Contrary to popular belief in the Flagstaff community, we are actually not planning on becoming permanent residents (just yet). We have, however, had an incredible time riding and spending time with one of the most solid bike communities we have ever encountered. Steve Garro and folks from Team Hobo taught us how to “shred” on our mountain bikes. The Pay-N-Take has done wonders to quench our thirst for fine ales and good people and the epic trails offered plenty for us to do. If there was any place to be sent to by the Feds, Flagstaff would be the town of choice.
After leaving Flagstaff, we began to realize how incredibly trashed our bikes have become and were forced to make some serious adjustments to some of the bikes. I switched from an old titanium Litespeed frame with whacky mid 90’s racer geometry to a stout Surly Instigator with plenty of crotch clearance and more comfortable slack geometry. It is about 3 times as heavy as my old frame, but I can depend on it lasting the rest of the trip and can weld it if necessary.
Steve Garro of Coconino Cycles added some custom braze-ons to run complete cable housing and attach 4 footman’s loops to secure my Dromedary Bag in the front triangle more securely. I got to hang around his shop for a day while we drank Tecates and listened to one of the best punk rock collections I’ve ever encountered. He was recently awarded the Frame Builder of the Year accolade at the National American Handmade Bicycle Show. After watching him work for a few hours it became very clear why. His ability to manipulate metal is super human. I watched him fit-up a headtube joint with such precision, that the pieces fit together so well they were watertight, BEFORE he brazed it. He put a lot of thought and effort into his frames and was proud to know how many frames he built that are being ridden around the globe. He is an incredible guy who makes incredible bikes…it is worth your time to check out his website.
We were lucky enough to receive custom Xtracycles more tailored and reinforced for extreme mountain bike-touring. Additionally, the folks at Xtracycles hooked us up with tons of spare parts to get us ready for the barren northern Mexico section we are approaching. The folks at Xtracycles have been awesome to us throughout our journey. We couldn’t have chosen a better a product/company/community to help us out on our trip.
Goat helped Nate fix up his bike and get him ready for the bike tour. Spencer Wright of Traffic Cycle Design custom bike fabrication put together an extra burley touring frame. Nate is going to try the new Titec H-Bars with Paul Thumbie Friction Shifters.
In other exciting developments, Surly has offered to let us test out the Big Dummy when they come out in a few months. After Sean destroyed his DEAN titanium frame at the 24hrs in Old Pueblo, we decided to let him have at the innovative dedicated Xtracycle frame offered by Surly in the near future.
Spencer Wright of Traffic Cycle DesignÂ is also helping Goat create one monster of a bike. It is basically a hybrid Pugsley and Big Dummy and is impossible to describe at the moment. But we will be sure to post a thorough article about this creature when it comes to life.