The Dark Side

As a general rule, i have few principles or convictions. There are a couple that tend to affect the way I live my life:

1. I’m a vegetarian.

2. Mountain bikes make me feel physically sick.

You may recall that some time ago my ‘friends’ identified, correctly, that a classic stag-do humiliation would involve making me ride a mountain bike. This came in some distance ahead of being cling-filmed to a tree naked, or other derring-do.

As you can see from the image, they topped it off with a rather fetching-looking jersey. The experience was witnessed by all and sundry who happened to be out that day, and retweeted by the owner of the local bike shop.

Of late, I have felt this conviction waver in the face of the new-found practicalities of a changed way of life. I am embarking on ‘project dark side’, the assembly of an all-terrain bicycle suitable for transportation of a small child.

I have sourced a very cheap and old Orange C16 frame with a rigid fork It’s the best of a very bad bunch. I couldn’t bring myself to look at anything other than a rigid steel frame. I have embarked upon an ebay trawl and forum surf to see if i can get a job lot of cheap parts. I have already come up against a number of obstacles. Firstly, the dimensions of everything are completely whacky, especially the wheels. Secondly, I have no experience of fettling the type of things that need to be fettled on a mountain bike. Thirdly, and perhaps worst of all, these sort of bicycle-shaped obscenities usually come with a triple chainset. This is rank and cannot be tolerated.

I shall keep you posted on my journey into the Stygian gloom. With any luck it will look a bit like the one below, without the bar ends. And a slammed stem. And minus the goddamned triple.

8 thoughts on “The Dark Side

Add yours

  1. What do you need? My dad currently has 6/7 retro builds, one of which he’s considering stripping back to frame/forks, as well as numerous other parts which would make do if it’s just something to carry said spawn on…

  2. most mtb ers now run 1 x something or 2 x … wield some allen keys and lo it’s a double …
    whether to lose the 22t granny or 44t big ‘un … now there’s the choice 😀

  3. i definitely have some old tyres and a saddle if you need any, possibly bars too. Not bling or proper retro but if you end up just wanting a hack bike they will be fine. I even have some pedals that came with a bike, but in honesty I would feel a bit bad giving them to someone I like.

  4. If you really want to over to the dark side, try doing a road race on a mountain bike, wearing a time trial helmet. You should be able to annoy most types of cyclists doing that. On the plus side, you wouldn’t look quite as silly as in your stag do 🙂

  5. I swapped a Nigel Dean road bike for an Orange Evo2 in about 1999. It galled and frustrated me until I removed all vestges of gear changery and suspension. It is now single speed, magic geared with a rigid fork. And it’s fun again. Friends keep offering me goes on their full sussers, but I’m not having it.

    Vigorelli coming up next:)

    You’ll enjoy ferrying t’bairn.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: