Sunday, 31 August 2014
Friday, 29 August 2014
It rained while I sat in a cafe, charging my phone, nursing a cappuccino. It rained again while I sat in a restaurant eating a big schnitzel.
Saturday, 23 August 2014
At the top of the hill was an entire slate clad town. The tile work was quite intricate, with visages of local fauna Ornamenting doorways. Very monotone. Very intricate. Some were in perfect, new looking condition. Others were obandoned with large sections of slate missing to expose hand hewn, decaying wood. Clearly a tradition that spanned many generations. And then right smack in the middle, a hair salon.
I camped in the central park in a town of 25 houses and no stores, the name of which I already forgot. An elderly dog walking couple*** just laughed when I asked if it would be bothersome for me to do so.
**it took me years to figure out that Germans consider a bun merely a way of holding a sausage. They are not intended to be eaten together.
***the couple was elderly. The dog I dunno.
The RAFA has a nicely relaxed ride position, good for long distances, with adequate foot-pannier clearance due to the 420mm chainstays. The lateral stiffness is good, despite weighing only 1.7 kilos, though for more than my minimal amount of stuff a larger bamboo would be necessary. I don't need to plug our frames, everybody already knows that the're amazing, but this thing really does ride SUPER SMOOTH, which also launches us into our next topic;
I admit, until now I was a tubular tire virgin. The Sanremos from CB Italia are, and have been for almost 70 years, only available for tubular tires, so thank jebus Conti tubular Gatorskins are easy to find. I definitely don't feel like getting a flat any time soon.
I met the guys from Velospring at the Velo Berlin. They sent me some grips to test, and heres the deal. These things have the most beautiful and comfortable shape of any ergo grips I've tried so far. They are truly beautiful and comfortable.
It hasn't rained yet, so I don't have much to say about the fender. I'll be honest too, I'd rather have a set of wooden fenders with compound curvature (bent in both directions), since they both deflect water better, and fit better inside caliper brakes. I was prevented from using the flat, wide Contec fender set correctly (had to put the front one on the back and leave the back one at home) since they didn't fit through my brakes.
Thursday, 21 August 2014
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
This is great. This app, komoot, records my position over time and displays it on a map for all to see. As a veteran* bicycle courier I've always taken great pride in keeping secret how ass backward I end up getting places. Now this bit of privacy is gone. Now everyone can see every stupid wrong turn I make, every time wasting back track. Every roundabout route.
So as the link shows, I made it from Berlin to Berlin and then stopped the app by accident. But for the record, I made it to a wonderful couple's house south of potsdam and am surfing their couch. They have somewhere between 5-7 children and numerous semi -permanent guests. We had chocolate and tea and talked about everything under the sun. So far, so good!
*"veteran" just meaning that I quit doing it. Not that I was ever very good at it.
Today is the day. Ill start on a journey I've been planning for years, though at the time I didn't know where it would take me.
It may seem like a mere bike tour, with saddle bags, fenders, and even a solar panel. But in fact it's more than that. This bike tour is a pilgrimage. The result of life throwing certain things my way. The result of many factors coming together and presenting one route, one option. The conclusion based on a pragmatic analysis of data that NOW is the time. There is no reason not to. It might even be the last chance I get.
When I was a kid I heard a story of a guy who took a trip around the world. He was a scientist or something stable with little vacation time. He had a girlfriend and a house and a dog. Then everything happened all at once. He lost his job. His girlfriend broke up with him, taking the house and the dog. He was left with nothing but time, freedom, and a bit of money in the bank.
So he left and traveled all around the world. Partially, he said, because he didn't know what else to do. But mostly, he said, because he realized that it might be the last time in his life he would have the opportunity, without a job, without a house, without a family, to take so much time to travel. His only regret, he said, was not having the companionship of his dog.
Well my situation isnt nearly so extreme. But some things did happen in my life, and I did find myself, suddenly, with some extra time. And* the Eurobike is happening next weekend in Friedrichshafen (-hagen?), and I just couldn't justify anything other than to ride for a week from Northern to Southern Germany, landing at Eurobike. I might even ride back.
And while I'm at it, why not do it on an 80% plant-based bicycle and blog the whole way? So here goes! Off to Friedrichsha(f/g)en!
*I know you can't start sentences with "and" or "but". But I hate that rule.
** my gps knows which one it is.
Monday, 18 August 2014
At Ozon we do a good bit of Facebook posting, Newsletter writing, and lots and lots of bamboo bike building. One thing we've neglected though, from the very beginning, is this blog.
So I, Dan, have decided to take this opportunity to commandeer our blog. I will start writing about my personal experiences at Ozon, running a small and unusual business, working together with talented and creative colleages, and above all, building Bamboo bike frames.
I will write honestly. I will tell the truth, and tell a story. It won't be advertising. It won't all be pretty. It won't be what my lawyer or publicist * think I should say. It will just be the way I see things, or the way they are. And hopefully it will help someone, someday**.
So dearest readers, here 'goes. The first thing that will happen is a bike trip across Germany.
*I don't actually have a publicist.
**unless that someone is in a lawsuit against us, in which case I hope what I say does not help them.