A while back, in a fit of madness, I signed up for a charity ride called the Growling Beaver. It is for a good cause (the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease), as all such rides are, but what interested me was a) that it was relatively small, being restricted to only 150 riders, and b) it had the involvement of the Barry family of framebuilding and Tour de France fame. The ride itself is only 100K, which doesn’t particularly concern me, but this route is advertised as having 3200 feet of climbing. Judging from the course profile, there are two major climbs of about 500 and 700 feet, which I assume means that I’m going to be going up the escarpment twice. The ride is next weekend in a very pretty part of the province near Collingwood, Ontario.
I’ll be riding my Tamarack.
This is a 26″ wheeled bike that I had built up for me for my 40th birthday with the intention of using it for loaded touring. Of course, shortly afterwards family happened, and so the touring did not, and this bike has mostly been consigned to the back of our garage. It’s too bad as it is a beautiful bike, and since it was built by a fellow named Mark Beaver (from Halifax), I thought that this ride would be the perfect occasion for me to get some more mileage on it.
The bike itself is a but of a hodgepodge that reflected my interests at the time, with 853 tubing, NOS Prugnat lugs, a Cinelli sloped fork crown. The geometry was cribbed from my RB-1, altered for touring and the smaller wheel size. I specced it with parts that were already old at the time, including Suntour cranks, and a 7 speed Shimano XTR freehub which allowed the rear wheel to have less dish than the 8 speeds that were common at the time. I had a lot of fun picking out all the features on the bike.
Since parts of the ride are on gravel roads, all riders were strongly urged to use wider tires. I had 1 1/4″ Panaracer Paselas on it, but given that both tubes and tires were more than 15 years old, I decided to upgrade to Schwalbe Marathon Racers which are 1.5″ wide and have considerably more volume. Here is the front fender clearance with the old tires.
I also added a GPS, and I dug out an Arkel handlebar bag from the parts bin, but I’m not sure that I’ll use it. Just in case, I added a little top tube bag behind the stem; I’m not that happy with it, but it will probably come in handy.
However, I took advantage of the fact that this bike had an extra shifter on the seat tube that was used to actuate a Union roller dynamo that was mounted behind the BB. The shifter just happened to have the same bolt, and I was going to remove the generator for the ride anyway.
Note that at the time the bike was built, this type of generator was considered state of the art.
With the bike more or less sorted, I’m off to do more work on the engine. I’ll be lucky if I can get another 100K on the bike in the upcoming week.
Wish me luck!