Heres a list of 10 items that I never leave home without. I admit I don’t have the choice as my life is one big camping fiesta, but nonetheless, if you are going camping here is what to take. Let me know if I missed anything. All of the items can be found at any Camping Gear Outlet.
I carry a 1 man, lightweight, fully waterproof and breathable tent. If weight is not an issue, than sure why not go for a huge 4 person or dare I say it, a 10 person tent.
Key thing to look for:
simple set up – the last thing you want to be doing is taking an hour to set up your tent whilst everyone else is getting nice and toasty by the fire. Continue reading →
Montreal’s riding like a dream, it took just two days to fix her up.I had a minor hitch with a too small bottom bracket that were messing up the front derailer’s ability to extend fully. Picked one up from the ‘bike church’ in Santa Cruz. People go to the church to learn how to fix up their bikes and buy used parts. It’s where the cool kids go, I saw one hipster dude with a bike that had 4 tennis balls in the wheel, near the hub, it looked pretty awesome. Being in Santa Cruz and seeing really cool bikes every other second has really made me want to build my own fancy colour co ordinated ride. But it’s not meant to be, actually instead of making my ride look better i’m trying to make it look crappy and undesirable to any potential devil-child-bike-thieves. Code name Operation gypsy-fy is in effect. I’ve got some scrap material, stickers and othe cheesy stuff.
So Apart from the BB, everything went smoothly. Bob trails beautifully, i took a downhill at 40 mph and it handled sweet. I didn’t have it fully loaded though so i still need to try that out..
Bonuses of building your own touring bike:
I use the term touring bike loosely, you can tour on anything really, to paraphrase my man Janne Corax ‘ it all depends on your legs, determination and ability to improvise’. However doing a self build has some great advantages.
To start with it’s fun, i were a little anxious to begin with as it were my first build and i weren’t quite sure if it were all going to work out. Luckily it it did and Montreal is the sweetest ride ever.
Bike – Use what you have now or buy used or even a new frame, whatever works for you. I went with a $40 bike of craigslist. It’s steel lugged has a relaxed geometry and braze-ons for a rear rack. I would have liked to have front fork mounts for a rack, but beggars cant be choosers.
Customization – It’s nice being able to pick and choose whatever parts you like, be it for performance, aesthetics or just to suit your budget. When you’re going to be putting a lot of miles in, the minor details like that small groove in your drop bars, will make for a more pleasant ride.
Skills – I learned so much about bike mechanics that i’m much more confident in my ability to fix any problems that might occur along the way. Also, if i need to change a part or something, instead of relying on some dude in a bike shop, i feel i can make an informed decision on what will work best for me. Maintenance will also be easier now i know whats what.
Overall it’s a really satisfying experience and i feel Montreal and I have both grown together in what can only be described as a beautiful thing, ha ha.
Ultimately, I feel pretty confident of Montreal’s ability to spin me down to Argentina, and thats all that counts…..
Scott and Pam at Earth Cycles in Santa Cruz.
dude at the bakery for giving me extra donuts.
Jeff for cycling with me to Scotts Valley.
She’s a beauty ain’t she?
So i finally got a bike, i say finally but it has only really been a week or so, and i needed some time to adjust to all the newness, before i went all out on the bike hunt. So after an unsuccessful trip to San Francisco, and daily scouring’s of graigslist, things weren’t looking too great. I saw a lot of bikes, but usually one factor would be off, like the size, or frame material. I figured i just needed time, and i was partially right, the other thing i needed was help. Luckily for me i got it in the form of Scott, an experienced long distance tourer and bike shop owner. Within 24 hours of meeting Scott, i had a bike that was exactly what i was looking for. We picked her up in a parking lot in Downtown San Jose. In full working condition, new tires, no major dents or scratches and a bargain at only $40.
Montreal is older than me and weighs an absolute ton, i like the retro stem shifters and the handlebars, but they gotta go. As do the steel wheels, in fact i’m gona change everything apart from the frame. I spent all day talking parts with Scott and ordered everything i need to make this bike spin down to Argentina. As well as giving me a good price on parts, Scott is also going to let me build the bike in his workshop, sweet! Thank you Scott..
Here’s a rundown:
Wheels – hand-built, mavic rim, 36 spoke,
Tires – schwalbe marathon plus, 1.75′s
8 speed cassette
front and rear dérailleur
wide drop bars
bar end shifters
v brake compatible road brake levers
bob yak trailer
I tackled some pretty steep hills today, partly to get in shape, but mostly to brake in my brookes saddle which feels oddly comfortable, yet at the same time like sitting on a concrete brick, it’s weird. It’s gona take me a while to get used to riding in the heat though, dehydrations a biggie. Riding on the other side of the road is weird as well, hopefully it wont take long to adjust to it..7 am start – bed beckons