Dr. Moulton RIP

Moulton

Still from an interview with Dr. Moulton

Dr. Moulton passed on Sunday and I’m putting together a post and video from the time I met him. He invented the revolutionary small-wheeled, full-suspension Moulton bicycle that was very popular in the 1960s and is still built by hand in Bradford on Avon. He was 92 and an inspiration for a generation of engineers, designers and inventors. Also, a bike blogger. He asked, “what about the size of the wheel.” A topic we’re still discussing today.

Flying Bicycles for Free

perfect pack

Bike packed

A perfect pack bookends another trip and this is how we fly our bikes for free. Depending on the type of trip, it’s with S&S-coupled bikes or ones that are hinged and fold, like Terns or Bromptons. Read about the different types of travel bikes in this post and where we rode in Oahu this weekend: #1 Fish Tacos in Hawaii, Cycling is the New Golf in Hawaii, and Mark’s post about Swift Industries Ozette Randonneur Bag.

resort stand

Assemble at hotel

The key to flying bicycles for free is packing them in a airline-sized suitcase and keeping it underweight. Also use Jedi Mind tricks like replying if asked, “it’s trade show equipment” or “Makeup for a Vegas performance.”

49.6

49.6 pounds

Traveling with a regular, full-sized bike is going to cost you either on the airline or with a service like Ship Bikes. Don’t take that personally either or compare it to golf clubs. The reason the costs are high is that repairing and replacing broken or damaged bikes is expensive. On Alaskan Airlines, who we flew this time to Oahu, it’s $75.00 for a full-size bike.

ground crew

Takes five Hawaiians to handle the awesomeness of an S&S case, brah

See our bike travel tags for more posts and a new community on G+ about traveling with bikes.

Tsunami Debris, ATVS, Tree Goat at Kualoa Ranch

MTB road

Wanted to MTB this dirt road

Spent the last day of vacation being tourists at Kualoa Ranch, where we met the Descendant after a boat ride to Secret Island and a jeep tour into a jungle. Then ATV rides past movie sets for Jurassic Park, Godzilla, Mighty Joe Young, and the TV Show Lost. Like Clooney’s movie, the ranch has been in the family for generations and will continue to not become a resort or strip mall.

Tsunami Debris on Secret Island

Tsunami Debris at Secret Island

Meeting John Morgan was an honor and the ranch is fun and recommend, but stepping over the pieces of people’s lives on the beach is what we’ll remember the most. We had a heightened sense of history between Americans and the Japanese because across the bay is where the zeros hit first before bombing Pearl Harbor, 71 years ago this weekend.

Tree Goat

And then there was this goat in a tree. Yup, this goat got tired of the horses, pig, turtle and cows getting all the attention at the petting zoo. So he does this to get noticed. Tree Goat we nicknamed him and he don’t give a…

Of course I asked if there was mountain biking in the ranch and there is occasionally. Most of the traveling I do is for and with the bike and not often we do anything touristy, but recommend you visit the ranch. You’ll likely find tsunami debris for years to come too and maybe John will say aloha.

Swift Industries Ozette Randonneur Bag

Davidson with steel fork and Swift Ozette Bag

Byron and his wife are in Oahu now, but I was there a little over two months ago for the Honolulu Century Ride, an event that attracts thousands of riders and their families to island. The ride goes along the east side of Oahu, which generally seems like the nicer portion for riding.

My Oahu trip was the deadline for adding another mode to my Davidson titanium S&S. I designed the bike so that by switching out bars, wheels, and other components, the bike could have other “modes”. By having each handlebar setup use the S&S cable splitters and then cutting the cables very precisely to match lengths, I can simply swap out handlebars and reconnect the brakes/derailleurs…..switching from one mode to another is 15minutes at most. So the bike has a road/crit mode and a full TT mode (base bar/aero extensions with barend shifters). The bike has 130mm spacing with track tips and a derailleur hanger, so I can run the bike as a fixed gear with bar and front brake, or even fully track legal with out brakes (the bottom bracket is a bit high for pedal clearance on the banking). But for Oahu, I wanted to have a “randonneur mode” with a long rake steel fork and big front bag.

The frameshop built my fork to spec, I got a Nitto rack, and I had the bag made by Swift Industries. The rack setup required a lot of tinkering to get just right, and the size of the bag meant that I also needed to get some vintage French road bars. But the result was great in Oahu, and I appreciate the rando mode even more now that I’m stuck in the cold, wet gloom of Seattle’s winter. I’ll detail the whole design process of the fork, bar, bag, and rack later.

Swift Ozette bag

Swift Ozette bag

Cycling is the New Golf in Hawaii

Riding a bike lane past strip malls, I felt like that Native American character in the pollution ad from the 70s. Once this was a trail that turned into a dirt road. Then a paved one that brought progress and jobs to this side of the Island. Now it brings consumers to Costco to buy calories in bulk or tourists to shop at strip malls and stay at resorts. Can’t we keep America beautiful? without all these damn cars?

It was the game of chicken I played with a dump truck that had me upset, feeling sad. Given the split-second choice between challenging the driver for my place on the road and riding into a debris field, I choose to veer right off the road. A near instantaneous double-flat resulted and the dump truck driver likely never saw me. Continuing after patching tubes, onto a unremarkable, unswept bike lane, an obese family cut me off to get into Costco. I thought, hope you get the closest parking space to the entrance to not expend any more calories than necessary to buy more calories to consume.

bike lane golf cart

Sweet spot of disposable income sports!

Before turning onto H-1 and a brief meeting with the dump truck, I rode on a pleasant resort lane that was there for golf carts and bikes. Look at that sweet spot: golf and cyclists, both disposable income sports at a resort! What’s next? A cross race ON a golf course? Maybe if the racers only use file treads and tourism industry better understands tourists that come here to ride. It wouldn’t take much to improve the lanes. A street sweeper alone would make a ride less flat prone. There was plenty of shoulder.

At dinner, I spoke with a director at the Aloha Tourism Board. The board is working very hard at marketing the Islands as a place to do business and not a resort boondoggle – they’re placed perfectly for the Pacific Rim trade. Agreed and hey those business people ride bikes. It’s the new golf, ya know. They were very well aware of the impact to tourism Ironman, XTerra and other bike-related events have here. I stressed how much I’ve written about riding in Hawaii and promoting rides like the Banana Stand or challenging yourself on Mr. Steepy.

The everyday tourist cyclist spends money too and with just a little help, they’d enjoy the ride much more.

manicured paths

Manicured grounds and paths

If you’re Ihilani resort with your bike, here’s a spin for you. Watch the entrance to the highway and the strip-mall drivers looking for a parking space. End with a ride along a well-manicured path in front of Disney’s Resort and then swim in the pool.

Poolside

Poolside

As fortress-type resorts go, Ihilani is one of the best and is refreshed after a $30M renovation this Summer. It’s a JW Marriott property. Also see HBL for more rides and Alaska Air for affordable fares. They’ve got 27 daily flights now.

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