Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Spring Brings a New Baby!

Ahhh, Spring! New flowers pop up, leaves unfold, birds return, and a new bike begins its life. Yes, that's right, a new bike baby has arrived! Now, he's just a newborn, unable to do anything for himself. He even had to ride in Mr. Ives to get home from the bicycle birthing center (aka Joy Ride Bicycles).

His name is Tilmann. I'll get to why in a moment. He is a Surly World Troller Frameset (frame and fork). What sets him apart from the Surly Troll is his awesome S&S couplers. Yes, he can be busted in half for easier flying. Here he is in his infancy, all shiny and brand new.

So, why "Tilmann"? Back in 2012 when my friend, Leandra, and I were touring the North Island of New Zealand, we met a guy named Tilmann Waldthaler. He was originally from Germany, but now lived in Australia; that is, when he was not touring. He had been touring for the last 35 years! He was nearing 70 years old. I didn't think too much of the encounter (although, I saw him again in Queenstown on my last day--but just from across the park--I didn't go talk to him). However, we did become friends on Facebook. Then, in 2014, when I was on my Europe tour, and visiting Alexandra and Markus in Bremen, Alex asked me how was it that I was friends with Tilmann Waldthaler on Facebook? I told her about meeting him in New Zealand. She told me he is quite famous in Germany, especially among cyclists, and has written several books. They had one of his books about his travels. He was also mentioned in a book put out by Rohloff. Geez, I had met somewhat of a celebrity, and didn't even know it!

Which brings me to my new bike. I plan to take Tilmann to Australia. I want to ride from Perth to Sydney, as well as Tasmania (I've always regretted not going to Australia after New Zealand since I was so close). Tilmann Waldthaler is now an Australian citizen (having just retired at 74 from touring). "Wald" in German means World. "Thaler" sounds a lot like Troller, seems obvious, right? "Tilmann", it is! I  have even messaged Tilmann on Facebook to let him know there will be a bike named after him.

Since I'm not planning on going to Australia until 2018, I've got time to "grow" Tilmann into a full-fledged expedition touring rig. My plan for the build, at this time, is a Rohloff hub, with a Gates Carbon Belt, disc brakes, a SON 28 generator hub on the front (power a headlight and charge electronics), Chris King headset, trekker bar, Tubus racks, Brooks saddle (or the Selle Anatomica off Stella), and...that's it for now. Derik at Joy Ride will build the wheels for me. I'll have a sit-down with him to decide what wheels are best, but definitely a 36 spoke, possibly tubeless ready.

And, so it begins...updates will follow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wald means woods or forest in German. Welt means world. Good name, though and a great bike!