From day one, my plan for the Troll has been to utilize it’s versatility. Mountain biking, commuting, grocery runs, trailer pulling, all in one machine. Another aspect that it is fully capable for is bikepacking. Essentially, backpacking on a bicycle. Sounds good to me.
Last week for a night ride, I had the chance to try out the Troll with racks. Using an old rack and panniers that I had laying around, I had the chance to ride it loaded to see how everything worked. All worked together nicely, but it was not as functional as I would like. The front panniers and Salsa rack worked superbly, but the rear rack was lacking. My big issue was that using the connected style rear panniers (ex. saddlebag) I could not use the platform of the rear rack to lash anything down. That is what I call wasted space, and I do not have time for that. So, rear rack and bags are now back on the T500. Way more functional for that bike.
After the rear rack was removed, I found my old Specialized seat bag. Not as elaborate as a Relevate Designs seatbag, but it does expand more than shown in the photo. I think with this setup, strap my tent and sleeping pad to the top tube, and maybe add a small lumber pack, and I should be good to go for a quick overnight trip. Now with the weather acting like summer, this needs to happen sooner rather than later.
Just keep spinning…
For the past couple of months, and some time last year, I have been contemplating the home based small business. What type would that be? I will give you a couple guesses…
Correct! A used bicycle shop! Not the glitzy, high dollar, retail storefront type of shop that you might be thinking of, just something based on quality used bicycles that are sold out of my garage. Every time that I think about the idea, I get fully immersed in it. It sits in the forefront of my brain for such a long time that it starts to consume me. I think of all the bicycles that I could get under people for a quality price, positively impacting the planet with bicycle friendliness. I think of giving the consumer options on purchasing their next or first bicycle. Then I think too much on the topic, and start to second guess myself. Do I know enough? Can I do all of the maintenance that I think I can? What about the paperwork? What is an LLC? Then the topic fades to the backburner, but still lingers, slowly burning away at my psyche.
I feel that it is not the right time to start this project up. But then again, is there ever a “right time?”
This topic is starting to creep back into the light from the events of this week. It has been very productive on the topic of bikes, especially finding bicycles for people. It started with finding a road bicycle for my Brother-in-law. He has wanted to get into road biking for a little around a year now, but just recently gave me the green light to find him a bike. This week, that bike was found, in the form of a Cannondale R600. Sure it is an older model, but here are the highlights:
-Made in the states frame.
-Mavic rims matched to Shimano Dura Ace hubs.
-Shimano 105 component group.
-Chris King headset.
This bike is in great shape, and with the parts my Bro-in-law basically stole this bike from the seller. Amazing price, which will have a great re-sale if he decides to sell. It was a great way to start the day.
That afternoon, a friend called to see if I could check out the bike I had forwarded to him. The seller ended up delivering the bike, and selling it on the cheap for my friend’s first mountain bike. It’s details:
-Brand new Continental and Kenda tires.
-RST suspsension fork.
This bike amazed me with it’s price. The seller not only delivered it, but basically gave it to my friend. This bike with a little work will be a solid entry into the mountain biking world. If it is not my friend’s thing, then it will sell for WAY higher than he paid. After the sale, we celebrated with a flat Rivertown Roebling Porter.(Click here to read the recent review.) I have to admit, it was a great day for buying bicycles.
So that is the impetus for the bike shop revival. I even went out today and bought one of these to make bike maintenance a little easier. I had been using a bicycle stand from Harbor Freight, and it finally has bit the dust after around six months of use. It was super cheap, but I would not recommend it to anyone. The new stand seems really sturdy, and it was on sale. Double bonus.
Hopefully I can figure this all out in my head in the coming weeks. Like I stated earlier, is there ever really a right time? Only time will tell.