Rosko Cycles – Custom Single Speed – Part 2

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Courier handed me the frame late Friday afternoon. Spent the next few hours bolting parts to her. Came up short in a couple of areas, didn’t have a saddle lined-up, I couldn’t find any bar tape in the shed, and I definitely didn’t have a seat post in the correct size. A few phone calls Saturday morning and I picked up two of three required parts (thanks Kiwi John!). Finished the build Sunday and tried a quick few laps around the garden to make sure everything is where it should be. So far, so good. More soon!

Rosko Cycles – Custom Single Speed – Part 1

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South of the Huon Valley are untold kilometres of dirt roads, pushed into the wilderness by Forestry Tasmania during the bad old days of the Paul Lennon led State Government. These roads track up mountain-sides and along dark river valleys. Picton, Weld, Plenty… names ingrained to the Tasmanian psyche as the ‘front-line’, the places where Protesters halted the chainsaws. The saws have been silent since December 2013 and the roads are quickly returning  to nature. Flooding rivers wash away bridges, culverts collapse leaving holes in the road, saplings push up through the coarse gravel surface. This is no place for a dainty road bike. This is fat tyre country.

I’m a simple guy who likes simple things. No bells, no whistles. I had been looking for a steel, single speed specific, fat tyre dirt road bike to tackle these remote, backcountry roads but was unable to find a bike suitably ‘Spartan’ to my taste. I contacted Seth Rosko, a New York City frame-maker to discuss a custom build. We chewed on a few ideas and came up with a plan. We’d use Columbus steel, canti mounts (with Paul ‘Mini-Motos’ in mind), clearances for a 41c tyre, short rear stays, a low slung bottom bracket, plenty of standover height and a geometry based loosely on one of my favourite bikes. Roll the clock forward twelve months and what we have is what you see above. A single speed dirt road bike.

The new whip is currently winging its way to me. Should have it in hand soon. Will post an update once she is built.

Knopwoods – Calling ‘Last Drinks’

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Sad times! The start and finish of the ol’ Bottles and Chains silo runs, as well as being the location of the opening volleys of many a booze-riddled bike ride or big night out. Knocking back jugs before heading up Mt Wellington, hassling the grommet about his choice of drinks, lazy afternoons shipping pints across to the lawns, not-so-subtly lugging liberated glasses home, and many a rainy afternoon hiding away from the world. Plenty of good memories from Knoppies, can’t shut those down. Thanks old friend.

Victim Blaming

 

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“Riding in dark clothes at this time of the morning is just asking for it!” – These were the exact words spoken by a work college as she leaned out the window of her car to berate me, the cyclist on her road.

Attired as pictured above, I was riding to work via a quiet, long, straight stretch of country road at 6:30am on a bright, sunny spring morning. I was running two rear red lights, one on my seat post and another on my large light grey messenger bag. I was keeping an ear out for cars and holding a steady line on the left hand side of the left hand lane. Not expecting any problems I was surprised when the first car I’d seen that morning drove up behind me with the horn sounding. The car slowed and the window came down.. “You’re asking for it!” the driver called. I recognised her as she launched into the spiel I mentioned first up. She ended the brief  encounter with a “I didn’t see you!” then pressed down the accelerator and drove off.

I was steaming. Classic victim blaming and followed by the old SMIDSY play. When I arrived at work she was there waiting for me. I copped a second round of “You’re asking for it riding a bike at that time of the morning in dark clothes”. I pointed out that it was her responsibility as a licensed motorist to be alert for other road users no matter what their attire.  I asked if she’d seen the young girl walking to the bus stop in her dark blue school uniform? Yes? Surprising, no red tail lights there. Nope, she wasn’t budging, I was a cyclist and with my ‘poor life choices’ I was inviting disaster. I doubt her ire would have been raised if I’d been riding my black stallion or chestnut mare to work. Just another motorist with velo-hate.

 

Australian Single Speed Nationals 2015

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Bam! The Australian Single Speed Nationals are down the southern end of the big island this year. Aido has staked out a patch of dirt near Woodend in Victoria and inked in Saturday 05 December for the show. All I’ve really heard is that the Holgate Brewhouse is nearby and that they have a killer pale ale on hand. We’re sending a contingent from the #BottlesandChainsRacingDivision over to tackle the event. Plan is to set up a regular week night single speed group ride so that preparations can be made for our Victorian assault! Anyhoo, sign on the dotted like here: https://www.registernow.com.au/mtba/ERegister.aspx?E=2761 …and we’ll see you there!

Don’t Fuck With Our Happiness

So a few weeks ago some scumbag fucking tip-rats stole a bunch of DH bikes from myself and a few of my flatmates. That sorta thing will generally put a bit of a dent in your day, especially while you sit around stewing about how you’d like to put a little more than a dent in the perpetrator’s skull. Luckily it’ll take a fair bit more than some low life to fuck with the happiness around here, so the boys grabbed their dirt jump bikes and hit the park for a bit of a hardtail shred session. I should make note that I don’t make an appearance in this video, not only because I don’t own a DJ bike, but also because riding one in the bike park is fucking crazy and I’m too useless for that shit.

Enjoy!

Frosty Mornings

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Gravel grinding may be one of the newer buzz words in the cycling community, but the BnC crew have been smashing out backroad epics for many years. The bikes have slowly become a little more appropriate (less fixed gear track bikes, more dirt road tourers), but the quality of Tassie gravel remains the same. They’re all a bit slack to post anything for the ghosts that lurk this website, but you can rest assured that the backcountry dirt is being well looked after in Tasmania.

(Photo by Mr. Killick – About The Bike)