for not moving into town is that I feel small is best. When you give me your bike to fix, I'll fix it. Not some guy out the back who you've never even met. I take pride in treating every bike I work on as if it were my own, and I believe my record reflects this. I love bicycles and I love repairing them. They are my hobby, my passion and my living and I love all aspects of Cycling.

Operating purely as a workshop also lets me focus on the quality of my work, without all the pressures that go along with servicing the high overheads associated with a shop in the City. I have equipped my workshop with all of the specialised tools that are required to service bikes from single-speeds to thirty speeds, the oldest to the latest and everything in between. I've set the shop up with comfy chairs, Active music and boxes of old cycling magazines for the sifters among you, so feel free to drop in and check out the scene.

I've worked on the bikes of Road, Track, Triathlon, XC, DH and BMX national and international riders. I've fixed bikes belonging to Tour de France riders, Classics winners, World Cup MTBers, US DH and XC Champions. Coast to Coasters, Ironmen and Ironwomen and many multi-sporters bikes have passed through the shop, as have those of local heroes and people who simply ride. I have dealt with customers from Europe and the UK, the US, Australia, Japan and from all over New Zealand.

Building  wheelI relish all sorts of work. From building up your custom Dream Bike, to hand-building you a beautiful set of wheels. From servicing your race-bike, to repairing your punctures or adjusting your gears while you're out for a lunchtime ride. I also specialise in bike-fitting. I can improve your comfort and efficiency, and I have succeeded in alleviating a wide range of physical problems caused by poor set-up. I accept that my short days can make me inconvenient at times, but I believe that that is outweighed by the end quality of my repairs. I also pride myself in being able to turn around most jobs within 3 or 4 days at most, despite my limited time in the shop. So if you wish to talk to me about repairs, quotes, sourcing parts or any bicycle related issues, call me on 027 603 6786, or e-mail me at roadworks@paradise.net.nz. If I'm not in, it will be for a very good reason, so leave me a message and I'll get straight back to you.

Best regards, Oli
November 2004

 
 
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