Bikepacking Driedaagse

Hello!

You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in the Bikepacking Driedaagse in June. Also, I'm going to write it in English for the international crowd. If English isn't your favorite, and you need the info in Dutch, let me know.

First off, there are some changes to this years event. Due to the growth in popularity, I have to make the event much more independent than last year... I'll explain what that means in a minute. The idea of this event is to organise a free, fun way to get people on their bikes with tents and other gear, wandering the countryside looking for snacks before sleeping under the stars. However, with the number of registrations I've received, I'd be forced to charge a bunch of money to rent whole campsites and organise every detail of the event to keep everyone safe and happy... and that's just missing the point... So, without further adieu, the new Bikepacking Driedaagse for 2019...

Bikepacking Driedaagse 2019

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Registration
This is still required. Even though this is a self-supporting event, I'd still feel guilty if you got lost. Before you can join, please register giving your name, email, phone number etc. And yes, there will be a WhatsApp group made, and yes, it's a little annoying, sorry not sorry.

https://parallelhandbuilt.com/bikepacking-event

Structure
We will meet at Parallel HQ/Coppi Koffie and ride away together, because riding together is fun. After a few KM's, the differing routes will split up on to their chosen route. Additionally on the route itself, groups will split up based on tempo and distance goals. Coming to the event alone and want to ride together with other people? Don't worry, there will be groups to join, just ask what their plans are first (speed, distances, etc.) and make sure that matches your idea of a fun day.

Routes
A couple routes will be made available, varying in length and difficulty. These routes criss-cross a bit so there will be plenty of places where you'll see other people out bikepacking. Places like the Velosoof in Eindhoven and the Leeuwen van Vlaanderen are on the route and will be "checkpoints" where most people will likely eat a meal and chill out for a bit

Checkpoints
There are couple points where all three routes will cross over each other. The routes are designed in a way that if you maintain a specific average speed, you will arrive at the crossover at roughly the same time to other cyclists. For example, you'll have to maintain 20km/h average for the shorter route, 25km/h for the middle/gravel, and 30km/h for the longer route. This is roughly speaking, you will receive another mail soon with more accurate estimates along with the routes.

Camping
There are tons of camping sites in NL/BE ranging from very free to mildly expensive. You can choose. This is an essential skill when bikepacking, so now is a great time to practice! If you're looking for the free spots check here for an ever-growing list. Don't forget to always always always practice No Trace when camping! These free sites get shut down all the time because of people leaving there trash/poop/etc. behind. Don't be "that guy". You have to find your own camping. The reason there are no fixed campings organised this year like there were last year is because of the number of participants. There are no single campings in the area where the routes go that can handle 50+ cyclists at one time.

Food
Everyone's gotta eat. Everyone's gotta find their own food. This event takes place on a national holiday weekend in NL and BE, this means a lot of stuff will be closed... plan ahead!

Finish
Everyone will finish at their own tempo. I personally will be ending at Parallel HQ where the fridge will be fully stocked with chilled beverages and ready-to-go pizza. However, I will update you at a later date at what time this will be at (evening in any case). A shower and changing room is available at Parallel HQ, and yes, you may leave your bag etc. behind.

All the best,
Joergen Trepp
www.parallelhandbuilt.com
+31 (0)638494219

Powerwashing

Winter is here, and in the Netherlands that means one thing... instant bike destruction.

If you've ever ridden a bike for even a moment in the wet winters of the Netherlands, you'd know how sandy a bike can get. Throw into the mix a few long training hours or a group ride or two, and your bike may be more sandcastle than bike.

By now you've probable already heard plenty about power-washing your bike, or you've already done it enough to have a few experiences yourself. This can be an important tool for keeping your bike running well.

We here at the Parallel Handbuilt Bike-Cleaning Division strongly endorse power washing. But, there are some caveats... read on to learn what is going to make your bike clean, and what is just going to void your warranty on everything.

1. Not all car washes are created equal
Find a good one. Take your time and ask around where they are and plan it into your route. What you're looking for is simple. In the photo below you'll see a few usable options. Schuimborstelen (shampoo brush) and vlekvrij naspoelen (spot free rinse) are the two options you're looking for. The shampoo brush will clean up brake dust and other nasty stuff while the spot-free rinse will shoot a low(er) pressure, filtered water to clean it all up. Bonus: occasionally the car wash automatically sprays even without squeezing the handle at an even lower pressure, do this if possible. Why are these options ideal? Read on.

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2. Low pressure: good. High pressure: expensive
Anyone reading this has likely seen the GCN video demonstrating that power washing a bike is reasonably safe and that you can just blast your bottom bracket to oblivion without consequence. As someone essentially power washes bikes for a living, I can attest that this isn't the case.
In the last step, you ran about town like a crazy person looking for the one car wash with the extra-low pressure option. Why? Because high pressure only increasing the chance of not only water ingress, but also pushing sand and other contaminants into a bearing or fitting. Pushing water and sand into a bearing will tear apart your bike from the inside-out, and mean costly repairs if not quickly taken care of. With the next step you'll learn a little bit of technique to put the low pressure to good use.

3. The floor is lava, and so are you hubs, headset, and bottom bracket.
Bottom brackets have a pretty shit job. They spend all day hanging out directly in the line of fire from your front wheel, all while dealing with the massive loads you produce while pedaling... why would you make life even harder for you bearings and seals by spraying highly pressurised water at it? Remember all the way back in step 1. when you found that car wash with the shampoo brush? Now is its time to shine.
Clearing all the sand and mud from your bracket, if you can, before spraying can help decrease the chances of pushing a couple grains into the bearings or between the crank arm and bearing. Same goes for your headset and and hubs. Always avoid spraying these points if you can (better to do at home with a sponge), but if you really need to, make sure to always avoid spraying at an angle where water is pointed 90 degrees from you seals.
Bonus: WD-40 is not what you think it is, and has no place on a bike. Ever. Like really, never ever.
 

Spraying at an angle attacks the seals at the their weakest point.

Spraying at an angle attacks the seals at the their weakest point.

4. Now I'm home, my bike is wet, and my partner is super mad that there's water all over the floor. What do I do now?
Congrats! Your bike is clean! You've blasted all the mud, sand, oil, and grease off of your bike! Now it's time to put all of the grease and oil back!
Oil can push out water from small places, and grease is needed to ensure proper movement. Shifters, brackets, chain, derailleur wheels, brake and derailleur pivots, headset lowers, seatpost, and pedals are all points that need attention after a spray wash. Not sure what grease or oil goes where? Come into the shop and ask. It's different for every type of bike and I'm way too passionate to write a short article about lubricants. I will mention, but not go into, the fact that yes, you can blow water out of most places with compressed air, but seeing as most us don't have an air compressor and blower tup at home, and that you can actually do a lot of damage with this technique, we'll leave this on the side for now.
Pro Tip: If you've got a the resources and time, open up the bike every week or so. Don't go crazy with it, but especially if you have a steel frame, occasionally pulling your seatpost, crank, or fork can be helpful to dry out the frame. Setting the bike upside down or balanced on it's rear wheel can also encourage water to exit the frame through breather holes.

Inhale... Exhale... Now find this sort of hole on your frame/fork!

Inhale... Exhale... Now find this sort of hole on your frame/fork!

5. Bring it to a mechanic
Okay, now you've gone a entire winter or cyclocross season with your bike. You've always sprayed with low(er) pressure, you've paid attention to how and where you spray, and the moment you got home you've always thrown a liter of oil at your bike... yet somehow everything still feels a little "raw". Well, I've got some bad news, unless you are riding with some sort of magic bearings and a chain forged by Vulcan himself (or C-Bear cyclocross bearings, available at Parallel), a long, salty Dutch winter is going to destroy most things on your bike and repairing them in the correct manner dictates how long the larger component is going to last. Installing a headset bearing with too little or too much grease will accelerate frame wear, installing a hub bearing incorrectly can do severe damage right away, installing a chain with unevenly worn chainrings or cassette will result in poor shifting and chain suck, and in the era of disc brakes, the importance and difficulty of maintaining a hydraulic or mechanical disc brake system has grown significantly... when was the last time you refreshed the oil in your hydros? Find a good mechanic you trust, be honest with your maintenance schedule and riding conditions and you are going to be pretty excited with how your bike rides in the spring.
 

You may laugh, but come March your bottom bracket will probably look pretty similar if it hasn't been serviced.

You may laugh, but come March your bottom bracket will probably look pretty similar if it hasn't been serviced.

Here's a quick list of products Parallel uses to help fight the battle that is winter cycling. All are in stock and available at Parallel Handbuilt, Vijverhofstraat 122, Rotterdam.

  • Juice Lubes Bearing Juice. Waterproof lithium complex grease

  • Phil Wood Waterproof Grease. Highest quality bicycle grease available

  • Boeshield T-9. Paraffin/solvent based anti-corrosion lubricant

  • Tri-Flow Superior Lubricant. High penetration petrol-based lubricant

  • Molybdenum Disulfide lubricants such as LOCTITE Moly Dry.

  • C-Bear CX seal bottom brackets and hub bearings

  • SRAM SlickWire cables