Hello world

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here.  A couple things have happened since my last post.  First, and probably most importantly, mum took Violetta for a few nice long rides over the Easter break.  She’s very happy with the bike overall, though I suspect she’s not entirely happy with the trekking bars.  Depending on which side of the bars she uses, they’re either a bit close or a bit far away.  Of course, if the bike were adjusted so that the near side was at an ideal distance, the far side would be unreachable.  So I don’t know what the answer is to that.  I do know that I do not want the trekking bars, and I also don’t want the drop bars.  So, assuming I get a VWR, I’ll be having it modded to regular flat-bar or slightly curved straight bars.

On one of her longer rides, I loaded mum’s bike up with my panniers.  Now, when I say “loaded up”, what I really mean is “panniers with not much in them”.  When I commute, I carry two rear panniers.  The left hand one is light, containing rain gear, spare tubes, a bike lock and not much else.  It’s pretty light in the great scheme of things.  I split this pannier’s load into halves, putting each half in a pannier, and put that on mum’s bike.  And she complained about the weight!  My normal commuting load consists of that, plus the right hand pannier containing a backpack, a laptop, and miscellaneous stuff.  So mum’s got a bit of work ahead of her to get used to riding loaded.

We also decided to have a crack at cooking some pancakes on the Trangia.  Pancakes from a bottle, that is.  Gluten-free pancakes, at that.  Now, I know what you’re all thinking.  Cooking something like that, on a small pan, on a metho burner which doesn’t have the greatest in flame control?  It should turn out a burned, charred, lumpy mess, right?  Well, you’re right.  It did.  But we did learn something from the experience.  We learned that a) gluten-free pancakes don’t taste as crap as you’d imagine; and b) the burner control on the Trangia really isn’t much chop.  To change from a low heat to a high heat, or vice versa, means removing the pan from the flame, and somehow getting to the burner ring without burning one’s fingers, adjusting the hot burner ring, and putting it back.  We ended up using long BBQ tongs.  It was very impractical, and it’s made me think more seriously about a gas conversion kit.  Also, the cleanup of the burned, charred mess was very difficult.  I tried to scrub it off with a scourer.  It wouldn’t budge.  Mum tried.  It wouldn’t budge.  We soaked it for a day.  It wouldn’t budge.  I attacked it with bicarb soda (a suggestion from the internets).  It wouldn’t budge.  In the end, MaxBabe took care of it.  I still don’t know how she did it.  My theory is that she used a sandblaster.

My next attempt with the Trangia will be poached/fried eggs.  I hope it doesn’t involve a big, charred mess.

About Max

I'm an IT nerd who spends much less time on my bike than I'd like. I'm planning a big cycle tour for when I get long service leave (2013). Until then, I keep plodding along at my job and get on my bike when I can. Did I mention I love riding my bike?

Posted on 28/04/2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hi, I noticed that comment about the trekking bars and have to say that I thought the same when I test rode it. I noticed in particular how when riding on the flats (where the brakes and gear levers are) it felt too close and would have needed a longer stem. The drop bars are a lot nicer, plus as I mentioned on my blog, a good way to reduce wind resistance. Any reason why you aren’t keen on the drop bar option? Flat bars with ergon grips would be another nice option, also gives you the opportunity to convert it to a Rohloff IGH if you really wanted to get fancy (this is my long term plan).

  2. I have drops on both my bikes. I find that I get shoulder/neck pain if I’m riding for more than a few hours. I also find that I end up looking at the road instead of the view, simply because of my riding position. I like flat bars because they encourage me to look at the world around me.

    • I agree, I rarely ride in the drops for long unless there’s a really strong head wind that is sapping my energy. I usually ride on the hoods or the flats, and occasionally go to the drops just for a change of hand position and to stretch out. I also prefer a more upright position, especially when cycling in an area with nice scenery (90% of my commute is on a dedicated cycle path next to the river, so it is very nice on some days). Look forward to hearing what you end up doing, keep us posted!

  3. Interesting reading of your experience with the pancakes. One thing I have learnt is that you can cook okay without heat being applied all the time. I would suggest heating the pan then adding the mixture and then take it off the heat and just let it cook slowly. You can then put it back on the heat for the final zap/warm up.

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