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.