At this point, my Geekhouse Mudville is about as worn out as I am. It’s traveled the world multiple times and each trip to Australia, the build is slightly different.
Looking back, had I known this bike had clearances for up to a 42c tire, I would have ditched the 33c world a long time ago. For big, big rides, those 40c Nanos are the way to go. Surly’s Knard 41c looks like a great option as well, but I’ve yet to try them.
Over the past few years, this bike has proven itself to me time and time again. While there are a few characteristics that make a cross bike less-than-ideal for big tough dirt rides, I’d say it’s an all around, solid tool for the job. Even doing ‘road rides’ on a 40c ain’t as bad as you’d think.
Looking forward, I’m not sure what kind of bike I’d like to use for ‘dirt riding’ and travel. A road geometry with a slighly-slacker head tube angle is best suited for descending steep, rutted and sketchy fire roads, but the clearances for a larger tire make any rocky surface just kinda disappear, even on singletrack.
I’d love to make a bike with a road BB drop, a slightly slacker heat tube and enough room for a 40c tire but for now, this bike is ripping! Out of all of my bikes, it’s seen the most action and it shows, especially after a long ride like the two day Bush Blast (day 1 and day 2).
After that ride, I have had these photos on my desktop and figured I’d share them.
There’s something magical about waking up to the call of the Magpie, in a dingy hotel room, with holes in the walls (wall paper peeling off) and to the stench of post-parma flatulence mixed with dirty bib shorts. Now, I know that was grotesque, but it’ll paint a vivid picture for ya.
Personally, I was stoked on our accommodations. For $30 Aussie notes, we slept like logs on a windless summer night. The sunrise looked good and best of all: it wasn’t raining. At all. Yet.
After scarfing down a “scroll” – Australian for cinnamon roll, two tangerines, a pie (meat pie), another pie (meat pie) and a breakfast croissant (ham and cheese), we were ready for mediocre coffee and yellow-tinted water for our bidons. The sun was still shining, so we went off, rain jackets strapped to our bags.
The winter in Victoria can be unforgiving. One minute, it’ll be sunny and the next, a monsoon. After losing a 5D Mkiii body to the Roobaix (R.I.P. baby), I was hesitant to shoot in the rain, so a sunny morning meant more photos and more photos means more “recovery stops.” Even, in the end, that means for hurterer legs. Bugga!
Our day would be packed with hardpack. Lots of climbing, up steep hills, over the range and back down into Healesville. On paper, it looked easy, on the legs, not so much. 65ish miles and 7,000′ of almost all dirt meant we were in for a long day and even longer descents. BRAPPPPP!
Thankfully, the morning light and afternoon landscapes kept my mind off the lactic acid fermentation forming in my quads… See for yourself in the Gallery!
A few years back, Andy from FYXO and Dan from Shifter took a 220lb blogger from America on a ride in the Yarra Ranges to which the bloke barely came out alive. That ride broke me and in the process, jump-started my path to personal fitness. If I was going to keep documenting rides like that, I needed to be in shape.
Each time I visit OZ, we do another ride and while they’re not necessarily as difficult, they end up being special in their own regards.
This trip, UpDave planned a route that would take us from Healesville to Alexandra, skirting along the Yarra Ranges and through the Cathedral mountains. There were going to be eight of us in total but as the ride neared, one by one, the riders dropped out, including Dave, leaving Andy, Tom from Rapha, Daniel from Soigneur and myself.
From eight to four? Sounds good to me. I looked forward to the peace, the sun, the solitude, the gum trees, the wildlife and that silence you find in the ‘bush. You know, the only noise you’ll hear all day is the cyclocross tires spitting sand off as you ride along and eventually the word “cunnnnnnt” echoing as the pitch steepened.
That and the cockatoos… Even the giant black red-tailed beauties!
Since it was winter, we had very little daylight and totaled only 66 miles and 5,600′ after Andy’s morning mechanical set us back a few hours. Fine with me. More time to shoot photos… Read on in the Gallery!
This is the seventh layout of the Radavist 2014 Calendar, entitled “Light, Mate!”. The camera and location are noted on the bottom left of the document.
I know summer is exploding in the Northern Hemisphere right now, but Down Unda’, in ‘Straya, it’s the middle of winter. We just finished a big ride and I thought I’d celebrate July’s calendar with some proper #lightbro!
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2014 Calendar – July. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
Thanks for letting me go on another overnighter ride in the Aussie bush. It’s exactly what I (and my bike) needed. What a perfect 48 hours… oh and happy 4th of July!
Today, FYXO and I took the trip down to Geelong to visit Darren at Baum Cycles. After we toured the new Baum facilities, we ate some lunch at a local cafe and took to the You Yangs trail system.
The next few hours, I spent all my energy chasing after a neon streak in the bush. In fact, it became a point of fixation for me, as I struggled to keep up with the extremely fit rider pedaling this machine.
Ryan works at Baum and he rides a Baum. This bike is the fruit of his labor at Baum and it’s one of the company’s most famous rides. Or at least one of my favorite rides from the company.
SRAM XX1, ENVE, Chris King, you name it, it’s got it and then some. Like a bright chartreuse paint job with neon pink accents and a carbon Selle Italia saddle shell – leather saddle just get wrecked on a MTB anyway…
For me, the thing I brought away from this ride was seeing a Baum completely smash these trails. In an age where digital presentation is everything, I rarely see a Baum outside of the photo studio. It really brought the reason why Darren builds these machines to the forefront.
Baum makes MTBs fit for thrashing their local trails and that’s exactly what Ryan did. All afternoon… Stay tuned for more photos from my Shop Visit and MTB shred sess with Baum. For now, check out more photos of this rad bike!
It’s merely by coincidence that I’m in Australia when this kit was completed at Endo Customs in Los Angeles but it worked out perfectly. My original concept for doing the Radavist’s first kit was looking to nature for inspiration, particularly venomous animals you might encounter in the woods or while camping.
The Black Widow spider (USA), or in this case, the Redback spider (OZ) has a far worse reputation than its bite, yet the population fears it. An all-black spider, with a bright red marking on its abdomen will induce your fight or flight response. These kits were an homage to nature’s way of visual coding… The same marking makes it visible in the woods as you’re ripping trails, or on a road climb.
Marked with “Rubber Side Up” on the drive-side leg, the Radavist Jackal on the other, the script logo across the chest, on the lower back and the raidō r-rune from the Elder Futhark on the upper back of the bib, it’s a straight forward, yet classic kit that hopefully will become your staple.
Price is $270 + shipping for the bibs and jersey. I’m only selling this paired for this round. That means you get a medium jersey and medium bibs in each order, along with some stickers and a stem cap. This is not a pre-order, these kits are in stock and will ship this week.
SORRY SOLD OUT but thanks to FYXO for the photos!
There are enough competitive races, or rides that look like races in the world and the Melburn Roobaix is not one of those events. Instead, Andy and Melody White from FYXO aim to bring people together, from all “rolls of life” to take a leisurely spin around Melbourne’s many cobbled back-alleys and bike paths. I.e. off the beaten bike path…
With over 2,000 registrants this year, planning was essential. Rider registration the day of was streamlined, there were now two route options, with over 40 variations for completion and yes, plenty of prizes, all of which were drawn from a lottery. It didn’t matter how fast or slow you completed your manifest, as long as you did so, you were eligible for prizes.
So… what is the Melburn Roobaix all about? I don’t know how to answer that, other than it’s all about the participants. There’s no overwhelming demographic, not one specific type of bike reined supreme. Rather, a broad sampling of the Melbourne cycling community attends each year. Commuters, ex-racers, current racers, weekend bike path warriors, enthusiasts, cool kids, kinda cool kids, first timers, party goers, costumed freaks, costumed geeks and yes, even people on Melbourne’s rentable city bikes.
I have to say, after spending over six hours in the rain, following meandering packs of people wearing soaking wet costumes, looking for cobbled alleys, I’m convinced this is truly one of the most down to Earth events in the world. Everyone was more than stoked to ride around in the pissing rain, into headwinds and without a care in the world. The people are what make it so much fun and this Gallery is dedicated to just that: the people of the 2014 Melburn Roobaix.
Many, many, many thanks to the people of Melbourne (particularly the patient drivers), the crew from Brisbane / Queensland I rolled with, the volunteers, vendors and FYXO for making this such an enjoyable event!
Now if I can just figure out why all “Roubaix-themed” events wreak havoc on my camera gear!
At the Melburn Roobaix yesterday (more to come on that), I bumped into my friend Ben Kamenjas from Sydney, who I met a few years back when he worked at Deus Ex Machina. Ben’s a wealth of cycling knowledge, especially the obscure / idiosyncratic world of French components and frames. At a certain point in your life, you tire of looking at others’ work and decide to start building for yourself.
What you see here is Ben’s first bike, under his moniker Cicli Spirito (no link yet). It’s a fendered porteur with a customized VO rack that mounts to the vintage center pull mounts and classic French parts with a classic geometry.
It’s always difficult to shoot a porteur with weight on the front, so I asked Ben to act as the kickstand while I snapped a few, very quick photos.
With this weather, I’m sure Ben was stoked on his Swift Industries Pelican bag, fenders and nice, plump tires during the Roobaix. That’s a great looking bicycle!