I’m writing this from the current Crust Bikes world HQ — which happens to be a tarp-and-bamboo shack on a beach somewhere on the east coast of Tiawan. Matt is out surfing shitty waves on a broken board found in a trash pile, while I hide from the rain and try to poach wifi. We may still get some riding in today — but that remains to be seen. This time around the trip is short, and we are attempting to cram several seemingly incompatible endeavors into our allotted two weeks. The first and most unusual (for both of us) being business. We’re starting a bike company (or rather Matt is, and I’m doing what I can to help) and Tiawan is where bikes are made. This trip is ostensibly to tour factories and meet with ‘our’ people in Taiwan. But multitasking seemed like the way to go, and we decided to bike tour around the island, and it being a coastal ride, get as much surfing in as possible. Telecommuting while bike/surf touring is not a recipe for speed or distance — nor I suppose, particularly effective for coordinating our various business endeavors.
Here we go…
Matt and I are in Taiwan. To do some factory touring and assorted business for Crust Bikes. And since we’re here, a little tour round the island. I arrived on Monday (somehow lost Sunday somewhere during the flight) and spent the better part of the day in the baggage claim room at Tayouan International airport unboxing and building up my bike.
I had been so busy doing things for and with various friends in the days leading up to this trip, that l didn’t get around to packing or getting my bike ready till the day of the flight — which meant that it didn’t come out of the box quite ready to roll.
so the wedding was lovely
and the dress turned out well.
my sister sent some photos and I’m rather proud of it, so have a look:
signs of Nagaland
The road signs all over India l find quite amusing, but Nagaland takes it to a new level — not content to advocate save driving practices, they want to tell you how to live a good life too. I only have photos of ones l liked, which means the really paternalistic or sappy messages are missing — there is no way l could capture all of them anyway: on the road from Kohima (the capital) headed west, there is a new sign every 500m or so. And one fo the villages along the way added their own signs with famous quotations — everyone from Ayn Rand to Karl Marx and everything you could think of inbetween. If youre going to have billboards its a good way to go l guess…
pocket computer update
Been finding my way east through the himalya — carrying my bike a bit more than l would like. There has been plenty of snow and tough trails, but no internet — so l’ve a backlog of tales to share. l’m down in the flat-land tea-estate region now, about a days ride from Darjeeling (India). Have found internet and plan to spend the day tomorrow blogging up a storm. So stay tuned.
But in the mean time, Moy sent me photos from tso moriri, so revisit the tomando mate post if you like — its been updated.
The cable that holds my handlebar-bag to my bars broke…
l stripped the protective casing off, and spliced loops into the broken ends.
but the ends weren’t quite long enough — so again it broke.
(no pictures , because l always forget to take them)
l took the remnant brass bit to a machine shop to drill out the old cable.
but drilling steel out of brass was too difficult…
so instead they made a new one….
out of re-bar!
(and that’s why l love the ‘developing world’)
Matt gave me a camera
but l forgot to bring it
I’m trying to learn how to take pictures, so l used my pocket computer…
pocket computer update
After a few days of rest and bike repair in the company of our new friend Mads of Himilayan Trails; we are off the bikes(!) and headed towards the tallest mountain in the world. Our steeds are waiting in the town of Ringmou, which was as close to basecamp as we could reasonably ride them. We’re the talk (laughing stock?) of the crowded trail; what with my bare feet, and Matt’s hobo-pole (rather than back pack). Proper update to follow, when I can find a real keyboard to compose on….