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.
So things got a bit mixed up and somehow I ended up in Canada. No big deal, it’s pretty sweet over here. It has kinda fucked up the name of my photo blog though, which is definitely a quandary that fits firmly in the ‘first world problems’ category. But anyway, in between fine tuning my forest casual aesthetic and learning how to get the wheels of a bicycle more than 3″ off the ground, I’ve been taking a few photos.
As you know, we here at Bottles and Chains have a tendency towards the analog. Call us old school, luddites, stuck in our ways, or hipsters if you will. Liam has a beard, Ben gets confused by anything with more than two sprockets, and I still refuse to buy a real digital camera. Ok, so it’s more that I can’t afford one. And admittedly, Liam shoots far more film (with far more skill) than me, but now he’s gone all fancy with digital video, so that puts him out of the picture.
Anyway, I’ve taken some photos of bicycle riding, and you can see a few here or you can go over to the completely inappropriately named Roll South and see some more. The choice is yours, and choice can be a luxury at times, so make up your mind already.
If there’s one even at the Queenstown Bike Festival that gets the BnC tick of ‘fuck yeah’ approval, it’s gotta be the 16″ World Championships. Held inside The Find bar, the course is taped onto the slick concrete floor, with beer kegs, wall rides and skinnies keeping things interesting. Chuck in a hoard of drunken bike riders, a beer checkpoint, numerous bottles of mustard and several hundred litres of spilled (and tipped) beer, and the chaos comes swiftly. There’s no friends on race day, and sabotage seems to be priority number one, with most riders crossing the finish line drenched in beer and condiments. Somehow the night escaped without any major bloodshed, despite numerous floor-shaking stacks caused by front wheel wash-outs on the ridiculously slick floor. Several head-first plows into the crowd, numerous superman face plants and the constant risk of copping a 16″ bmx to the shins keeps it pretty interesting in the crowd as well. Points have gotta go to Jimmy who crossed the finish line on his face, bike perched on his back as the crowd dragged him over the line. And a merit award to Jarrah for the inventive use of a keg to spray competitors with a mist of leftover beer. Well done to all the riders who embraced the chaos, and the crew who put their bodies on the line and threw down for best trick.
So Dave pointed me in the direction of a bizarre facebook page for ‘BOTTLES N CHAINS’ that’s using the BnC logo and posting photos of people wearing sandals on motorbikes and rows of those funny little cars that grandmas drive. After a bit of a chuckle I thought that maybe I should make a proper BnC FB page, just so that it was reserved for good old fashioned bicycles and beer. Unfortunately someone else had already decided to take the name/address and grace it with a sweet ‘BOTTLES AND CHAINS CREW’ logo, featuring a gnarly dude doing a sweet jump against what I can only imagine is the moon at some point in the future, after BnC’s global corporate buying power has conspired to have the BnC logo etched onto it in a size clearly visible from earth. I looked a bit closed and discovered a bunch of Romanians living in Transylvania riding full rigid mountain bikes in jeans. That’s more like it!
I know we happily suggest that people join up by stealing the logo and claiming it, but the third stipulation of that agreement is to not be a jerk. I’m not sure I’d actually expected random people to just make off with the logo and use it for their own nefarious ends (and lines of parallel-parked micro hatchbacks definitely classes as nefarious in my book). But now it’s happened we’re just going to have to take them under our collective BnC wing and welcome them to the family. I’m really not sure they know what they’re in for. Anyone up for a holiday to Transylvania? I know some guys there and I’m sure they’ve got some room on the floor.