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How To Join a Bicycle To a Car

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Bike and Car

This meme promoting cycling over driving pops up in various guises on the internet.  At least one blogger recently checked to see if the sentiment holds water.  Your results will vary.

I was able to keep bike and car separate.  Well, in the beginning anyway.  When I started cycling in Houston I was able to roll out of the Commerce Towers car park onto Travis Street and pedal away.  Everywhere I wanted to get to was within cycling distance.  That is until I decided to commission a custom built bicycle from Alchemy Bicycle Company, located at that time in Austin.  As part of the process of deciding what frame material and geometry would best suit me, James Flatman wanted to see what I was riding at the time (see Jumping Into The Deep End for more).

It is possible to ride a bicycle from Houston to Austin (See Austin Or Bust, 2011 BP MS150, 2013 BP MS150 Day One and 2013 BP MS150 Day Two).  But not there and back in a day, and certainly not together with my biker chick.  The hybrid bike made the trip in the trunk of the car.  Which was only possible because the car had fold-down rear seats.  The resulting space was deep enough to accommodate the bike as long as the front wheel was removed.  Most importantly the trunk lid closed without squashing anything.

C Class Boot

I mulled over the idea of getting a bike rack on that first trip to Austin with the Trek in the trunk.  There would be a custom road bike to transport to Houston in a month or so. I decided to get a Saris Bones 2.  It looked simple enough to attach and remove, and would fold down into a relatively compact form for storage.

Saris Bones 2 Bike Rack

This rack attaches to the rear of the car via a series of hooks and straps.  Once the rubber feet are properly positioned and the buckle straps tightened the rack sits very securely on the car.  Ratcheting straps lock bikes to the adjustable arms.  An unexpected bonus was that the buckle straps are long enough so that the ends can be used to tie down the wheels and handle bars to stop them spinning and swaying.

Saris Bones 2 on Car

Once I linked up with the West End Six Thirty cycling group the Saris Bones 2 got more and more use.  We had to drive to get to any sort of hill, and to get to the start of some of the organized rides we signed up for.

The Saris, and the car, came with us to the Netherlands.  The rack sat unused for a year.  All my rides started at the entrance of our apartment building.  Even the starting points of the first few organized events I did were within riding distance of home.  Then I did the Ronde van Vlaanderen with Eugene (see I’ll See Your JZC and Raise You an RvV!).  That involved a drive to Sint-Denijs-Westrem in Belgium.

The Saris came out of storage to carry our bikes.  As we drove south I noticed that I was the only one with a Saris or similar bike rack.  All the other cars had either a rack on the roof or a tow-hitch mounted rack on the back.  Complete with a turn signal and brake light bar and number plate.   It turned out that my bike rack was illegal because the bicycles obscured the car’s turn signals, brake lights and number plate.  I was also told not to worry too much about it.  This being the bicycle-crazy Netherlands, the police would likely turn a blind eye.  Which may have been the case as I got back to Den Haag without being stopped.  I didn’t test my luck any further.  I went back to putting my bike in the trunk.

I did consider a tow hitch mounted rack like this one.  I had taken the car to the local dealership for a routine service.  They had a rack and light bar on sale for something like €200.  Which was a great price.  The catch was that our car didn’t have a tow hitch and ball mount.  The dealership was of course happy to install the required hardware.   I was not happy to pay the €1,500 for that to be done.  My bikes would continue to make do with being hauled around in the trunk.

C CLass Tow Hitch Bike Rack

The following year I made a return trip to the Ronde van Vlaanderen, this time with Richard.  He had a Thule roof rack.  We decided his compact car might be a bit small for both of us and our stuff.  Which meant moving his roof rack onto my car.

A clever part of the Thule design is the huge number of fitting kits available.  The racks, load bars and feet are standard.  The fitting kits contain custom pads and brackets that fit the specific contours of a vehicle’s roof, or attach to an existing roof rail.  The standard feet attach to the brackets.

Thule feet

Naturally the fitting kit for Richard’s car didn’t fit my car.  A quick trip to Richard’s local Thule dealer solved that problem.  Thule makes fitting kits for vehicles from over eighty manufacturers.  A Thule 3049 Fixpoint Fit Kit was all I needed to attach Richard’s roof rack to my car.

I was so impressed with Richard’s Thule roof rack that I decided to get one.  That led to the “Het is niet mogelijk” moment that I retell whenever I can.  I went to a shop, which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, that sells Thule products.  I told the salesperson what I wanted:  two Thule Outride 561 bike carriers, a pair of Thule 960 Wingbars, and four Thule Rapid System 753 feet.  He asked me what car I had, and consulted his computer.  A few seconds later he uttered that most-frustrating of Dutch phrases.  “That is not possible.”

“But it is,” I protested.  “I had that exact configuration on my car a few weeks ago.”

“Nee.  Het is niet mogelijk.”

There is no point arguing when faced with that phrase.  All you can do is admit defeat and move on to plan B.  In my case that was to go to the second Thule dealer on my list, A & P Verhuur Service, where it was possible to purchase what I wanted.

Thule 561 Outride with Bike

The roof rack and I made a few more road trips in the company of the Not Possibles cycling group (you can probably guess the origin of the group name).  The Thule system is easy to install and remove.  The feet and front fork attachment are lockable.  Bikes sit rock solidly  on the carriers, all the way up to the maximum rated driving speed of 130 kph / 80 mph.  The only downside is the wind noise.

The Saris and the Thule racks came with us to Kuala Lumpur.  The car stayed in the Netherlands with its new owner, together with the Thule Fit Kit.  The racks haven’t seen any use in Malaysia.  Even though I have to drive to rides in Kuala Lumpur.

My biker chick kept her car here while we were away.  I could have hung the Saris off the back of her car.  I see a few trunk-mounted racks around.  I also see too many rear-end collisions to be comfortable driving around with my bike between the rear of my car and the front of the car behind me.  So it was back to the bicycle in the trunk routine.  In the meantime I was on the lookout for a car for myself.

We live in an apartment building in Kuala Lumpur.  The apartment came with two indoor car park spots on an upper floor of the parking garage.  All very convenient, except that the headroom clearance on the ramps between floors is insufficient for bicycles on a roof rack.  That narrowed my choice of vehicle down to a hatchback with enough trunk space to fit a bicycle or two.

Which is why I drive a Perodua Myvi.  Among its most important attributes . . .

Myvi Boot Area Seats Folded

Plenty of room for bicycles.  I’ve transported two bikes with no problem.  I could pack in three or four.  This weekend I will find out if I can get the Ritchey Break-Away in the trunk without having to fold down the rear seats.

S&S Case

Welkom in Nederland

On Tuesday 20th April 2010 I did a last Tuesday ride around the streets of Houston with the West End Six Thirty group.  Our bikes (my road and hybrid bikes, and the biker chick’s cruiser bike), along with the rest of our belongings, had long since departed Houston bound for  Rotterdam.  I had Tom B. to thank for loaning me a bike for the Tuesday ride.  On Thursday I joined the group at Jax for the post-ride meal.  On Friday I collected my passport and visa at the Netherlands consulate, dropped our car off at the freight company, and took a taxi to George Bush Intercontinental Airport to catch my 3.30pm flight.

On Saturday morning I flew into a damp and chilly Amsterdam Schiphol airport.  Den Haag, our home for the next few years, was no drier nor warmer.  I had arrived with a suitcase full of what I had been wearing the week before in Houston.  I had shorts, t-shirts and sandals.  What I should have packed were sweaters, scarves and boots.  My first purchase in the Netherlands was a Nike sweatshirt.  I would have bought gloves too, but the shop assistant told me that winter was over!

The weather stayed pretty ugly for the next few weeks.  Usual Dutch spring weather in other words.  It was five or six weeks before it warmed up enough for me to consider a bike ride.  By then I had found Bikes For Rent.  I reserved a bike for the weekend.  Then I crossed fingers and toes hoping that the weather would not revert to wet and windy.  Fortunately Saturday dawned dry and reasonably warm.  Warm enough for my tropical blood at least.  I rode away from Bikes For Rent on a three-speed Johnny Loco.

Johnny Loco Three Speed

I had a map of the bike route to the beach.  The map was helpful but I soon found that the bike paths in the Netherlands are very well signposted.  The cycling infrastructure is really very good.  The bike paths are very well marked and maintained.  “Yes” everyone checks for bicycles before opening car doors.

Bike path

Cyclists even have their own traffic lights.

Bike light

The path to the dunes and the beach took me past the Scheveningen water tower.  Built in 1874, the tower contains 1 million litres of drinking water and has the largest storage capacity of all the water towers in the Province of Zuid-Holland.  It is still in use today.

The bike trail towards the Scheveningen Pump House

It wasn’t the brightest of days so the North Sea looked pretty raw.

The North Sea

I didn’t expect to see World War Two gun emplacements facing out to sea along the dunes.

Eastward view

On the way home through Scheveningen I saw a few more signs of just how much the bicycle is the go-to mode of transportation for many in the Netherlands.  I’ve seen bike racks before, but these two boys on the right took racks to another level.

Surfboard racks

You can leave your bike in a guarded bike parking areas like this one for less than €1.

Guarded bicycle parking

The route back home took me past the Vredespaleis or Peace Palace.  Andrew Carnegie donated USD1.5 million in 1903 (the equivalent of USD40 million today) to fund the construction of the Vredespaleis.  Today the building houses the International Court of Justice (which is the principal judicial body of the United Nations), the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the Hague Academy of International Law, and the extensive Peace Palace Library.

The Peace Palace

This was a very nice welcome to riding in the Netherlands.  I couldn’t wait for my road bike to arrive.

Austin or Bust

As the Houston winter turned to spring conversations turned to the MS 150.  The main event of the year for many in the Six Thirty group.  There was an expectation that you were riding the MS150.  What could possibly stop you?

The MS 150 is a two-day ride of between 150 mi / 240 km and 180 mi / 290 km, depending on which of the three starting points you choose in Houston.  Day One ends at the Fayette County Fairgrounds in La Grange.  The final destination is next to the Texas State Capitol in Austin.  The purpose of the ride is to raise money for multiple sclerosis research and other services supported by the National MS Society.

75 mi / 120 km was well beyond my longest ever ride.  My first challenge was to convince myself that I could ride that far.  So I rode the events that were billed as MS 150 training rides, like the Gator Ride in March.  I huffed up the climbs at Cat Spring, Chappell Hill and Bellville, hoping that I would be adequately prepared for the mythic hills of Austin.  By March I felt I probably had enough miles and climbs in my legs to sign up for the event.

I was a very late entrant and was lucky to get a place.  The MS 150 is a very popular ride and the 13,000 places get snapped up very quickly every year.  I was, it seemed, a beneficiary of the appalling weather that plagued the 2009 ride.  Day One had been cancelled and the rain, wind and cold made Day Two miserable for the riders.  Some of whom had decided not to sign up for the 2010 event.  Leaving spots available for latecomers like myself.

Once I had my place in the event there were two things to do.  One was to raise the minimum fundraising pledge.  I had left myself very little time to hit up my friends for donations.  Most of whom were looking for their own donors anyway.  The solution was simple.  My biker chick and I split the required amount between us.

The second task was to find a team to ride with.  The obvious choice was my employer, but the Hess Corporation team was full.  Tom B. came through for me, again, and managed to get me a last-minute spot on the Exxon Mobil team with him.  I was so late that I had missed the deadline for ordering a team jersey.  Not such a bad thing in hindsight.  I don’t think it would have done me much good to be seen in an Exxon Mobil jersey by the great and the good of Hess Corporation.

As the big day drew closer I continued to worry about never having ridden 75 mi / 120 km before.  So the weekend before the MS 150 I rode in The Space Race.  A loop from Gulf Greyhound Park in La Marque through the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge to the west, then north to the outskirts of Angleton before heading eastward toward Alvin and back to La Marque.  I felt good at the halfway point.  I felt really terrible with 20 mi / 32 km to go.  I was hot and tired and hungry and barely maintaining forward progress into a constant headwind.  The event was billed as a 100 mi / 160 km ride.  I was so thankful that the finish came sooner than advertised.  I didn’t get my first century ride under my belt that day.  But more importantly I did come away convinced that I could finish the MS 150.  Even if it almost killed me!

A group of Six Thirtyers rolled out of Jack Rhodes Memorial Stadium in Katy at dawn.  It would take far too many words to describe the energy, the excitement, the exuberance, the entertainment and the exhilaration of the next two days.  This is one of those events where you truly had to be there.

In Bellville and Fayetteville  and La Grange and Bastrop and Austin there were crowds lining the streets ringing cowbells, blowing bubbles, waving signs, cheering, tooting horns, shouting “thank you.”  We even had live music.  A fiddle band at one point.  A bagpiper in full regalia at another.  There were brigades of cheerful volunteers at every rest stop.  The familiar faces of the West End Bicycle guys at their bike service tent in Industry.  Everyone encouraging us on with a friendly wave and a smile.

This is some of the Six Thirty group at the lunch stop at Bellville on Day One.  There were five of us in Exxon Mobil jerseys.  Only one of us was actually an employee of that company.

On Day Two we all put on our Six Thirty jerseys.  It has become a tradition that the group foregoes the Bastrop lunch stop sandwiches provided by the MS 150 organizers for the much tastier fare at Whataburger.  Texas’ own burger chain.

This was the first time I had been to a Whataburger.  I shouldn’t have waited so long.  As Whataburger say in their commercials, “It’s shut your mouth good.”

After our burgers, fries and shakes it was 32 mi / 51 km to the finish line in Austin.  Where Tom and I naturally had to pose in front of the Texas State Capitol building for the signature glory shot.

I knew right there that I would do this ride again in 2011.  What I didn’t know right there was that the experience in 2011 would be even better.

Mark’s Nasi Lemak Ride

The West End Bicycles Six Thirty group in Houston has Ted’s Taco Ride.  Mark’s Nasi Lemak Ride could become the equivalent for the Racun Cycling Gang in Kuala Lumpur.  Roti canai and teh tarik have made frequent appearances in my posts.  This is the first time I have mentioned nasi lemak.  Nasi lemak is another quintessential Malaysian dish.  Best described by a good friend of mine, Azlan Zahari Zahid, who writes a blog titled The Nasi Lemak Journal.  Click on the link to his blog to read his description of this very popular dish.

Mark Lim suggested that we add a ride to the Sungai Congkak Recreational Forest to the end of our round trip from Kampung Batu 18 to the Sungai Tekala Recreational Park.  More specifically, to the nasi lemak at Sungai Congkak.  Mark, Chon and I set off at 7.15am for Sungai Tekala.  Two hours later we were back at Kampung Batu 18 and ready for the main event of the day.  After a final 75 meters / 250 feet  of climbing we pulled up to an unassuming stall on the bank of a small river.

This is what we came for.

Individual packets of nasi lemak wrapped in banana leaf.  The traditional way of serving this dish.  Here’s what was inside each packet.

A little mound of coconut and pandan flavored rice topped with a sambal made from chillies, onion and dried anchovies, a slice of cucumber and a bit of omelette.  Simple and delicious.  We demolished two packets each in next to no time.  Which turned out to be the last of that batch of nasi lemak.  When Marvin and his friend, whom we had met up with toward the end of our ride, arrived a short while later they had a thirty minute wait for the next batch to finish cooking.

The stall was relatively cool, nestled as it was at the edge of the jungle and next to a small river.  The water made a pleasant roar as it tumbled over the rocks.

We sat with our teh tariks and enjoyed each other’s company and the calm surroundings.  My sense of well-being due no doubt to the two helpings of nasi lemak that I had just devoured.  As I gazed around the stall I noticed a framed newspaper article on the wall titled “Me and My BMI.  Nasi Lemak and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance.”

It turns out that this particular nasi lemak stall is well-known.  The proprietor Haji Ramli Maon and his wife Rosnah Zakaria have been serving one of Malaysia’s favorite breakfast meals to cyclists and non-cyclists alike for more than fifteen years.  A stream of whom had turned up on bikes and in cars as we sat there.

Marvin and his friend got their nasi lemak, piping hot and fragrant, fresh out of the pot.  They agreed it was worth the wait.  Mark, Chon and I had a third packet each.  We couldn’t resist.  Especially when a packet costs only RM 1 / USD 0.33.  My somewwhat excessive breakfast of three packets of nasi lemak and two teh tariks cost the princely sum of RM 6 / USD 2.  I paid the equivalent of fifty nasi lemaks to the guy who came by selling bottles of jungle honey.  If he is to be believed that honey is a miracle cure for most any ailment.  Mark has already tried some of his.  He confirms his thumbs up rating for the honey.

Chon (left) and Mark, jungle honey and teh tariks.

I give the whole morning a thumbs up.  I don’t think this will be the last Mark’s Nasi Lemak Ride.

Eat to Ride, or Ride to Eat?

I learned the hard way that avoiding the bonk, or going hypoglycemic, on a challenging event, requires that I eat to ride.  Both before and during the ride.  Fortunately I don’t do many rides that require eating on the bike.  An activity that demands enough confidence, or stupidity if the roads are bad, to take your hands off the handlebar, sufficient dexterity to fish around behind your back to find your energy bar or gel or whatever, and gills so that you can continue to breathe while chewing and swallowing.  All the while pedaling so you won’t get dropped.

It is much more fun, civilized even, to ride to eat.  Houston’s West End Bicycles Six Thirty group introduced me to the delightful practice of riding as an excuse to eat.  After our Thursday evening rides we would gather at Jax Grill or Romano’s Pizza to “replenish our glycogen stores.”  I have already written about the mid-ride breakfasts at Dona Maria which give Ted’s Taco Ride its name.  Good company, a bit of exercise, good food and lots of laughter.  What a winning hand!

So it was “hip hip hooray” when I discovered that Den Haag’s the Not Possibles end their Saturday morning rides at the Coffee Club in Leidsenhage.  Appeltaart and the occasional uitsmijter are the foods of choice in Den Haag.  We have been known to linger over a second koffie verkeerd, purely for health reasons of course!

Malaysians live to eat.  That is indisputable.  So naturally every ride here involves eating.  Either mid-ride, or after the ride, or both.  Even the rides that require you to eat to ride, like the Broga 116, end with food of some description provided by the organizers.  The meal of choice for the Racun Cycling Gang and the Cyclistis is often the humble roti canai.  With a teh tarik to wash it down with.

Photo courtesy of Mark Lim

The best roti canai are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  Everyone who has ever had one wants another.  And another.  And another.  This was during a ride to Kundang.  Specifically to eat some roti canai at this roadside stall.  Shahfiq is taking an e-break.  I am starting on my second roti.

Photo courtesy of Mark Lim

The eating is only part of the experience.  Watching your roti canai being made is entertaining too.  Which you can do now too, courtesy of this video by Mark Wiens from his blog Migrationology.  As a bonus you will see teh tarik, the quintessential drink to go with your roti, being made.

I’ve been looking through Mark’s blog as I wrote this post.  His write ups and photos are making me hungry.  Good thing there is a ride this evening.  I need an excuse to eat a roti canai or two.

Going Really Long

To go long or to go short.  That was the decision to be made before every Six Thirty evening ride.  The long route is about 32 km / 20 mi.  The short route is about 20 km / 12 mi.  I cycled to and from West End Bicycles for the rides, which added 13 km / 8 mi to the distance I covered.  Just as I was getting used to the demands of going long it was time for the 2010 Humble Lions Bike Ride.  The Humble Lions Club runs this ride every year as a fundraiser to benefit handicapped and diabetic children.

This was an 89 km / 55 mi ride.  Just a bit longer than I had covered in one ride before.  Ever.

I remember it being quite chilly at the 8:00 am start.  And thinking that the first rest stop came up very quickly at just 11 km / 7 mi into the ride.  I remember riding into a headwind every time the road turned southward between the 25 km / 15.5 mi and the 45 km / 28 mi points.  And being happy to see the rest stop at the end of a 5 km / 3 mi drag along Bohemian Hall Road to the intersection with Farm to Market Road 1942.

Here are some of the Six Thirty folk at that 45th km rest stop.  Tom B. is resplendent in his West End jersey.

Photo courtesy of Rick Ankrum at

I’m not sure what  Barbara L. and Laura J. are doing.  Pulling their gloves off perhaps, as the sun had taken the chill out of the air.

Photo courtesy of Rick Ankrum at

We were served hot breakfast tacos at the next rest stop.  I ate two.  It was a further 16 km / 10 mi to the stop at Alexander Deussen Park.  By that point I had ridden 70 km / 43.5 mi.  A new personal distance record.  More importantly, although I was a bit tired I still felt good about being able to finish the ride.  I remember being really thrilled about being able to pull the group along for 2 km right at the end of the ride.  We hit 39 kph / 24 mph before slowing for the final kilometer into the start / finish area in the Humble Civic Center Arena.

89 km / 55 mi.  With the help of my Six Thirty friends I had gone really long.  And I had the t-shirt to prove it.

Photo courtesy of Rick Ankrum at

Jumping Into the Deep End

With each cheese and potato breakfast taco I thought more and more about getting a road bike.  My hybrid bike with the platform pedals had served me well from the moment I first dipped my toes into cycling.  It had taken me from those early heady days of 20 kilometer rides to keeping up with the Six Thirty group through 55 kilometers.  My fellow riders were suggesting that I join them on organised rides of 80 kilometers and more.  To do that would require a bike more suited to long road rides than my hybrid bike was.  A road bike.  But how to decide on exactly what to get?

I started paying more attention to what my Six Thirty friends were riding.  I took a closer look at the Specialized, Moots, Ibis and Independent Fabrications frames on display at West End Bicycles.  I browsed the Trek and Cannondale websites.  I read online reviews.  The choices boggled the mind.  Carbon, steel, aluminum or titanium frame.  Performance or comfort geometry.  Campagnolo, Shimano or SRAM groupset.   The decisions to be made didn’t stop there.  The options for pedals, handle bars, stems, saddles, seat posts, headsets, wheels, tires and other bits and bobs can and do fill catalogs the size of telephone directories.

As I did my research one thought stayed in my mind.  I had been sold a bike that was too small for me.  Bicycle frames come in a range of sizes.  Unfortunately manufacturers do not use a consistent method to measure the frames that they produce.  So the right sized frame for an individual of a given height and reach is a combination of stand over height, top tube length, seat tube length, seat tube angle, bottom bracket height and some eye of newt.  Throw in riding style and personal preference and the choice of an ‘off-the-rack’ frame often comes down to selecting from a range of two or three sizes.  Which will it be?  The larger frame or the smaller frame?

The more I thought about it the more attractive a custom built frame became.  A made-to-measure frame would solve the fit problem.  Being able to choose the paint design and other elements to make the bike uniquely mine added to the appeal.  A few of the Six Thirty group rode hand-built frames.  A chat with them convinced me.  I would bypass retail and go straight to bespoke.  It was time to go all in and find a frame builder in the area.  The list of exhibitors at the recent 2nd Annual Texas Custom Bicycle Show was a good starting point.  Some builders were immediately eliminated from consideration because they built only Dutch-style city bikes, or worked exclusively in carbon, or had a long waiting list, or were too far away from Houston.  That narrowed the list down to two or three frame builders.  I devoured everything on their websites.  I drooled over their gallery photographs.  And I made a telephone call to each of them.

The Alchemy Bicycle Company builder profile stood out on the Texas Custom Bicycle Show website.  There was something about the tagline “The Passion to Transform” that I liked.  James Flatman answered the telephone when I called Alchemy.  We spoke for more than an hour about where we were from, when James started building frames, the relative merits of various frame-building materials, what I was looking for in a bicycle, what sort of riding I did, and what else I should think about if I wanted to continue down the path to a custom frame.  I had a good feeling about James.  I was impressed that he devoted ninety minutes to a telephone conversation with a speculative contact.

I took James up on his suggestion to visit the Alchemy shop in Austin.  He asked that I bring my hybrid bike so he could see what I had been riding.  ZAZ, my ‘biker chick,’ came with me.  This bicycle was going to be my birthday and Christmas present from her for 2009.  James and I talked bicycles while he took all sorts of measurements.  He made suggestions about what material he would use to build a frame for me.  I tried out groupsets from Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM.  We talked about components.  We looked at colour combinations.  After three hours in the shop ZAZ and I had made our choices.  Two months later James delivered this.

He made me a steel frame with carbon seat stays and fork.  He built it up with a SRAM Force groupset.  The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed the Red crankset.  There was a problem with the Force crankset and James swapped it out for the higher specification Red crankset at no charge.  Easton EA90 SLX wheels, a Chris King headset and bottom bracket, a Ritchey seatpost and handlebars, and a Selle Italia saddle and Speedplay pedals completed the package.  James and I agreed that a sterling silver head badge would look best.  This cool-looking badge is a blend of the old alchemy symbols for silver and gold.

There is one custom touch that makes this bike unique to me.  A Texas star on the seat tube.

I have pedaled almost 11,000 kilometers on this bike.  I don’t think I have to say any more about what a pleasure this bike is to ride.

There have been some changes at Alchemy.  James has left and Alchemy has just moved to Denver, CO.  The company has continued to grow, adding the capability to build frames using proprietary carbon tubes.  If you are in the market for a first-class hand-built bicycle give Alchemy Bicycle Company a call.