Co-worker’s birthday means a trip to the office for cake. And a little bit of rain.
It’s an interesting thing when you really have only one or two options for a commute route into town. If you’re at it long enough it means you literally end up riding certain sections of trail THOUSANDS of times. All the bike trips have been invariably far better than the car ones.
Also, if you’re in the market for a handlebar bag these @porcelainrocketNigels are the bomb for reals. And looky – waterproof.
A Series Until It isn’t: The 2013 @surlybikes Pugsley Neck Romancer – in one version of ‘winter mode’.
Acquired brand spankin new from @radicaledgebikeski – The Rundown: 2013 Pugsley Neck Romancer Frame and Fork in Burned Nougat. @canecreekusa 40 headset. Bontrager parts bin stem clamping @giantbicycles Connect riser bars with @esigrips Chunky grips to block the cold. @rideshimano 9spd LX shifter clicking an SLX rear deraileur around an 11/34 cassette, spinning a @srammtb chain around a set of X5 GXP cranks that were a take-off of another bike and donated to this project by @shawnthamilton. They’re currently wobbly in the frame, I can’t get them to tighten and they’re probably doing bad things to my BB, but I’ll get to it when I can. @blackspire_components Snaggletooth 32T ring because Canada. I stomp the whole business through jerky squares via @45nrth Heiruspecs pedals. Avid FR5 levers pull BB7 brakes on the original rotors. The stock Kalloy seat post clamped by a Surly clamp capped by a @selleanatomica (NSX?) Saddle. Stock Surly Rolling Darryl rims mated to a Shimano Deore Rear Hub and Surly Ultra New front hub. @ridebontrager Gnarwhal studded tires. OG @porcelainrocket ‘2 section’ frame bag from back when Scott would actually take your frame measurements to make ‘em. I even had him add in some mesh pockets on the non-drive side of mine because #deepcustom . An @oldmanmountainracks Fat Sherpa rear rack holds my Anylander Panniers (also made by Porcelain Rocket) and @parts.and.labor . A couple of other choice bits of this current incarnation are some @revelatedesigns Expedition Pogies – something I waited forever to get, but shouldn’t have because they are a game changer in the cold – and a Tarik Saleh Bike Club Bartender Bag by @randijofab for positive mojo and transportage of little things. Bontrager plastic bottle cages on the forks for bottles. Of course now that I finally got around to making this post – just yesterday I swapped out the wheels for the 29+ set because spring is coming. At some point. I guess I’ll do another post – whenever.
A Series Until It isn’t*: The 2004 @surlybikes Surly Cross Check. Acquired slightly used as frame and fork. Built up countless ways over the years. Stevie Ray Vaughan had ‘Number One’, this is mine. It is now the bike that has been in the Stable the longest. I like the ‘steed/stable’ metaphor better than the ‘arrow/quiver’ one because even when I ride my fastest bike I plod along like a horse. I hath not the vigor of an arrow loosed.
The Rundown: Cross Check frame and fork – probably in hindsight a TAD too small for me, however I have considered and rejected selling this bike several times, but the fact of the matter is, I now can’t because it is singularly tied to my identity on this planet. @chriskingbuzz Headset, natch. Giant parts bin stem clamping @salsacycles Cowbell bars with a @knog Oi bell and @ridebontrager Bar Tape. @rideshimano Sora 9spd brifters clicking an LX rear deraileur, a Sora front and spinning an SRAM chain around a set of LX(?) Cross Cranks sporting @crankbrothers Candy C pedals and pulling cables on Avid Shorty 6 brakes. A no name seat post clamped by a no-name clamp capped by a @selleanatomica (NSX?) Saddle. Custom Built wheels by me – with assistance from @wineintitanium in his living room many years ago – consisting of parts bin LX hubs courtesy of @uhlsbrewingco laced to Alex R390 rims sporting @panaracer_world Gravel King Mud 35mm tires with (though you’d never guess it) tan sidewalls. I’ve over 15,000kms on this wheelset with not much more than an occasional seasonal truing. @porcelainrocket bags. My fave bag makers of all time. I usually have this bike setup with this medium stock frame bag and a black Charlene to match – both of which I got from MEC – but today I threw on the multi-cam BIG bag because: coffee stuff/puffy layers. I forget what it’s called but the big one without the frame that they just firesaled all the back stock on and I got one because it was just too good of a price to pass up and huge. Official Custom-Installed ¡TSBC GO! patch.
Coffeeneuring 2019 Control # 2: Headed out to one of my favorite #coffeeoutside spots and set up a ‘coffee shop without walls’ for Control #2. Fixed myself up a nice coffee black. Gas station cream cheese and chocolate chip muffin was only a 6 out of 10 though. Did manage to drop a bunch of existential angst on this trip thus making it a legit Corrective Action Bicycle Ride as well. Also, learned that the @porcelainrocket Microwave Pannier holsters work great even without the proprietary drybags just for stuffing extra stuff in. Layers, ground scores, what-have-you. I imagine they would also work great with other dry bags in a ‘multiple-smaller-dry-bag’ configuration as well as with various kinds of totes and other bags or whatever. I believe in the marketing industry this is all referred to as ‘added value’. I’mma call it rad.
Two nights ago the weather forecast was calling for rain in the form of ‘buckets’. I think ‘buckets’ is a specific meteorological term, but I’m not meteorologist. Not one to ignore a seemingly obvious sign from the gods – or anyone with a ‘gist’ at the end of their title, I thought this was a perfect time to mount up my @porcelainrocket Microwave Panniers .
They are built around a removable dry bag system so seemed perfectly suited. Like all of PR’s gear I’ve had/used/abused before, these came through with flying colors. My stuff stayed completely dry. I’m not sure what sort of witchcraft the dry bag material employs – I was a bit concerned at first when I could actually SEE the colors of my stuff inside through the bag, but they stayed watertight. love the fact that I can just pop the dry bags out and take them in the house (from the garage, where the bikes live) to load/unload them and leave them by the door to grab before heading out in the morning. Also nice is being able to haul a bag of work clothes to the office washroom easily to change. A small, easily overlooked – yet huge detail – is the fact that the dry bags are flat-bottomed and stand up on their own, a feature I highly appreciate. 
The ‘holsters’ that receive the dry bags were easy to mount up, come with a bunch of extra holes and enough strappage that I can only think they’ll fit whatever kind of rig you’ve got. In closing these are solid goods that you could do no wrong in acquiring for yourself. Don’t be fooled by Scott’s rugged good looks and outdoorsy-type beard – even though he makes all this stuff for that wild and crazy packbiking and other wilderness shenanigans, I’m here to say his stuff works great for us mere-mortal commuter types as well. I love getting my stuff from small shops like PR because I know that if I ever have an issue, question or need a repair, I can easily talk to an actual human – even if they’re a weird one, because really, we’re all a little weird in our own weird way – amirite? [3-10] Random pictures from a soggy commute. Camera doesn’t do the foliage justice – seems like on the grey days the colors pop even more.