Retirement Strategies: Investing in Precious Metals. (Bikes, that is).

Over time, I’ll give more details on each individual bike, but for now, a brief introduction will have to suffice.  All of my bikes have come from North Central Cyclery, in DeKalb, Illinois.  With no further adieu…

The whole fam-damily (pre-Mukluk).

That’s the Vaya, the Ridley, the Rumblefish and the Big Dummy.  Individually, then…

The Vaya.  56cm Titanium Salsa Vaya, from before they offered a complete Ti Vaya.  Or, as I like to call it, the Vaytanium.

NCC built Velocity A23 wheels, SRAM Rival, BB7 Road disc brakes, Eriksen Ti Sweetpost, Crank Brothers Candy 3 pedals, Deda bars, Chris King hubs.  To quote a friend, “all stops pulled.”  Photo credit goes to the  talented eyes at Transit Interface.  The Vaya is good at, well, everything.  It gets pressed into long gravel rides, commuting, cyclocross, road rides, winter rides, prairie path rides, etc.  Although not pictured, it is now sporting a Tubus Carry Ti rack on the rear, and handles wonderfully with panniers.  It also features the (now discontinued) Winwood Muddy Cross carbon, disc-friendly fork.  If I could only have one bike for the rest of my life, it would be the Vaytanium.

The Ridley.  58cm Ridley Noah, with integrated seatpost.  Fulcrum Racing 3 wheels, full Ultegra gruppo.  Crank Brothers Candy 3 pedals (for interchangeability with the Vaytanium).  Not a lot of great pics of it, but it is the weapon of choice for high-speed summer pavement assaults.  It is fast.  Faster than I have any justification to ride.  And it’s light.  How light?  Well…

Ridleydiculously light.

The Rumblefish.  Gary Fisher Rumblefish, with Ergon grips, Easton Haven UST 29er wheelset, Maxxis Ikon EXO tires, and either Vault pedals or a set of Eggbeater 2s.  Formerly, it sported a Crank Brothers Joplin adjustable seatpost, but after 2 rebuilds in as many months, that was dropped.  The Rumblefish is used for all things off road, as well as the occasional gravel blitz.

And the Big Dummy.  Just about every Xtracycle accessory there is, although usually sporting a flight deck, freeloaders, and a Peapod.  It also rocks the Rolling Jackass Centerstand and a Jones Loop bar.  The Big Dummy faces occasional commuting service, and frequent suburban trips (to town, to parks, to Home Depot, and to places that sell food).  I’m going to show you a picture, but you’re going to have to pardon the wicked Ergon moose antlers (now gone), wicked seat (now gone) and wickedly bad photo angle.  You’ve been warned.

The latest ride to join the fleet is a Salsa Mukluk 2.  Starting with a base Mukluk 2, this one adds: 1) Big Fat Larrys; 2) one removed gear from the cassette (to clear the aforementioned BFLs); 3) Thomson stem and dress-up kit; 4) Jones Loop Bars; 5) Thomson Masterpiece seatpost; and, 6) Avid SD-7 Brake levers (and Ergon grips).  It also occasionally sports a full set of Porcelain Rocket frame bags, Salsa Anything Cages, and a Bontrager Back Rack 2.  For pedals, it either sports a set of Vaults or a set of Eggbeater 2s (just like the Rumblefish).  The Mukluk has been pressed into service on a few gravel/mud/B-road/powerline/where’s the path trips, and will be a snow bike supreme this winter.  A few pics:

As the title of this post suggests, my retirement strategy involves investing in precious metals.  Aluminum, steel…hopefully more titanium into the future…and even a dabble or two into carbon fiber.

That’s the fleet.  More details to come…

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One thought on “Retirement Strategies: Investing in Precious Metals. (Bikes, that is).

  1. Pingback: A School of Spearfish. (Warning: Awesome Content Follows). | ridingagainstthegrain

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