Confirmed: I’m a bike snob …

All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.

Confirmed: I’m a bike snob …

Postby Kalgrm » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:25 pm

I’ve just returned from a drive across much of the lower half of Australia (and back). We drove up to Coober Pedy on the Stuart Hwy and stayed there a couple of nights. On the way back down the Stuart Hwy towards Pt Augusta, the kids wanted me to stop at a roadside rest area for a toilet break. As I pulled in, I said to the kids “There’s a cyclist”, secretly thinking “this bloke is mad to be out here in the middle of summer”. Little did I realise how close to the truth I was …..

I jumped out of the car and started chatting to the guy, soon realising he was from Europe (probably from the Netherlands, judging by the accent). He’s over here on a working holiday and had been in Bundaberg before embarking on his ride. He’d ridden from Bundaberg to Alice Springs and was now heading to Adelaide to meet his mum in three weeks or so.

So how does this mean I’m officially a bike snob? I looked at his bike before I looked at him, as most of us would do. Like most of us, I would have expected a serious rider setting out across Australia in the heat of a Central Australian summer to be riding a high end tourer at the very least. Not this bloke though: he was on an Avanti Discovery. Not familiar with the bike? Here’s a picture of one:

Image

Yep – the mighty “comfort bike”, AKA a hybrid. Cheap, heavy suspension forks, nasty suspension seat post, plastic platform pedals. The only non-stock item on the bike was the cheap pannier rack. His load was carried by the “BOB” style trailer (again, the cheap one from TW Bents) True, the seat was looking a bit ragged around the edges and the comfort grips were wearing in nicely, but by and large, the bike looked in pretty good nick (as did the rider). His only complaint was the width of the tyres: they were too narrow to really go off road and see the “real parts of Australia”!

Seeing all this in a roadside rest area 200km south of Coober Pedy in the middle of summer made me realise how soft I am. Here’s a bloke who has spent less than $1000 on his cycling odyssey to cross the harshest parts of Oz on a bike which I had (until now) dismissed as unworthy of even a 20km city commute.

From now on, I vow not to dismiss hybrids as being unworthy of serious riding. I would rather not ride one myself, but I’ve been humbled by meeting a madman from Europe.

Cheers,
Graeme
Think outside the double triangle.
---------------------------------------
My web site: www.scenebyhird.com
---------------------------------------
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance
User avatar
Kalgrm
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 9236
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Spearwood, 9km SE of Fremantle, WA

by BNA » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:39 pm

BNA
 

Postby Aushiker » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:39 pm

G'day

Scary stuff. I think I would rather be bike snob but.

Andrew
"Pedal-pounding pounce" - D. Fluellen - West Australian 13/1/14
Image
User avatar
Aushiker
 
Posts: 20144
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Fremantle, WA

Postby sogood » Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:26 pm

I was reading another tour blog a few months ago of this guy riding from Beijing to Paris. He met this ethnic Korean Japanese girl in the middle of China on a ride from Shanghai to Indo-China via Tibet. She was riding on what can only be described as K-Mart special and carried no spare tubes nor tools. Just one big soft bag strapped on a rear carrier containing a sleeping bag and personal clothing. My jaw almost dropped...

We've all been brainwashed by bike snobs and marketeers. :?

Image

Image

One disposable bottle of water and no clipless pedals! :shock:
Last edited by sogood on Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:13 pm, edited 6 times in total.
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple :)
RK wrote:And that is Wikipedia - I can write my own definition.
User avatar
sogood
 
Posts: 16929
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Postby Sharpie » Wed Jan 23, 2008 3:26 pm

I love those stories. If my wife wasn't such a worry wart, I would be riding some big tours and loving it.

Alas, I should start my commute home... :cry:
Sharpie
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:40 pm
Location: Adelaide, SA

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:26 pm

That's impressive, woulda thought there'd be crows hovering overhead, just waiting......

Goes to show that you don't have to spend big to get about, only to do it faster, in more comfort and more style.

Shaun
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
User avatar
Mulger bill
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 25783
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:41 pm
Location: Sunbury Vic

Postby sogood » Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:43 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Goes to show that you don't have to spend big to get about, only to do it faster, in more comfort and more style.

I would take out "faster" from that sentence. :wink:
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple :)
RK wrote:And that is Wikipedia - I can write my own definition.
User avatar
sogood
 
Posts: 16929
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Postby heavymetal » Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:51 pm

Sounds the same as a Japanese guy. He landed in Darwin, brought a $150 Kmart special and rode it to Sydney via Perth, Albany, Adelaide, and Melbourne.

He only had trouble with the tyres which he changed in Albany. When we last heard from him he had made it to Sydney. :D

Yet more expensive bikes can give you no end of trouble, but I'm happy with my $695 Mongoose Randonneur, now that it has a new front derailleur :D

Kev.
There is only one BicycleWA.
heavymetal
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 1381
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:32 pm

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:28 pm

heavymetal wrote:Yet more expensive bikes can give you no end of trouble, but I'm happy with my $695 Mongoose Randonneur, now that it has a new front derailleur :D

Kev.


Finally got rid of the linkage activated icypole sticks? :wink:

Shaun
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
User avatar
Mulger bill
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 25783
Joined: Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:41 pm
Location: Sunbury Vic

Postby Aushiker » Wed Jan 23, 2008 10:46 pm

In the latest issue of Mountain Biking Australia there is a letter and photo about a big bloke touring around the place. The letter writer ran into him out of Darwin somewhere.

Anyway this guy had a loaded bike of some description (panniers that is) plus a trailer plus a trailer (yep two trailers!). His load included 15 litres of water (15 kg) and a case of stubbies!

He was riding an average of 100 km a day apparently.

Regards
Andrew
"Pedal-pounding pounce" - D. Fluellen - West Australian 13/1/14
Image
User avatar
Aushiker
 
Posts: 20144
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Fremantle, WA

Postby Kalgrm » Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:16 pm

Aushiker wrote:His load included 15 litres of water (15 kg) and a case of stubbies!

He was riding an average of 100 km a day apparently.

He might be riding 100km per day, but I bet he stops every 60km on the road. Those stubbies make it a long and winding road .... :)
Think outside the double triangle.
---------------------------------------
My web site: www.scenebyhird.com
---------------------------------------
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance
User avatar
Kalgrm
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 9236
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Spearwood, 9km SE of Fremantle, WA

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:56 am

Kalgrm wrote:
Aushiker wrote:His load included 15 litres of water (15 kg) and a case of stubbies!

He was riding an average of 100 km a day apparently.

He might be riding 100km per day, but I bet he stops every 60km on the road. Those stubbies make it a long and winding road .... :)



mmmm.....hot beer....yum
User avatar
toolonglegs
 
Posts: 14375
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:49 pm
Location: Somewhere with padded walls and really big hills!

Postby Leigh_caines » Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:38 pm

I've been doing 2 long tours a year since I don't know when...
all that time I've been look and trying for the "perfect" touring bike...
now your telling me I could of bought a bit of crap and saved all those $s
No that can't be right :roll:
User avatar
Leigh_caines
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:37 pm
Location: Woolgoolga

Postby khendar » Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:56 pm

Maybe I'm just naive, but I'd be willing to take my $700 Apollo Ascent touring, with a few modifications. Surely if you are properly prepared with the essential spares and tools and maintain your equipment well, there should be nothing to stop you using a cheaper bike.
User avatar
khendar
 
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:16 pm
Location: Adelaide, SA

Postby sogood » Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:01 pm

Leigh_caines wrote:No that can't be right :roll:

It's all mental! :roll:
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple :)
RK wrote:And that is Wikipedia - I can write my own definition.
User avatar
sogood
 
Posts: 16929
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Postby Leigh_caines » Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:10 pm

It's all mental!

Whfreeee... he said with sweat on the brow
"and I thought it was the bike"
User avatar
Leigh_caines
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:37 pm
Location: Woolgoolga

Postby Leigh_caines » Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:14 pm

>>Maybe I'm just naive, but I'd be willing to take my $700 Apollo Ascent touring, with a few modifications. Surely if you are properly prepared with the essential spares and tools and maintain your equipment well, there should be nothing to stop you using a cheaper bike.<<

Your right
we're just been "bike snobs" :roll:
First bike I toured on cost $25 at the Salvos
and I had the time of my life
and I wish I still had that bike
User avatar
Leigh_caines
 
Posts: 358
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:37 pm
Location: Woolgoolga

Postby tallywhacker » Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:19 pm

nah, dont need a dedicated touring bike. Heinz Stücke has ridden 545,000km over 44years on the same 3 speed 25kg bike
User avatar
tallywhacker
 
Posts: 1598
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:21 pm
Location: on the road

Postby stryker84 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:01 pm

sogood wrote:It's all mental! :roll:

Well, we're all mental. :roll:
stryker84
 
Posts: 1817
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 8:38 pm
Location: Warrnambool

Postby sogood » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:09 pm

stryker84 wrote:
sogood wrote:It's all mental! :roll:

Well, we're all mental. :roll:

Amen!

I've linked in some of the photos of that girl doing Shanghai to Indochina via Tibet. Take a look at her bike and the amount of equipment... All that's necessary for a solo effort across the Tibetan plateau. :shock:
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple :)
RK wrote:And that is Wikipedia - I can write my own definition.
User avatar
sogood
 
Posts: 16929
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:31 am
Location: Sydney AU

Touring bikes

Postby hesse » Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:17 am

It really is mental and preparation...not the age of equipment. My 13 year old son and I rode across the US from Seattle to Saginaw on a couple of 12 year old Bianchis we rescued from the back corner of a garage in Seattle and outfitted ourselves with all old 2nd hand gear...the only new bits were tyres. No problems with the equipment. Along the way we met a guy who had been on the road for about a year already riding an old 10 speed and another guy riding across the US on a real piece of cheap junk mountain bike...though he did have a $300+ GPS unit on his handlebars...strange combination.
hesse
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2008 8:09 am

bike snobs

Postby jet-ski » Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:07 pm

Well I have a choice of taking my 2008 Giant STP2 or my 1999 Malvern Star Vertigo on a little jaunt down to Esperance... :P The MS is on loan to someone at the moment though :O The crazy thing is I'm leaning towards the MS because it's a tried and true tourer (100-120k days through Europe on lots of gravel roads). I'm a bit worried about the STP breaking cos it's not well enough worn in!
User avatar
jet-ski
 
Posts: 1404
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:51 pm
Location: Perth WA

Postby Kalgrm » Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:37 pm

I'm disqualifying myself from commenting, since I'm quite obviously a snob. :roll: Go for it, I say, which ever bike you choose.

Cheers,
Graeme

(I'm assuming you're now in Kalgoorlie ....)
Think outside the double triangle.
---------------------------------------
My web site: www.scenebyhird.com
---------------------------------------
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance
User avatar
Kalgrm
Super Mod
Super Mod
 
Posts: 9236
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 5:21 pm
Location: Spearwood, 9km SE of Fremantle, WA

Postby jet-ski » Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:08 pm

Hahah! I would be a snob too except for all that time I spent as a student riding that Malvern Star. I think, as has already been said, the important thing is knowing how to fix it when it breaks, cos even nice stuff breaks on the road.
User avatar
jet-ski
 
Posts: 1404
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:51 pm
Location: Perth WA

Postby jet-ski » Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:09 pm

And yeah, am now in Kalgoorlie :)
User avatar
jet-ski
 
Posts: 1404
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 4:51 pm
Location: Perth WA


Return to Touring Australia

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users



Popular Bike Shops
Torpedo 7 Torpedo7 AU
Ground Effect Ground Effect NZ
Chain Reaction Cycles CRC UK
Wiggle Wiggle UK
Ebay Ebay AU

“Bicycles BNA Twitter
“Bicycles BNA Facebook
“Google+ BNA Google+
“Bicycles BNA Newsletter

> FREE BNA Stickers
> BNA Cycling Kit