circa 1982

Let me introduce you to the most important thing in my life in the fall of 1982. My Supergoose.

See, up until then my source of mobility was my old refurbished funky green metallic Schwinn Stingray. Now, don’t get me wrong – that was a bike that rocked without equal in 1976. A deep metalflake green rattlecan paintjob (with a matching banana seat!), hi-rise sissy bar, ape bars, stubby rear fender and a drag slick out back. Even though it was a rescue from the town dump, it oozed attitude and could hold a wheelie for 50 yards. Don’t even get me started with skids. But by 1980 it was showing it’s age. The stance was all wrong, the color was getting long in the tooth, and several years spent with baskets for newspaper delivering had taken it’s toll. Did I mention that  beck then you stored your bikes in the metal shed out back? Rust city. Every spring you tried to fight it back with a can of Noxon and an old toothbrush, but it was a losing battle.

So enter 1982. Big year. First year of high school. New crowd. BMX! I started hanging with 4 or 5 guys who were pretty deep into BMX. In truth, it was pretty hard NOT to be into BMX in ’82. It was everywhere. That was the summer of E.T. BMX was rad baby. I had to dump the old Schwinn for something real. Thing was, that old paper route was a losing proposition, and funds were limited at best. Luckily, some of the guys I was hanging out with by then were already upgrading their serious toys, and I reaped the benefits. I scraped up enough for a shiny new Supergoose frame, fork and crank (Chrome-moly!), and through weeks of bartering landed some hand-me-down components to finish it off. Tuff Wheels, stainless bars, gold headset and more. Built it up in a killer yellow and black scheme (chosen once the yellow wheels became available). Built it up myself. Man, I loved that bike. For a good year it was the style king of the sump in my neighborhood (no, we didn’t have a local track – we used to hop the fences of the local sumps where we would build jumps and berms to mess around on).

Years later I sold the ‘goose to a neighborhood kid once I got tired of it and was scraping together $$$ for my first car (another story). By then that sweet shiny finish had fallen victim to the rust monster that dwelled in our shed, and I had lost count of how many aluminum seat posts I had bent by then. Thing is, until I  dug up this shot I had almost forgotten about that bike. These days it’s the old schwinn I miss most. Not sure if I even have a picture of that one kicking around…

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Revelate Tangle frame bag

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I’ve added a bag to the Fargo and I thought it would be a good time to lay down some first impressions. I picked up a frame bag from Revelate Designs up in Anchorage Alaska (gotta admit, it’s pretty cool getting packages from Alaska…). The one I ordered was the Mountain Tangle bag. I landed on this model for several reasons. I plan on using the bag primarily for carrying my everyday stuff (pump, tubes, tools, keys & such) – stuff I would normally cram in a seat bag. With the Thudbuster post a seat bag becomes problematic, so it was time to give a frame bag a try.
Those of you who troll the Fargo forum are certainly familiar to seeing bikes with Revelate’s cool full triangle frame bags. I was tempted, but for my needs they seemed like a bit of overkill. Additionally, the Tangle bags are stock items, so I could lock in an order as soon as I knew the 2011 Fargo’s were hitting the dealers and not need to wait for a custom order to be filled.
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Revelate sure makes a quality product. Construction is first-rate. Once strapped in securely this bag won’t be going anywhere. 3 top straps, one on the head tube, one down below and 2 on the seat tube allow for enough fine tuning of the fit to address any unique frame design issues.
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The Mountain bag is 19.5“ long. I could probably have gotten by with the Touring model as well (21”) since I have a little air before the bag hits the seat tube, but since I ordered the bag before the bike arrived I played it safe on sizing.

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Clearance is a bit tight with a large water bottle. Not sure if switching the cage to the down tube will help, but I’ll try that this weekend. Not a big issue regardless.
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There’s one small port included in the front to route a hydration tube, which has come in handy for a lighting cable (I’m currently experimenting with switching my Cygo lights from my helemt mount to a bar mounted setup)
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One of my concerns with the whole frame bag concept was width. If I packed one full would it end up bulging enough to start rubbing against my legs or shoes during pedaling? as you can see from this shot the bag is certainly wider than my top bar, but not to the point of annoying, and it hasn’t interfered with me in any way so far. One last thought – the spacing between the top straps is just wide enough allow mu meaty paws to grab the top cleanly, so lifting the bike by the top tube is not an issue.

That’s it so far. Stay tuned as I’ll update with some more detailed feedback as I start to put on the miles….

Fargo unboxing

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As I mentioned in the last post, the setup for the Fargo went pretty smoothly, about 90 minutes start to finish. Ran into some issues setting up the rear derailleur, but finally got it right. Honestly, it took me longer to figure out the “doubletap” shifting on the single-lever SRAM Apex group than it did to do the basic assembly. On that note – the Apex takes a little getting used to, but I think I like it so far. It’s pretty noisy in the shifting if you’re coming from a Shimano setup, but it doesn’t feel too much “clickyer” than the Campy stuff on my Bianchi.

Yes, I know the basement is a mess.

say hello

Aside

 

initial setup with dual cages on the fork mounts

initial setup with dual cages on the fork mounts

Deep into a tough winter with little opportunities to ride. Lo and behold the good folks at Bikeman call from out of the blue to let me know that the 2011 Salsas were finally shipping. My Fargo (large) showed up on time about a week later. I’ll elaborate on the details in a later post, but I’ll just say that setup was generally a breeze and about 90 minutes after cracking open the crate it was all ready for a shakedown ride.

I went out early Sunday in 25 degree weather to get some first impressions. After not being on a 29″ for a year it took a little while to get used to the size of the Fargo. This sucker is big. The suspension-correct fork coupled with the sloping top tube positions the bars much higher than on either my Bianchi roady or the Redline CX. That said, you get used to it quickly. The riding position feels quite natural and intuitive and you have tons of leverage when conditions get sloppy. The 3-4″ of crusty ice and snow allowed for a little bit of slow, technical maneuvering, but I’ll dig a bit deeper once I start hitting the rail trails. Dangle frame bag from Revelate Designs is on it’s way, so stay tuned on that front…