Anyone who's ever visited the Forest Freeride inner sanctum, or workshop as certain people refer to it, can't help but have noticed the number of bikes. The natural assumption is that the majority are hire bikes, that assumption is, I'm afraid, quite wrong ... 70% of the bikes are mine. It would seem that I really don't need much of an excuse to build a bike. A pair of handlebars or saddle might be all it takes to set me off on yet another build.
However, I feel slightly more justified with this. I'm 40 this year and the birthday fairies won't be bringing me a new Indy Fab but a 40th does deserve something a little special ... doesn't it? I'm like most people with too many bikes, each bike has a specific role. There's the PA I use for instructing, the Alpine I use for guiding, the SS Cyclo Cross bike for winter, downhill bike, SS monster crosser, 69er, etc, etc it's seemingly endless. One thing I haven't got though is a specific bikepacking/multi day bike (actually I have but I could always sell it). Combine 40th birthday with 'not having one' and you have the perfect excuse to build it, right?
All the bikes I've ridden on past trips have served the purpose but each one has been a compromise. Overcoming each bikes shortcomings has enabled me to forge a pretty good idea of what I want from a bike built to cover long distances, off road, while carrying my gear. You can see my starting point in the picture below. Over the next few weeks it'll get built up into what I'm hoping will be MY ideal bikepacking bike. I'll keep you posted and try to explain my choices and decisions as it progresses. I've a maiden voyage planned to celebrate my birthday, so fingers crossed eh.
Colour blindness has its advantages!