Tag Archives: bike
Email - New thing..all the kids are shouting gringo like crazy, the first village I was gonna spend the night but had kids literally following me shouting gringo gringo, was doing my head in, so I left…but now after a few days all the kids shout it, but the kids here are super cute, these sun burnedraggyscracgy types, they mean nothing negative, it was annoying, now I`ve kind got used to it..
peru is much more eddgier, its like mexico, just has that feel, that grittyness…I like it, the people are just that bit realer, well a lot more real than in Ecuador, back to cities and towns being crazy, pigs raoming around the streets etc Continue reading →
You know you’re in a hippy town when you follow the smell of incense and find yourself in a random jam session. The Latin themed music inevitably turns into bob Marley’s ‘jammin’ and the marijuana cloud that fills the room, dissipates for just a second, while feet shuffle and hands clap. Then a guy walks up holding a drum under his arm, evidently he heard that someone was jammin and came as fast as he could. He quietly took a seat, closed his eyes, flicked his thick dread locks backwards, held his head high, and started jammin. Continue reading →
blessings/good lucks on the road – 36
condors seen – 3
bananas grabbed from back of partners bike whilst cycling – 1
fruit eaten from trees – avocados, figs, grapefruit, apricots, oranges, lemons
most calories consumed for breakfast – 1300, 4.30 am stealth camp with 1 liter of Yerba mate to wash it down
questions asked by a bamboozled, curious Chinese guy – 17
number of deliciously calorific pop tarts eaten – 36, 200kcals a pop!
times I heard ‘holy shit, check that guy out!’ – 6
types of tree used for camp fire – eucalyptus, pine, palm
number of flat tires – 0
weight off stuff sent home – 8kgs
top speed 39.2 MPH
books given away – 5
longest day – 82 miles
number of kites broken – 1
number of times offered and declined money – 1
most useful/used/loved gear – stove, headlamp, tent, 850 smelly down sleeping bag
number of times offered and accepted lunch – 2
epic battles watched between elephant sea lions – 3
nights out dumpster diving – 3
best breakfast eaten in 3 months – 8 egg omelet with spinach and peppers, with English muffins, from the previous nights dumpster!
beer found – 1 whole case and 1 can of bud
times wasp flew into my shorts and repetitively stung me whilst cycling – 1
flies caught in mouth – 2
flies caught in nose – 1
flies caught in eye – 2
invites into people’s home – 2
best roadside harvest – fennel and rosemary
current ‘roadmade’ trail mix – dried tropical fruit, bbq soybeans, peanuts, pretzels, lime corn nuts, cinnamon almonds, sunflower seeds, cheerios, [all in handlebar bag for convenient grazing]
best flowers eaten on the road – nasturtium
times pulled over by cops for riding on ‘free’ -way – 3
times the word ‘wilderness’ is used in a campfire conversation – 20+
nicest meal cooked over a wood foraged fire – fennel infused peanut rice with paprika seasoned salmon, nutritious and delicious!
most water consumed in a day – 5 liters + the nightly campfire tea ceremonies
longest wrong turn – 8 miles
total miles to date – 605
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