Arrived in Perth

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After an obscenely expensive and booring flight we arrived in Perth last night. I had 3 minutes to spare when I board, plenty of time. About 10 minutes after we arrived Wal and Mattie came to pick us up. Wal was driving a pretty amazing old troop transport that functioned as a bike transport at the time. We got to Wals house and had a couple rounds of beer followed by a couple more and it was off to bed.
This morning we where great by great hospitality from Wal and Kristy in the form of espresso drinks and bananna chocolate chip muffins. We are now lounging around, enjoying the sun and waiting to head to the courts. I’m looking forward to getting the courts up, getting some beers in, playing pickup and catching up with friends.


Cheeky Trasport Sydney: You hear what he said?

“He said we out nerded Rivendell“. This is the quote of the trip thus far. Coming from Nick at Cheeky Transport in Sydneys Newtown. This comment was after to my amazement they had an obscure touring tool that Rivendell didn’t. It was the Stein Mini Cassette Lock. I’d only found out about this tool a day before leaving CA so ordering was out of the question. If anyone would have it in the Bay Area it would be Rivendell. While they did have some Stein tools they did not have this one. So I was quite excited when I happened to notice Cheeky down a side street as it had been recommended I check it out the night before. My mission at the moment was gauze but I ended up buying this and looking into a handlebar bag.

First glimpse of the shop was a huge SURLY sticker on the door, my kind of people. Couple of nice builds right up from, a Karate Monkey with a Cheeky Monkey sticker on it. A plain blue rando bike with lugs very reminiscent of Rivendells (they where, it wasn’t). Stack of Ortlieb panniers, some nice canvas bags, a large bearded gentleman wrenching at a stand.

I ended up getting the Ortlieb handlebar and for being in Australia the price was really good. Seems they really support the commuter and touring crowd. This is a very nice shop and I will be my local shop from here out. Seems to be everyones local and easy to see why.

And…. checked!

Ticketing was listed as opening at 2:00pm, I was done at 2:08, first cocktail within 15 minutes of that. The touring bike was over maximum weight but since it was a second checked item and declared as a bike I didn’t get charged for the other being overweight (not over max). So after a couple minutes moving 4kg from one to the other I was good to go. Hopefully my Sydney to Perth flight will be as easy. Same boxes, same weight different airline. Back to the bloody mary.

Double dose of meh

Being that it rained all this week, getting stuff done before leaving has been a bit difficult. I had a lot of shuffling thing around going on. Waiting on people to pick stuff up from me, making sure the touring bike was in proper working order. When I came off the mountain Thursday morning my head was filled with concerns of these things and getting final work on my touring bike done and packing it. Sadly in the rain and the cold what was not thinking about was the poison oak I saw outside my tent Wednesday night. I am really allergic to poison oak. More than once in my life I’ve been swollen and oozing head to toe. In recent years I’ve been good about keeping it in check but only when addressing it right away. That was not done this time.

To make matters worse I didn’t get the touring bike pack Thursday night and had to do it Friday morning, but not before pinching a nerve in my back. Growing old before my time. In the end we where only an hour behind getting on the road but my mood was none too good.

A grumpy couple of days later I had mostly resolved to not ‘race’ the crash race but just roll it. But the magic of skeeball, air hockey and several beers finally righted my mood.

The race was great as usual but my gear ratio (46×17) was far too small. Oh well. Thanks a ton to Wolfpack for the years of great races.

Hopefully I can now check in 8.5 hours early and get a cocktail.

Gear checked


Last night went pretty well. The tent went up easy enough. The stove was being tempermental. Not sure if this was due to burning vodka, the wonky surface (eucalyptis sticks and bark) I was cooking on or something else. I do know the stove doesn’t like soup spilled on it and is now in need of a good scrubbing. The tent broke down and packed away without problems even wet. I slept fairly well and wish I would have purchased a Thermarest years ago. I’m going to get one of their pillows today too. And a kettle.

In all I feel pretty good about the setup. To my surprise my new ‘rear’ Ortliebs where the same size as my old ‘front’ ones. Turns out I’ve always had the Back-Roller Classics up front. This just means I have a lot of space and I can distribute weight nicely. Last nights trip I manage to pack everything except the tent poles into the pannies. This leave the tops of both racks available, say for boxes of water on the Nullabar?

Next post, breakdown of everything I’m taking and packing my bike.

2012: On The Radar

This coming year is going to be packed full of exciting events. I hope to visit at least two new countries this year (China and Russia). Play a million games of pickup. Organise some intercity challenges in Australia. Do several big tours. Get back into racing alleycats. Kill it in CX in Australia this year. Race on the track a lot more then I have in the past 3 years.

Alright, here are things I’m defiantly doing. Feel free to throw some suggestions out in the comments.

NAHBS 2012

Joining my boys of Broakland once again for a shenanigans will weekend. Jason of El Camino Fab is already in town and enjoying the beautiful Bay Area winter.

 

Wolfpack Hustle: Marathon Crash Race 2012

 

AHBPC 2012

Really excited for this one. I played in the AHBPC in 2009 in Melbourne and had a blast. This is going to be a hectic week. I’m flying from Los Angeles about 15 hours after the Wolfpacks Crash Race to Sydney then flying to Perth the next day.

 

After this I will be on my bike for about 1.5-2 months (no hurry) touring from Perth back to Sydney. Once back in Sydney it will be lots of pickup and not really having an agenda.

Next major event I’m definitely in for would be WHBPC 2012 in Geneva. Dates are not 100% yet but it is looking like middle or 3rd weekend of August. One of the loose plans for this would be visiting my brother in Yunnan, China in July as he is finishing up work there. We’d travel together north through China and take the Trans-Siberian Railway from Nokhodka, Russia to Moscow. Where I would likely tour to Berlin or given enough time all the way to Geneva.

What have I missed? I will be in Australia through July at least so will hit any polo event in the region. What is in other people plans post Worlds? I am still in consideration if I will head back to Australia then, maybe head back to Germany for a while or something I have not even thought about yet.

DOG SOCCER!!!!!

This past weekend I was (questionably) fortunate enough to visit the lovely bunch of knuckle heads that are Santa Cruz Bike Polo. The Shit Fest 2012 was by no other description a total shit fest (shit show if you prefer). As I spent last week moving into homelessness I wasn’t able to head up to Santa Cruz until Saturday morning, after a night of drinking and having to wake up early, get my polo bike out of storage and put it back together. Ffffuuunnn. Showing up at the courts about 30 minutes before the draft I was met with the lovely faces of California bike polo regulars. LA sent up 2 of my favorite ladies of CA polo. Sacramento had the usual hooligans. I was especially happy to see some folks coming out from Fresno and San Luis Obispo seems to be picking up players.

This tourny was a 2 day bench minor with 7 teams. Some suckers (Susan, Shriver, dunno, Sacto Joe, another person, Krista, derp) stepped up to be captains and started picking. Top pick was….. fuck if I know. My team was Krista (LA), Shitty (SC), Me (SF), Brad (Pittsburg), Nikola (SC?), Santiago (SLO), Leon (SC). Hopefully that was everyone.

A lot of people could not hang out for both days. So day two the worst two teams where disolved and redrafted into the remaining four for a double elimination. Dog Soccer, having won the spirit award the day before was obvious choice to be knocked out first. So we where.

In the end, thank you very much Santa Cruz a pleasure as usual. See you all in 2 weeks for my Shit Fest Continued Blowout Pickup Afternoon Extravaganza.

Tour Plan Australia

In just about one month I am moving to Australia. What a better way to kick off a new country than a bike tour eh? How about a (5513km * .62)mile bike tour?

Here is the plan.

March 16th or 17th: By this time I should be well settled into being homeless and have everything except my track bike and daily needs packed up. On one of these days we’ll pack up and head down to Los Angeles.

March 18th 0300-0400 (about): Will race for the third time in the now infamous Wolfpack HustleMarathon Crash Race.

March 18th (at some more reasonable time of day): Will get dropped off at LAX and wait for a 2200ish flight. Hopefully not getting so drunk I will not be allowed to board. Actually with any luck I will just check my bags and head back to DTLA.

March 19th 2012: I will never experience this day. Hope it is a really shitty one.

March 20th 0800ish: I will arrive in Sydney Australia.

March 20th/21st: Jetlag and pickup.

March 22nd: Probably more Jetlag, hopefully (doubtfully) more pickup. Flight (evening) to Perth with polo bike and touring bike.

March 23rd: Pickup, boozing, catching up with friends (eh, its only been since Nov for a lot of them).

March 24th/25th: BOOOOZE, I mean AHBPC 2012 (booze).

March 26th: Drink up the tears of Melbourne, recover, pawn my polo bike (off on someone headed back to Sydney, love ya!). Adventure on!

1 week, 4 major cities, (15000km+ * .62) miles and 3 bikes later I will start what is planned for right now as a (5500km * .62) mile tour from Perth to Sydney, hugging the coast, passing throught (R)Adelaide, Melbooorne and back up to Sydney where I might have to find a job (fuck!). hhhhmmokay… back to pretending to pack.

BUNS! Well, pies really (take two)

Last week while desperately looking for a distraction from packing I was sorting through some odd and ends of aluminum camping cookware. This was a day or so after I had seen this post. This got my gears feebly turning. I like to bake, I like to camp, I like to bike tour. How can I get these all together?

I came across a piece of campware that I had no idea what was intended for. An insert with perforation along the bottom and a ring at the top. The outer section wasn’t perforated but had about a dozen pinholes. A friend identified it as a large coffee maker. The insert is removed and attached to the bottom then water was put in the top and trickled down into the lower section containing the coffee.

I already have a nice espresso maker so this was becoming an oven! It appeared to have a sufficient air gap for how small it was.

So I popped upstairs a whipped together a simple biscuit style dough (1 cup flour, 1tbsp baking powder, 1tsp salt, 4(ish)tbsp butter). I then stuffed some cheese in this sucker and dropped into the over. Worth noting this is perfect size for about 1 cup of flour. I cooked it for about 45 minutes but the edge color did not change after about 30. I’m fairly certain it was done about there.

Second take was later that night, I decided to make another quick dough and bought some rasberries on my way out to a ride. We rode out to the Keyhole and I busted the stove out again. Stuffed the berries in and cooked for just under 30 minutes and it turned out perfectly.

OK, PICTURES!