this has been bothering me for a week or more. and here not the best way to vent.. but never, never tell someone that their bike has “bad juju”. no matter how selfish or stupid you are. but i heard that said to me about my bike. one that i’m going to be living on for more days than i can count. i could make points about who is a real bike rider and whos not, but boil it down.. fuck off for saying that.
Ok. i dont know anything but i should try to do something. get some things done. Winter is so long over that the longest day of the year has passed. Dam.
I just was going to set up my tent just to see if any mice chewed holes in it or if it stunk so bad I’d need to wash or get a new one. The tent is fine. It’s the poles that are messed. The elastic is baked and does not draw the sections together. Might call about replacements.
My sleeping bag need a cleaning. Gonna take that on soon. The down soap is about $10, hand wash, then a long low heat dryer session.
I found some nice Outlier buffalo leather insoles that i forgot i had and put them in my shoes. Bet that might help a lil vs the foam whatevers they came with.
Bought a few lil things for my dopp kit & first aid kit.
Acquired some Black US made 330(i think) Cordura that I plan on remaking my rear panniers in.
Still not sure what lens combo to bring. 28mm, 50mm, 85mm. Or 24-105mm, 50mm. Or 16-35mm, 50mm, 70-200mm. And then what I’ll have as my digital camera… Could just only use my 13mp phone camera, or the 7D i own, or a cheap P&S i have.
I scraped off all the screened on lettering and logo from my snowpeak mug. A while back i just only took off the little line that said “outdoor lifestyle creator” b/c i thought that was dumb. Now I just took it all off for a clean logo-less look. Way better.
I’m caring less about where i go, and more about that i just go. New York is an awesome place that is very tough to beat. But New York is not everything. And winning is not always the goal.
Last night i read my friends adventure blog. We’re Really Doing It. This time was Baja. It put things in a perspective I’m not sure I understand. A feeling that riding a bike around is nothing. But their whole thing started with riding a bike around. Although they had no experience. So same, but very different.
I guess the biggest thing of the month is a change in my investments. A good one that gives me more time and funds for a trip if i chose to take one.. Also i should get paid for a Red Bull job i’m finishing up. Bonus!
While being on hold by Eureka tent I started to look up after market replacement stuff while I waited. Seemed like a better option after 20 min of hold time. But when I got home I started looking closer at my tent poles. The end caps that hold the elastic in place unscrew. Easily. All I need is new elastic, feed it through, and tension is well. Done. Should be good as new.
Been a while. Not too much new.
Plans could be set back due to no progress on my bike getting finished. And other preparation being incomplete.
I don’t find myself being too worried. I never made any promise that I would depart on a certain date. But I am still going to aim to have things ready by the time I planned.
- Short month, a lot of snow and cold.
- I got a rug for my room. Prob the most domesticated thing I’ve done since well before my last tour.
- I have a new vest. It could double as a small pillow.
- and lots of thoughts…
- My Olympus Infinity Stylus p&s (serial no. 8067786), Canon Rebel G w/ 40mm lens and my NiteRider 700 light were all stolen, among other things. So pissed. I’m gonna replace the light and look for another camera.
- I bought a pair of Salewa shoes with the intent to switch from riding in road shoes on road pedals to giving good hiking shoes and large platform pedals a try. I ride like that pretty much daily in NYC. And it means I’ll be able to move around off the bike much easier.
- I’m hooked on the game Clash of Clans.
- Prob gonna switch from those Nova rear dropouts to a custom laser cut dropout.
- a couple days later we might have solution to the problem of how to make a fork. A segmented fork. The machining is the hurdle with doing a unicrown. We talked about a segmented fork with raked and tapered fork blades. Also custom dropouts.
- But the welder it going to Paris for a bit so the build will be on hold either way. And the whole shop is moving. So that leaves a lot yet to be seen.
- My two roommates are going to bike tour in Mexico for aprox. 4 weeks. Stoked for them, and jealous a bit.
- Another friend is on Tour d’Afrique in India right now. Mad Jealous of that.
- soon to be ordering more parts. seatpost/post clamp, King bottom bracket, brake and shift cable sets, bar wrap, replacement NiteRider light and new mini pump.
- thinking about if i want to keep the Velo Orange fenders or try out the Honjo fenders..
- thinking more about what photo gear to take and to leave.. gonna be at least 2. One 35mm and one digital. could be just SLR and phone for digi. or other options. still want to find another Olympus infinity stylus for b/w 35mm P&S.
- started to make a spread sheet for companies doing made in US.
I should stay on schedule with my monthly planning notes. For now here is a catch up.
Had a handful of weeks where I wasn’t thinking or doing much to prepare for a bike tour. The bike build was on a seemingly endless standstill. The sun was setting at its earliest for the year. I was going home and watching movies and playing phone games a lot to avoid the cold and save money I guess.
I was also getting tattoos finished so I spent money on that and was thinking about art and shit..
Now the days are getting a tad bit longer. Tattoos done for now. Spent 6 days in Mexico late last year. My wrrk schedule is good. My rent went down a little b/c my roommates gf moved in. They both have bike touring plans also.
I’ve added some more pins into my map.
I’ve not made much progress getting into work spaces to photograph workers here in NYC.
My bike could be finished soonish.
Today was 200 days till Aug 1, 2014. That is my projected departure. But really it could be sooner, or much later. But I want my bike, gear and life shit dialed by then.
I thought of a good answer to the “why shoot film? “Question. Because it’s more fun.
The sound of the shutter, the operation of loading and unloading the cartridges, waiting to see the results.
I think I’m going to make a custom rear rack for myself. And I had it suggested to paint them a different color than the bike, so not black. White maybe. I think it would look real good with no panniers on, and loaded just a lil would be visible. My bottle cages are white and I wrap my bars in white.
I’ve gathered 2 new cameras. I bought a Canon Rebel G and was gifted an Olympus Infinity Stylus. I like the Olympus, it’s my first 35mm P&S. Think I’ll bring it for shooting flash in b/w. And it’s just over 7oz with a roll loaded. The Rebel G will stay home.
Thinking about switching to large platform pedals and one pair of shoes vs clip-in pedals and road shoes & walking shoes.
I think I’ve picked out a pedal, now I just need to find a stiff sole hiking/trail shoe (not boot). I don’t really know that segment of footwear but I was looking at some Salewa stuff. Although I’m not sure if that is good for what I want.
Of course there are many thoughts going on too. How excited I am to go traveling for a long time. But it’s not excitement is more like a sureness that I will like a simple life. The gains from shedding down to just the basics. Tent, stove, tools, sleeping bag, camera, notebook.
Another thing is that even though I can’t erase the personal fulfillment motivations that go hand in hand with solo bike touring, I am sure I want to focus on some other bigger project. Not just the I’m going to ride my bike from A to B just so I can say I did.
And a reflector placement I hadn’t thought of.
For every big ride I make lists in a notebook too.
Still stuck in this city. No traveling for over a year now. So i surf web and i see all this stuff, gravel grinding, ultralight touring, bikepacking times 1000, rando, s24o, and other things. Among all this there are those whats-in-my-bag pictures. And i just now looked at this one where the only cooking/food item was a Ti spork. There may have been a can opener and some matches in there but it made me think, yeah if i was only going for a few days i could get by with just that much. But I don’t think about going for a few days. For me it’s only been for months. I’m not going for 3 months with just a spork.
So I then thought that, thru my 4 tours, my kit had mostly stayed the same. I can only think of a few variations. My first two were about the same then with my third and fourth I just upgraded my clothing and camera gear. I kind of know just what to take on a 2½ to 4 month tour. But looking at that photo of a 2 day kit with a spork I knew I’d take more for a 3 month trip. But now I’m worried that my 3 month kit won’t be what I need to take for a 5 season trip.
Thinking about being on the road for 450 days is almost too much to plan for. Shit will break, wear out, get lost, get stolen, be given away, or become useless deadweight due to changing seasons. So what do i pack differently based on the duration of this trip?
One thing I’m going to do is have a back up stock of a few thing to leave with a friend to mail to me. Things like clothes, tires, film.
Another thing is my cooking gear will have coffee gear in the mix for the first time. And i’m looking into a better fry pan. Mostly so I can do more cooking beyond boiling water for pasta and heating vege burgers. I also might bring a plate so I can eat like a human being.
Also because this next tour will have a photo project attached I want to add to my camera gear but still keep the weight within reason. Still not sure what will make the cut but its looking like another lens and a tripod.
The thought of leaping from the season+ duration to the year+ realm is kind of scary.
- I decided on a cassette, the Sram 12-28. Mostly because I think pushing a Z gear of 30×28 will be close enough to a 1 to 1 ratio that I don’t really need a 30t or anything bigger in the back. And when I look at the spread, the 12-28 lets me keep the 16t I’m used to having between the 15 & 17t, but i trade my 21&23 for only a 22t, and on the top end I gain a 28t to resort to when that 25t is not enough. Also it’s a few bucks less than the Shimano Ultegra 12-30t.
- Speaking of cassettes, I saw a 11-42t 11 speed on the market. I get that its for a single chainring up front but the look of it is ridiculously bad.
- My friend picked up a Solio BOLT battery pack/solar charger. He showed it to me and said he liked its performance. Small, light, not a ton of money. Might look into getting one for myself later. But for now the components still needed are headset, stem, bars, seat post, cables, & bar wrap in order to get rolling.
- The thought of going to Interbike and learning about more companies making things in North America. But i’ve never been to Interbike
- In the future I need to keep track of days I resort to my Z gear. So I’m making a new tag and hash tag #Zgear
I’ve made my photo project idea concise enough to talk about it with friends. But still there is a lot to it. Besides all the parts I’d need help with there is the reasoning behind wanting to do something so involved. And of course there is the debate of should I make it a big project I have people helping me with, or should I just do nearly all of the work on my own and keep it to a manageable size.
And its that last part that makes me even wonder if I should even set out to publish anything. For some reason I still come back to the idea of just going on tour. No charity. No blog. No big projects. Just get on my bike and ride. Take pictures, write in my notebook, eat food and sleep in my tent.
To counter that. I want to do something good. I like having a project. I want to take pictures. I want to see new things and meet new people. I feel connected to people who work jobs making things we need. I want to tell some sort of story about why they are important.
But I’m scared. I don’t want to fail. I worry I won’t get into the factories and work spaces to meet the people I want to meet. I worry about so many things. Too many to try to list them.
A few things arrived. New cassette but i had to file down a screw on my hub so it could fit. A few things for my daily rider. And news that my frame might be going in the jig next week. good news.
Might be ordering some Snow Peak stuff thru an associate. Looking at tableware things.
Sometimes it feels like a very long time will pass before I leave on another extended bike tour. So much time that it is very possible something unknown could pop up and derail the whole thing out of my future. I guess I shouldn’t think that way..
Need to remember that you land where you look.
For some reason I bought an adapter for this old Nikon mount Tokina RMC 135mm f/2.8 lens I was gifted so I could use it with my Canon. That was many months ago. I’ve not shot one picture on film with it yet but I’m gonna start now. Compared to the Canon EF 135mm f/2 its small and light and free. Although no AF and a stop slower.
Yesterday I saw a book by August Sander and I was really impressed. This guy did in Germany what I wish I could do here. Many decades ago and on a different continent but I am inspired. I look on the web for inspiration via web searches for images & articles, on sites like CGOAB, twitter and personal blogs but I also see links to way more. facebook, instagram, youtube, vimeo.. there are so many but what is the longevity of them? in 10, 20 years will any of it make it to the surface? Books. I should think about a book.
This August Sander book is titled Face of Our Time and it has an introduction by another person followed by 60 portraits with simple titles. That should the goal, not instagram followers or youtube views. I don’t care about that shit but it is important to lots of people, including some of those on tour. I want to talk with people and make friends. I want to print pictures and hand them to people, or send them in the mail.
My problem is that I am also here using the internet as a way to share, there are difference but it is really just that I’m small time and I like it that way. Money can be made from a busy website. videos and instagrams can funnel hits from other areas on the web to a site of your own. One making money. I get that there are checks to be made from this kind of shit but I think what I want from touring is to be free from that.
I’m going to stop trying to describe this stuff. Just to say, I want to ride my bike far, but to one day come back. And I want a full notebook along with many many pictures I think are good enough to show.
still no welding to happen yet..
still need to sew that other pannier..
not going to Interbike.
The 42 Below Ride was not the first time a group of bike riders were hired to do a coast to coast promotional ride. I’m surprised this happened but not that surprised by the year, there was a lot of touring going on in the 70’s. Way to go JCPenney and Huffy.
a few things.
- bought Schwalbe tires, but not rode them yet
- my favorite cheap film was discontinued, and did some searching to stock up a little
- my roommate and a friend left for a 3week tour on the northern west coast. Stoked for them and wishing i could do the same
- picked up a nice linen travel towel, and have been using it. linen is great stuff
- thinking about the letters P,B and J. Pictures, Biking and Jobs. I want to tour around and take pictures of people who work in manufacturing jobs. Things like Red Wing or Western Mountaineering.
- not yet made a decision on a color for my new frame, but heard about a black powder coat that has a spectrum of color reflected in the sun
- still contemplating options for doing, or not doing video on a future tour
- also the options for solar charging, or just spotting outdoor outlets
- reading a book, The Slow Way Down by Gerald Coniel
Thinking more about Pictures Biking and Jobs project idea. The amount of effort i would need to give it. What the main focus would be. Practical aspects like finding and connecting with people while on the road. And how would the stories be told, presented. I believe there are enough people interested in the parts separately and also combined specifically. I would hope i could be reputable enough to be allowed to visit work spaces and learn about the jobs, the people, and the goods they make. And take portraits.
Cant decide what cassette to install. My last tour was 12-25 with cassette cogs: 12,13,14,15,16,17,19,21,23,25
Shimano Ultegra 6700 10-Speed 12-30t
Cassette Cogs: 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27-30
SRAM PG-1050 10 speed 12-28t
Cassette Cogs: 12-13-14-15-16-17-19-22-25-28
Miche Shimano splined 10 speed 12-27t
Cassette Cogs: 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25-27
3rd – All tubes, dropouts, and little bits for the frame have been ordered.
- Paragon Machine Works rear dropouts. “Machined from 4130 steel, this is a classic dropout, with the relief on the outside. It has two M5 x .8 rack or fender eyelets..”
- Nova road and MTB stays and a Nova MTB 37mm diameter x 1.6mm wall head tube.
- True Temper SuperTherm main tubes 1.25″ top tube, 1.5″ down tube.
- External butted seat tube for 27.2mm post.
- 68mm bottom bracket.
11th – I crashed a few times on my last tour, twice from my front tire slipping out on loose dirt and in loose gravel. I might want to try using a Panaracer Pasela Tourguard 700x32c tire on the front and a Panaracer RiBMo 700×32 on the rear. The Tourguard for tread grooves and a more rounded surface, but it has a thiner sidewall. The RiBMo for its longevity and its high point on the center/being very smooth on paved roads.
13th – Thinking about tour life. How much time is long enough and how long would be too much? Touring to the point that its just living on a bike. The conditioning of living 99% of time out of doors. The everyday standard of interactions with only strangers, the rareness of being with friends (by visiting ones around the country). How to re-enter into a regular (a home and a job) life?
The ideas of taking on a project for the duration. A charity maybe, thought of linking to something positive and just letting the blog redirect them. Kind of minimal but even doing a little bit of good would help. Also thinking about photo projects but if I do it right i’ll just make sure I could take pictures and with my time i just need to think about what to do.
Thinking about not using this blog while touring. To keep only a written journal and then after it all I could post Touring Notes with pictures after I’m done. But the question I keep thinking is – what good does it do to post any of this online? I have been looking at others touring journals on CGOAB and the ones who travel on popular routes and take snapshots of encounters with other tourists. These people in these pictures represent that there are so many that just simply tour. So.. do I want to blog my tour, or just tour?
15th – Canceled that order for the handlebars. Now think I’ll get some real wide Nitto bars.
21st – Summer Solstice. All tubes and bits have arrived for the frame. The issue of fork needs will be addressed later.
23rd – I feel very different than i did after my last tour. New York is a strange place to live, especially when thinking about how long it has been since I’ve got out of the city even for a day. I do want to travel for hundreds of days. But I might be at a point where just one or two would do some good.
24th – One of 3 things. 1, no internet at all, professional old school. 2, internet and blog as i go. But also keep a personal, written notebook that is not relayed to the internet. 3, internet to search things and check email along the way but save all blogging for until after my tour is finished. ? So stupid to even ask myself this.. but i dont like the internet.. because i grew up without it. But i see that it is useful. but it is a shit hole. I may just do what i did 2 years ago, email, tweet, limited-expression posts as i go. And keep a notebook for myself.