It is a bit of a sad day as I boxed up my Klein and it sits dejected in it’s cardboard coffin awaiting despatch to a new land and new life.
Isn’t it strange how we personalise our bikes (and boats) we give them a personality that perhaps we wish we had? This is the Klein that after all was a replacement frame for my original red Klein that cracked … I don’t think I bemoaned the loss and replacement of that one.
This is the bike that I won my first mtb race on – this is the bike that I used to ride around Lions Head in Cape Town and across Table Mountain.
this is the bike that was charged by a 90kg alpha male chacma baboon when I screamed down a trail too close to his pack …. I screamed longer than the bike screamed.
This is the bike that moved with me back to the UK – that I raced my first mtb marathon on – and came 11th.
This is the bike I cycled over my first munro with ….
This is the bike that blinged up as a single speed with it’s white fat franks and was cool when all the other fixie boys where trying so hard to be cool. This is the bike that I could cycle across town that could bounce of kerbs and could hit potholes without the slightest judder ….
This is the bike that I attached a tag-a-long to when taking the kids on adventures ….
This is the bike that I loved.
SOLD SOLD SOLD ….SNIFF
Moving house and storage is going down so we are selling bikes – 3 0f them at least.
First Up The Klein
Attitude Race Aliminium Frame S/M 2002 – only 2.8lbs in weight. (which cost £980 when new)
There are two wheel sets with the bike – A rolf Propel lightweight race set shed with bling Schwalbe Fat Franks. Gearing is 32:14 on this set.
offroad wheel set is a mix (rolf Propel UST at rear with 32:16 setup) this is shod in a Larsen TT UST tyre
Front is a Michelin XC – slightly chunkier front tyre for both a bit of shock and really great grip. Hub is Hope Pro3 and the rim is a MAVIC 819 tubeless.
Pace RC31 rigid forks are some of the lightest fromt MTB forks around.
Broken apart everything will fetch 800ish and more on flea bay (where it is heading next) but would prefer to sell as whole …. SOLD SOLD SOLD sniff ….
Sometimes the simple things are so good – dropped the
you gets (elfin iPad) youngest off at nursery this morning. She only goes 2 days a week but it is good that she know fits the tag-a-long as she is getting more chance to pedal on the 6km trip there, in preparation for more solo rides.
There are hopefully enough lights, reflectors and Dayglo jackets to allow even the most myopic retarded car driver to spot us.
tr.v. de·nud·ed, de·nud·ing, de·nudes1. To divest of covering; make bare.
In a time where everyone on the street is riding fixies and it is becoming more and more difficult to keep that cool street chic going. A whole industry is catering for those desperate to be individual, it reminds me of that great writing in Monty Python’s LIFE OF BRIAN (paraphrasing)
Brian: “Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t need to follow me…
You’ve got to think for yourselves! You’re allindividuals!”
Crowd: “Yes! We’re all individuals!”
Brian: “You’re all different!”
Crowd: “Yes! We’re all different!”
Man: “I’m not.”
So take that with a pinch of salt and looking at my own stock decided to use my lovely Klein as a town bike. It’s been a singlespeed for a while with 2 seperate wheelsets a 32:16 for offroad and a 32:14 for road use.
What better bike could you have for the city? One that has fairly slick tyres for speed and has volume and robust components that allow you to smack kerb drops, self-damage yourself but not the bike in potholes.
It stands out – 2 people today commented on the bike….
What bike do you own that you could pimp up yourself? Let me know and send me a pic ….
Managed to escape the edit and get out in daylight … we went as a family down the road to Mono to hear a music session. Frightened Rabbit were playing one of our favourite bands … first however past an exhibition where we spent £250 on a new painting for the house ….
There is alway time to stop and practise balance with the family – a life work balance
With an imminent work trip to the Middle East trip scheduled, I said goodbye to the lovely lady and the kids who were headed north to Shetland for a holiday. Mmmm a few days before I go so I could either work on the showreel, go kitesurfing with Ed or go for a bike ride or two.
Jolene was on the ferry already when she texted to say that Tom was going walking and camping on Arran for a few days. His wife and kid were also on the ferry so it was a case of 2 dads banishing the boredom.
So a plan was hatched catch the 8:40am train from Glasgow to ardossan, get the ferry to Arran and then head north to try and find Tom. Now the thing about Tom is that he is low maintenance – happy to rough it, happy to exercise, happy to change plans. Now there is the rub that he might change his mind and campsite and he doesn’t use a mobile phone so the chances of tracking him down are slim.
Well he is planning to climb Goatfell and the only campsite is in the north of arran at lochranza right opposite the Arran malt distillery…. The distillery was the last bit of temptation I needed and hastily packed. I thought that I didn’t find him I could catch the last ferry home at 8pm after a nice 100km cycle, but if I did find him there was the matter of camping … He had a small tent so should I carry a sleeping bag and try squeeze in to his tent. ‘Mmmm no’ so plan b was hatched that if I found him I would also try get a room nearby and just go out for a drink or two. Arran is also home to the Arran brewery with some very fine ales but more on that later.
So up and packing I realised the time was going past a bit quickly – no time to change the flats over to clipless pedals. I sped out the house down to the station and bought a ticket with just 40 secs to spare .. Whew a bit close that was a bit stupid as the next train was an hour away. This train is great gets you to the harbour (ardrossan) with enough time to wander over to ferry terminal and buy ticket (subsequently found out you can actually buy a joint rail ferry ticket at the train station)
The ferry was fine – loads of French schoolkids and more than a few day-trippers and road cyclists.
Headed north on the road to Lochranza and it was mighty fine. I was on my Klein singlespeed geared 32:14 cruising nicely at 22-25km/h with a camelbak HAWG stuffed to the gills mainly with raincoat and spares for the morning. After 25ish min the road suddenly goes uphill which is all fair but on the singlespeed it felt a bit brutal at times.
Had to stand and stomp pushing so hard that I saw the handlebar flexing. One roadie passed me spinning happily as I neared the top. Over the top the descent back 200m to sea level. Great to blast down this but road surface pretty crappy so glad now not to be on roadbike bu rather my schwalbe big apples (I think they are 1.5 or 1.75).
Got down to Lochranza looked at the castle and the little keelboats marooned at low tide…
Then carried on to find the campsite. ‘you’ve already passed it mate… ‘ so spun back to try locate Tom. ‘yes there is a tall blond chap here .. And yes he does look Norwegian’ so penned a note which the site manager promised to give him then hopeful for accomodation went to the Lochranza hotel. £55 they wanted from me as only a family room left – that was taking the piss so took a number and decided to try my luck further along.
2 miles on came to catacol hotel ….
– basic but clean and let’s face it I would be wearing the same cycling shorts tomorrow.
Left the heavier items from the bag (great I packed a shock pump for an adventure on a rigid bike) then carried on down the west coast of Arran. No midges to worry about and cycled on the road as some paddle boat steamed up the coast.
Stopped for a bite then headed back to hotel for shower but was in such a daze I cycled straight back into Lochranza – divine providence and ended up at the distillery having a mosey and buying a small bottle of malt didn’t want to carry a litre bottle with me back to the ferry.
Got back to hotel had a shower (no en-suite here) then read for a while before heading back to campsite in Lochranza to hunt down Tom.
Was having a bite to eat when ‘woops there he goes’. Heckled him from the door and he seemed hugely surprised. He quickly dropped his kit bit on discovering the crap choice of beer at the local bar/ hotel we proceeded around the corner to my hotel where we had 2,3,4,5,6 err 7 pints of Arran brewery (can’t even remember which one – not Arran blond, dark or witch on) played a few rounds of pool – Tom is even worse at pool than me which is pretty funny.
‘meet you at 7:15am’ for that was when we would meet to cycle back over that hill and to the ferry.
The next morning it was howling and pissing down.
Met up at campsite then headed off to ferry – the Lochranza hill from the north wasn’t so bad – the misery of the rain and wind was quite funny. Over the top and Tom was a few hundred metres behind so decided to wait at the bottom where there was some tree cover .. Tried to coast but the wind was bringing me to a halt (on a downhill) but once on the steep bit I tucked down and tried to get a good speed.
Once down and Tom had caught up came up with a plan to slipstream north… I told him to call speed he was happy with and I would do it and take the wind … He was dealing with panniers, a tent all on a heavy kona smoke bike.
Pretty coast road then ferry and train back to Glasgow …
Tom was looking a bit tired after his Munro climb (or corbett) double bike adventures and said he was going home to sleep. I had football that night but that’s another painful tale to tell……..
Nice single-speed day out with Findlay. He is the proud owner of a steel beast and my Klein needed a run out.
Felt me legs burning this morning on cycling the girls to school and nursery.
is equal to the heat of the ……
So did a dodgy photoshop mockup of angles between the Klein and potential new Carver. So from what I gather (and I actually knew) is that 29″ front raises tipping point so flying over the handlebars might be less frequent. F
Larger front wheel will make rolling over obstacles a lot easier.
BB is raised along with standover height. Chainstay slightly lengthened. Interesting to see that head angle and seat angle pretty spot on. Will have to reverse stem I think to stop bars being too high ….. but on paper all seems to be working.
Klein working well as a single speed with dual use.
City riding on schwalbe slicks with Rolf Propel wheelset. Chainring set to 32:14
Off road tubeless setup with Rolf Propel tube
less rear and Mavic XM819 on Hope ProIII. Bike really good on singletrack and technical trails with FIXED Pace RC31 front fork – I hadn’t expected it to be but carbon fork absorbs a lot of the shock then I think tubeless tyres and bike’s stupid low weight (around 19lbs maybe without mudguard) do the rest.