Our route has been a broken meander on the smallest back lanes, cow paths, stony clusterfucked hike-a-bikes, with a dose of wading and lifting sweat skin biting fly swatting. Naturally, we’re having a splendid, demented time.
The identity of this place is that it is nowhere, towns that we will inertia through when we need to, but the network of agricultural tracks horizons into midmorning heat and we don’t have to intersect anything else.
In the thick experience of movement and days, in the backroads dust and the chest pressing heat, in the hundred laughter cheek kiss embrace conversations we have, it’s there that the void gets filled, making me ride grinning at how close it was.
(9-10 April, 2016)
The miles wind and snake and gritty crunch, achieving a clip and breeze until the balance tips and we can feel the sweat under our pack straps telling us that winter is someone else’s thoughts now.
Thread of dirt like the path of unusually ambitious and purposeful cows through brush, the Lime Kiln Trail. Push the bikes up to a sharp crag ridge, then a short fast drop and it’s dusty and snaking through rolling brush, mountains in the distance, a scene from a dozen Westerns and we open it up.
Rob English Custom folding 2-9. Alfine 8 (32 ring, 19 cog) with JTek shifter. Revelate bags, custom long narrow cuben fiber stuff sack from Zpack. Two bottles and bladder in frame bag, no backpack.
Looking forward to pedaling in warmth with Cass and Gary.
We’re all laughing so hard we’re doubled over heaving for breath, I’m in tears. Hardly ten minutes into the ride, Ivan flats, he and John are working through the change and Ivan has backed against […]
Surely but surely the bicycle and setup one rides are not in the least way an existential metaphysical portal that transcends the mundane weft of the universe through which one can peer into the psychology […]
Late summer moment grasp, just and merely, in between swelter and shiver, in between easy free and returns, in between dance and march (I like both), in between days all outside and in. Spare twilighting […]
I recently took delivery of a new bike built by Rob English, an old friend and terrific custom builder. This is a 29er mountain bike designed to fold or disassemble for easy transport in a suitcase. Rob’s clever engineering achieves the same thing that S&S couplers do, but the result is lighter and more elegant. The build is unremarkable except for the use of the Shimano Alfine 8 speed internal hub, shifted by a Jtek lever fixed to a custom bar mount.
In a drop bar configuration, it will likely make a very capable rough conditions expedition touring bike.
English cycles custom steel road racer: Edge 1.0 carbon fork, SRAM Red shifting, FSA K-Force Light crankset (with ceramic bearings), TRP R950SL brakes, Extralite UL3 stem, Deda 215 bars, Crank Bros. headset, SLR saddle, Speedplay […]
We — by which I mean Rob and Misha — decided to take the scenic Maungatapu “road” from Nelson to Pelorus Bridge. Of this plan Nathan said, “Don’t be stupid. You might be able to […]