We once pet-sat for a dog named Hector in Alberta, Canada. Hector was a brilliant dog to look after for three weeks, and Alberta was a personal highlight of the last leg of our US road trip in 2018. It wasn’t just the dog, or the landscapes, pristine waters, rocky outcrops, beautiful mountains, or myriad wildlife, it was also because Hector’s home turned out to be a stone’s throw from where the best BMX movie of all time was set and filmed: RAD Trailer for RAD (1986) (sound might be very quiet, FYI) What an incredible coincidence!
The Salsa El Caballo de Carga resting in the scrub This week I had the pleasure of putting together another bike based around an old Salsa El Mariachi frame. I call this one The Salsa “El Caballo de Carga” (The Salsa Packhorse). “Packhorse”, because its purpose is a gravel-y, touring-y, bikepacking-y, off-the-beaten-path, do-it-all kind of bike, and also because Salsa “El Mula” (the Mule) sounded pretty boring. I’ve had a build like this in mind ever since completing a 4-day tour of the Great Allegheny Passage from Pittsburg Pennsylvania, to Cumberland Maryland (240 kms/150 miles) in 2017.
The Goose on the loose! Took The Goose out for a quick morning ride up some hills this morning; my first ride with the new Wound Up forks and my first ride on a road bike in, well, quite a while. Strange feeling to be on a road bike again after almost two years, since my first #ms150 in 2017. Things that notably felt weird: Narrow bars. I’m so used to riding 640mm+ bars now that riding these feels like I’m ducking and weaving like the X-Wings at the end of Star Wars Large chainring.
Last weekend I competed in the Great Otway Gravel Grind in and around Forrest, Victoria. The GOGG is a 49km or 100km bike ride through the beautiful coastal mountains of Southern Victoria on gravel/dirt roads. As this would be my first “real” bike ride since returning to Australia I opted for the 49km option rather than the century. My bikes didn’t arrive from the US until late January, giving me about five training weeks before event day. I used most of that time riding up and down the hills of the Mornington Peninsula, in particular going from my front door to the end of Port Nepean, roughly a 10km round trip with ~320m of elevation.
Introducing The 2019 ‘Goose, with added @chriskingbuzz 1” headset and bottom bracket in shining silver, and of course the Wound Up Composites 1” road fork. A turn-of-the-century bike tweaked and modernised for today :) I think I’ve always loved straight-tubed bikes, particularly older ones with horizontal top tubes. Even when retro-modded, frames of this era look fast, sturdy, and clean. I think in the case of The new and improved ‘Goose, the Wound Up fork fits in perfectly with the aesthetic; a straight fork with a chrome crown.
Maintenance Sunday with Binky. Installing tubeless tyres, tubes were used to help the adhesion of tubeless rime tape. Also, for spares. Custom MTB wheel build by @bicyclespeedshop_wheels from Houston, Texas: Hubs: White Ind CLD, 32h/32h Rims: Velocity Blunt 35 Spokes: DT Swiss Comp, 3x/3x Nipples (teehee):DT Brass nipples Front: 920g Rear: 1050g Kicking off this year with a bulletproof 29er set for Bart. • White Ind CLD, 32h/32h • Velocity Blunt 35 • DT Comp, 3x/3x • DT Brass nipples F: 920g R: 1050g .
Brilliant idea on the bike trails of The Barossa Valley: vending machine containing puncture repair kits ($3) and various makes/sizes of inner tube ($8–12). Good selection of handy items 👍.
When in Oz over Christmas we had a look into some items we had in storage from before we moved to Malaysia, and then the US, to see if there was anything we needed to get rid of. Much of the stuff we found absolutely did: one shopping bag full of approximately 30 pairs of socks (!!!), but a few things escaped the cull. For instance, this 1994 Marin Bobcat Trail mountain bike. ChroMo frame and fork, 26” wheels, 3×7 speed Shimano drivetrain (rust free!), Avid v-brakes, original Vee Rubber tyres, plus the largest, cushiest saddle on the planet.
A quick shout out for a product I bought before we left on our trip that I absolutely love and can recommend: this “feed bag” by @outer.shell. I bought it on a whim as a way to have my camera (Fuji x100T) within easy reach while on the bike. Previously I’d either have the camera hang off me with a shoulder strap or inside a backpack or messenger bag. The first way would always swing around to the front and hit my legs or top tube, the second way was too cumbersome to stop and take photos with resulting in my taking fewer photos.