“Please allow me to introduce myself.”

Sounds like a start of a Rolling Stone’s song, no doubt when you are on your bike and taking in the sights, there will be times when you will run into someone and choose to exchange details (hopefully not insurance details) so that you can stay in touch after you say adios.

Business cards for the touring cyclist.

As I plan to fund raise for “Soldier On” during my trip across the bottom of Australia, having a business card makes me look like I know what I’m doing and not out to scam anyone or any business, plus I can put the web address for the donation page on the business card so that Business cards for the touring cyclist.they don’t have to shove their cash down my shirt.  I wonder if I should number the cards and have a raffle at the end of the trip? (Mental note ask S-O if they have any suitable prizes).

Well, how do you plan to use them I hear you ask?  Well when someone who is vaguely interested in my journey, wishes to give to Soldier On or just wants to stay up to date on my adventure, I whip out a card and hand it to them before they change their minds.  This saves me the hassle of having to find a pen and paper and having to write down all my info.

No matter the case why they want a card, carrying a business card in your bag whilst on tour sounds like a good way to ensure that you don’t have to write out your name, email address or blog address multiple times, and then you don’t have to worry about neatness, correctness or legibility of your handwriting especially when tired and shagged out after a long day in the saddle. 

Who would want a card? You may run into a kindred spirit, somebody at a roadhouse, rest stop or even a camping ground, or to a kindly grey nomad who lets you top up your water bottles or even another cyclist coming the other way.  Maybe even leave it pinned to a doorway/wall/post.

Wait a minute there’s no phone number on here.  Well no doubt as I’m speeding across the Nullarbor on my bike, I’m positive that there will be no mobile phone reception so instead of you trying to call me and getting “That number is busy or disconnected” or whatever it says.  You can drop me line on the email or the blog.  If want to give someone my phone number, I simply write my number on the back of the card. Too easy Campese!

I designed my cards using Microsoft Publisher, which has templates for business card sizes and various samples, but I went with my design.  Business cards for the touring cyclist.Not sure how many I think I will need for the trip, as these cards are trip specific but then again 500 cards don’t weigh much or take up space in the grand scheme of things.  I’m considering putting something on the back as well, but that is still a thought in process, something like, ‘you met Eddie at LOCATION on DATE but I’m open to suggestions.

NB: The everyday hero URL is not active or even exists at the moment, it’s just there for planning purposes of the card.

As for getting these cards printed, I’m sure that there is a willing local business that can do them for me at a reasonable price, I just haven’t started investigating that part yet, but it’s on my ‘to do’ list.  So what do you think of my business cards for the touring cyclist?

Pleased to meet you.

An excuse to lie down on the job, as if I needed one.

I ventured out to Grand Anaconda Father’s Day sale last Friday night at Fyshwick. Every time I went by the sausage sizzle table, I got sorry mate just run out, be more in a few minutes. Three times this happened (bastards, it’s all a conspiracy against me).  Anyhow, been thinking about what type/sort of sleeping mat to buy for the Nullarbor trip, there so many makes and models to choose from. I was originally favouring the Synmat’s range of UL 9 and UL 7 mats but these type of items I like to actually see and feel in person to check their toughness and comfort and not be swayed by someone’s else opinion and photos and some Retail websites well their information is limited to company specifications which in some cases errs on their side.

Anyway back to my Abe Simpson type of story telling, whilst meandering around the aisles, tables and racks at Anaconda, I came to their sleeping mat area (not very big, had a total of three different brands, but only two were in stock, the 3rd was on special but no where in sight) I had narrowed my choice down to either the Black Wolf Standard (full was $179) or Standard 3/4 (was $120.99) but not on special and the ‘helpful man’ couldn’t tell when they would be on sale (head office doesn’t tell us in advance any more) or the Denali Slimline full length on sale at $72 (down from $119).

One thing in Anaconda’s favour is that each of their mats are actually on display so you compare them in real life. After much humming and harring, I went with the Denali slimline mat, due to price at the time ($62 with $10 voucher), it seemed ok to lay on in the store and the size and weight of the mat.  While the Synmat was my favourite for a while, I couldn’t justify gambling on a mat they may not be good for the job after some of the reviews I had read on them although not all reviews had the same problems. The Synmat are expensive plus add postage on top, and Thermarest mats, well their prices are outrageous no matter how their fanbois rave about them.  Even the missing 3rd brand was missing from the display area.

Haven’t slept on the Denali yet, but have unfolded it for overnight to let it inflate and what not according to their instructions and it actually rolls back up to a similar size that it was in the store. If it is deemed to be too thin, I can always buy a foam roll which weigh next to nothing and shouldn’t be too much of a hassle to carry about on the bike.

Time for some company literature on said item:

The Denali Slimline Wave Hike Mat is a lightweight self inflating mat that is perfect for your trekking or hiking adventures or crazy bicycle touring ideas! After a long day on foot all you want to do is have a lie down. This matt includes a waterproof carry bag, ensuring you’ll have a dry nights sleep even if you’ve walked around in the rain all day. It’s light and easy to carry around while on your trek or hike in the great outdoors.

  • Unique wave design for lower back support
  • Lightweight self inflating hike mat
  • Diamond TPU coated 75D rip-stop polyester top (techo jargon)
  • 75D polyester non-slip moon dot base
  • Waterproof dry sack carry bag included
  • Repair kit is provided (a whole 100 x 100mm patch and 1 tube of glue)

Specifications from the Anaconda Website:

  • Material: Diamond TPU coated 75D rip-stop polyester top, 75D polyester non-slip moon dot base
  • Fill: 19 kg/m3 foam
  • Dimensions: 180 x 57 x 4 cm
  • Stuff/ rolled size: 32 x 18 x 18 cm
  • Weight: 1.22 kg (the plastic bag states 0.990 kg)
  • Primary activity(s): Hiking or trekking
  • Warranty: 2 year

I think Denali must be an in-house brand for the Anaconda stores as I haven’t seen it in any other camping shops in Canberra, plus when I search on Denali Slimline the first ten pages are all Anaconda links.  I have no idea what TPU 75D polyester is and google doesn’t shed much light on it.

The instructions state to open the valve for the first time and leave it open for 6-8 hours to let the foam return to its natural height.  With the valve closed, the mat is a bit thin, but a few breaths and it inflates to its claimed 40mm height and is quite comfortable although I am lying on the carpeted floor inside.  After a few breaths you feel like having a lie down in any case with head spins.

When I actually roll it up again I’ll weigh it and see who is correct about the weight.  Added 25 Aug, The mat weighs in just over 1 kilo (1065 grams). Should have weighed the bag as is when I got it home after unpacking, inflating, re-rolling it back to original size. This weight is not including the carry bag (300 grams).

P.S. This model only comes in this colour

Another wheely good post or two

Built my 1st and 2nd wheel this week, primed myself by watching a few youtube videos, which when you don’t have the bits in front of you, you never notice errors or omissions in the videos until you are trying to do it step by step with the video.

Anyhow my wheels now consist of:

Mavic A119 700c 36H rims front and rear from Chain Reaction as well as a couple of Tioga tubes.
Shimano DH-3N72A dynamo (36h) hub for the front wheel came from Wiggle as did the
Schwalbe Marathon Green guard tyres 700 x 35 which for the tour I think I will probably buy some folding Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tyres in 40 mm, which weigh 300g less.

Spokes are DT Swiss Alpine III which I got at Rose Bikes.
Shimano 105 5700 rear hub 36H mated with a CS-HG50-8 speed cassette, these are also Wiggle purchases.

Yes I bought all my items from overseas otherwise I would still be saving up to purchase them locally.

I will buy some more nipples as I seem to have damaged a few of them with my cheapo spoke tool, but the wheels seem to have trued up ok today, although there is a little hop in height but no lateral runout.

Yup, I forgot to order any rim tape.


Two tools for the price of one

Cassette Removal Tools

www.bicyclehero.com, Yeah the name doesn’t make me want to go there either, but on the bright side they do sell the Unior Spoke Freewheel Removal tool.  Originally I was looking at buying the Stein Mini Cassette removal tool from Jenson in America, but upon discovering the Unior tool which also adjusts the spokes plus it looks lighter and less bulky and costs half the price, I decided that I just had to have one.

cassette removal tool

cassette removal tool










Unior on the left and the Stein on the right, not to scale as far as I know, but going by the cassette ring, the Unior is smaller.

On a long cycling tour, a cassette removal tool is one tool that you can’t really bodge up a fix for.

A bit of advice, If you do buy one of these cassette removal tools, then I would suggest that you practice using it before you need to in the middle of nowhere.  Food for thought.