Riding the Hooligan to NAHBS

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The Cannodale Hooligan continues to prove itself as a very versatile bike.  The afternoon before flying to Denver, I raced around town on the little-wheeled bike in search of a suitable bag to pack it in.  In the end, I decided that a pair of durable black plastic trash bags would be best, with the aid of a roll of duct tape.  Total cost: about $6.  

Twenty five miles pavement riding, fast– check

Pack my bags with camera socks and a sleeping bag the night before, around midnight.

I awoke at 3:30AM to ride to the airport by 4:30, to check the bike by 5:00 to board the plane by 5:30 to arrive in Denver by 7:30.

Cross-town ride in the dark to the ABQ International Sunport.  Pack the bike in about 15-20 minutes– check

At the last moment I noticed my multi-tool in my pocket, which would be confiscated at security.  I tore open a hole in the plastic bag, packed the tool away, and taped the hole closed.  I did not realize that the bag was not fully sealed elsewhere, as I had used two bags in opposite directions. I arrived in Denver without a tool to re-assemble the bike.  After some digging around with various airlines, I finally found 4 and 5 mm hex wrenches and an adjustable crescent wrench.  Roll out.  RTD bus to downtown Denver, $11.  Bike the last mile or two to NAHBS in the sun.   

Ride to NAHBS, with the help of a bus and an airplane– check.

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What’s in the bag?  A kinetic sculpture.  Mobility device.  Materials for a trade show.  A new wheelchair for my mom, aunt, great uncle…most definitely not a bike.

Packing the Hooligan

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A week before leaving for Europe, Lael picked up a Cannondale Hooligan 8.  It was a sweet deal and helps that she doesn’t have to borrow bikes in England and Corsica where she is studying and traveling.  The Hooligan is being used for commuting around town this month; next month, it will be touring France and Corsica.  In these few months it’ll find itself on three flights, two ferries, and a handful of trains.  Carving city streets and cruising canal trails are some of what it does best– and whatever else a hooligan on a 20″ wheedled bike can find.

Taken at 3:30 AM the night before her flight, Lael, Greg and I fit the Hooligan into a packable drawstring sack for airline travel.  WIth a few other camping items strategically packed to protect disc rotors and derailleur, it looked a bit like a cello or a bass guitar.  Cables and brakes all remained connected even though the fork was removed; tape and string it all together, then pack it away.  The large cotton sack is intended for moose quarters and I’d have liked a similar bag in nylon so that it would be more packable, but the cotton was all I could find the day before the flight.   Remember Greg from Colorado and New Mexico on the Great Divide last fall?  He’s leading bike trips for Backroads in Alaska this summer and our time in Anchorage overlapped for less than twelve hours.   About thirty pounds: the Hooligan, Revelate and Inertia Designs frame bags, a homemade groundcloth, and Western Mountaineering Summerlite sleeping bag and Hot Sack VBL/bivy make a manageable bundle at the airport and on the road– unencumbered summer travel.

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The Hooligan

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Coming and going and going and coming.  I hitched from Denali back to Anchorage to buy a new laptop, a mighty MacBook Air.  I spent the week in town outfitting Lael for her European travels and sent her flying over the pole to Frankfurt and London this morning.  Accompanying her was a new bike, a sprightly 20 inch wheeled bike–a Cannondale Hooligan 8.  The 20 inch wheeled bike in question is not a folding bike, but it is super fun and features disc brakes and huge tire clearances and a 1 x 8 drivetrain.  It packs small if properly disassembled and will be able to handle country lanes, canal trails, and some light single track.  For the price, it is a fun, practical bike that ensures reliable transport.  The plan is to remove the front wheel and the fork, and avoid airline surcharges.  It’s not a folding bike, and as a result it sports a rugged, rigid aluminum frame and a steel fork.  There are no moving frame parts to be concerned about, such as on a folder.  Upscale folding bikes such as those from Bike Friday are rugged, but inexpensive folders won’t stand up to the riding that Lael will be able to do on the Hooligan.  Hopefully, as planned, it’s a fun solution for getting around Europe this summer.   With Revelate bags and the Inertia Designs frame bag she’ll have an ultralight Continental tourer, ready within a few minutes after deboarding.  If you haven’t ridden a bike with small wheels, try it.  It’s fun, and it’s not that weird.  Mostly, it rides like a bike.

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We’d like to fit Schwalbe 20 x 2.15″ Big Apple tires and a handlebar with a mild sweep, such as the On-One Mary that she has enjoyed so much on her Surly LHT.  For now, some Ergon grips make things more familiar.  I packed the Hooligan into a large cotton drawstring sack sold by an outdoor outfitter, designed to carry moose and elk quarters out of the backcountry.  It fit the Hooligan and a light load of camping gear quite nicely, and cost $8.95.  Add some duct tape for extra security and some Alaskan flair.  Hopefully, the airline believes that it’s a cello or a large backpack or a “mobility aid”.