Sunday, November 09, 2008

Munda Biddi Trail: Stage 1: Prologue

Do not take life too seriously, you will never get out of it alive.
         (Elbert Hubbard)

Maps. The people behind them had the foresight to print them on rip-proof, waterproof plastic. This is a valuable feature as it frees one from having to bring along a waterproof map case. The KEP Track map though, is printed on paper (and is free).

'Sought the opinion of Sulaiman @ The Rebound Centre, and he too, deemed the 11-gram Extralite Ultra Clamp too fragile for the rigors of off-road touring.

We replaced it with the beefier 26-gram Woodman Death Grip seatpost clamp. That's one less piece of titanium on my bike. *sob!*

The Sunringlé RPM Lite wheelset (28 spoke rear, 24 front - radial) were also deemed too delicate for loaded touring.

I swapped out Ivy's wheelset (Shimano XT FH-M750 rear, XTR FH-M950 front; both 32 spokes) for the job.

The nearby IGA mini-mart sells Duct / Gaffa tape in a smaller form factor. Nice.

Clothes for the ride. I never managed to use the thermal tights; 2 pairs of inner cycling shorts (for the tights); the insulated, full fingered-gloves; or 2 sets of insulated, long-sleeve jerseys. Arm and leg warmers, and judicious use of the vest and windbreaker proved almost sufficient.

The clothing, sans windbreaker; vest; arm and leg warmers; insulated, full-fingered gloves, goes into the black Ortlieb™ Rack Pack (medium / 31 liter. 30 cm x 54 cm x 27 cm. 760 grams).

The 20-liter blue Seal line™ Baja bag is my kitchen; it contains the stove, a small pan, cup, coffee, sugar, cutlery, and water filtration / treatment (main and back up) works.

The 20-liter green Seal line™ Baja bag holds 12 days worth of food (or so I thought).

The rest of the stuff. Most go into the 94-liter capacity Bob Dry Sak.

First ride with the fully-loaded Bob Ibex.

The blue, long bag on the top contains a Thermarest Z-lite, Outdoor Research Pillow Pump (a self-inflating pillow which also doubles as a pump), Mont silk sleeping bag liner (long), and a lightweight ground sheet from my high school scouting days.

Will this fall over?

Does the sun shine?
Do birds crap?

2 crashes later.

Okay, this doesn't seem to be working.
Time to repack.

Moved most of the food to the Bob Dry Sak, eliminating the need for the 20-liter green Seal line bag; thus, lowering the center of gravity of the trailer.

Take 2.


It works.

Don't ask me why I have my fingers on the brakes when I'm on a level, quiet road.

Now to find out if the trailer is resistant to being broad-sided / T-boned by traffic.

Kickstand Cyclery version:  no spokes.

Testing with Specialized Pro Roll-X Dual 26 x 2.00 (actually closer to 2.2" — they measure their tire width differently) tires.

This post is especially for all those who complain there aren't enough pictures of my ugly mug in my ride reports.

Looking for the "Engine Start" button.

I actually do not require a seat / saddle, I merely crush park my gonads on the titanium top tube.

Kids jump excitedly when I pass by; adults rein them back, chastising them not to be too friendly with the homeless.

The bike is too long. The trailer is too heavy. My tires are too wide; there's too much drag. My brakes aren't adjusted. My suspension lockout isn't stiff enough. The chain is not clean. My hubs need an overhaul. I need ceramic bottom bracket bearings. The sunlight is too strong today. It's too hot. It's too windy. I only have one water bottle. My cleats are worn. My shorts are sagging. My jersey is not aerodynamic enough. My Oakleys keep sliding down my nose. My helmet is too old; it does not have enough air vents; Lance Armstrong doesn't wear it...

More here.

Took a longer ride around the suburb.

View of the cockpit.

crufty generously loaned me a solid-state, weather-resistant, shock-proof, dust-proof, stupid-proof, crash-proof, ruggedized lipstick camera. With a 2GB SD card, it is capable of recording up to 85 minutes of 720 x 480 @ 30 fps of unbelievable, mind-blowing, brain-melting moronic acts on a bicycle — which I fully exploited. (The videos on YouTube don't look that good because YouTube seem to use an inferior conversion software to downgrade the HD videos for general viewing.) Read more about the V. I. O. POV. 1 here. The POV V.I.O. is available from Ascendant Motorsport, LLP.

Next:  a visit to the Munda Biddi Trail Foundation office for the 411 on the trail.


Anonymous said...

Happened to run across your blog while looking for a rear derailleur diagram. (about halfway through you posting your Thailand-to-Singapore reports) You have some great write-ups on your rides, tours, etc. Looking forward to reading about your Aussie tour.

By the way, where did you get that compass that's on Cleo's handlebars?

-ben said...

Thanks :-D

If you are looking for a rear deraileur diagram, Lennard Zinn's two maintenance manuals (one road, one MTB) have them -- and exploded diagrams as well. Alternatively, grab a copy of a Shimano RD installation manual from your friendly local bike shop. They probably throw it away.

The compass on Cloe's handlebar can be gotten from Campers' Corner. It is actually meant for the Leki trekking poles.

The army surplus shops opposite Golden Mile Complex have cheaper alternatives. All you need is to hunt down a large O-ring, or just cable tie it directly. But as I use the compass for navigation I require something that's guaranteed in quality, so I went the Campers' route.

I like it so much that I might put one on all my bikes :-)

Ensure that the upper steel stem faceplate bolt does not give your compass a false reading. I plan to replace mine with a titanium bolt (i.e. non-ferrous) for peace of mind.