Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Donna's Long Haul Trucker

My Christmas shopping, such as it was, was done at the last minute, and I had no idea what I was going to get for Donna until I saw a 46cm Surly Long Haul Trucker frame for sale on Trademe.

Over the years she has had three different commuting/town bikes, all based on mountain bike frames. All of them required various manky solutions to fit utilitariana such as mudguards, and the riding position was less than ideal once a rigid fork was fitted to a 'suspension adjusted' frame geometry.
The Long Haul Trucker has a braze-on fitting for every conceivable accessory, including several that Donna will never use unless she renounces her short distance, fast-twitch ways. It was a pleasure not to have to attach the mudguards with zip ties, though a spacer was needed behind the chainstay bridge to maintain a pleasing mudguard line.
I like to use good quality parts on these bikes (check out the spec on Donna's old GT Outpost, ferinstance), and this one seemed to justify some top shelf junque I have been saving- Ritchey WCS cantilevers, Nitto 185 bars, and Sugino Pro Dynamic cranks. A few minutes rummaging turned up an all-Suntour gear set- Sprint front derailler, XC Pro short cage rear, and a pair of Superbe Pro friction downtube shifters. The wheels, with Shimano dynohub and Lumotec light came from Donna's Specialized M2 commuter.

Currently, the Carradice Lowsaddle saddlebag sits on the rear mudguard, so a small rear rack will be required. I'm working on something similar to this Sycip rack in 8mm high tensile steel tube.

More photos here at the Wool Jersey Gallery.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Eroica Fashion

Intersection, seemingly a 'lifestyle magazine' for upmarket petrolheads, did a photo shoot at Eroica this year.
Photographer Nick Clements has an impressive portfolio of retro fashion photography, but I don't recall that anyone who actually rode the event looked this clean.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A confluence of fanboy obsessions

A couple of photos from Eric Clapton's Japanese tour blog show that his long standing passion for Cinellis is unabated.

Google turned up a couple of older photos of Clapton taking delivery of a new Cinelli from Antonio Colombo in 1987, and con Cinelli in Milano, October 1988.

Antonio Colombo shares Clapton's love of the blues- his stand at this year's Milan show had a non stop blues soundtrack, which caused me to linger long after I had lost interest in what was on display.

The Condor on the cover of the first edition of Richard's Bicycle Book is rumoured to have been Clapton's. After attacking the Condor with a 10" adjustable spanner and crushing the brake cables, I guess Richard didn't get an invite to feature any of Clapton's Cinellis in later editions.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Pokeno Ride & Swapmeet Report

A small event that deserves to get bigger.
Organised by Denne Parkinson & Craig Bush, who also run the
Pokeno Wheels and Heels in March.

From the Retro Gruppetto there was Peat Alexander, Kim Sinclair (Bianchi Specialissima), Daniel Rosser (Raleigh), Donna Wynd and me; plus Manukau Vets stalwarts Ed Austin (Raleigh 20), Ray Hancock (1963 Rudge) and Reg Hinton (Colian).

Probably the oldest bike was a pre-WW2 coaster braked device, riden by the grandson of the original owner. He had been planning to ride it around Taupo this year, but decided it might not go the distance. Despite a chainring that wobbled alarmingly from side to side, he got along at a good pace.

The swapmeet was a small affair, with only two tables of junque for sale. The biggest transaction of the day was probably Denne Parkinsons acquisition of an old tandem which had been offered on Trademe a few times recently.

Reg Hinton's Colian

Ray Hancock's 1963 Rudge