One of New Zealand's finest cyclists will race one last time, this weekend. Julian Dean will compete at the national road championships in Christchurch then call time on a stellar career.
Dean, his wife Carole and their kids call Rotorua home in the southern hemisphere summer. It's always a pleasure to see Dean, often with a full beard, hanging out in town.
I thought there were a few highlights missing from the summaries of Dean's career in the media. He's a fine mountain biker and raced at the 2010 Singlespeed World Championships. And really enjoyed it.
He also borrowed a bike and a helmet and did a lap at the Yeah Boi Sick race to raise funds for the James Dodds Memorial Fund, just before Christmas.
Then he signed one of his race jerseys and donated it to the auction. He's that kind of a guy.
I had lots of opportunities to have a chat to Dean over the years and it's probably embarrassing at my age to admit to being a bit star-struck.
It wasn't until just before the Singlespeed Worlds that I finally got to have a good yarn to him.
I'm still not sure how he survived in the high-risk and aggressive, in-your-face world of the peloton. I guess he gets his race-face on and just does it.
Off the bike, you'd struggle to find a nicer, more gracious guy, anywhere.