Crunchy's passion for bicycles as transport

First, the name. "Crunchy" or "Crunchy Steve" (also "Crunchysteve") was a nickname given to me by a friend's former girlfriand, way back in the 90s, when I first adopted using SPDs. She used to differentiate between me and another Steve we knew as "Crunchy Steve" (me) and "Noncrunchy Steve" because I was "well, you know, crunchy." When she was less stoned, she also referenced when I came up the front stairs, "crunch crunch crunch."

I was Foundation President of Bicycle Tasmania in 1995 and held various committee positions for around 5 years before letting somebody else have a turn. I've always cycled for transport, never been a racer, have done Audax, but never bigger than a 200 Brevet, and I gave up on ever owning a car again in 2016, when I sold my Kia van.

From 2015 to 2018, I ran a local business, from a trailer behind my bicycle, called Come2You Carwash. I was proving a point, bicycles can do nearly everything cars can, and some of those things even better than cars. Before that, when I was still in the more conventional workforce, I cycle commuted nearly every day, even after moving to Melbourne in 2009. Bicycles are transport more than sport. They're also fun to hack, to travel long distances on (bike packing and cycle touring) and a great way to leave the worries of the working day behind.

I've always maintained my own bikes. I resprayed and rebuilt my late grandfather's trusty 3 speed at age 15. I've never believed the hype about expensive bikes. My Reid Urban X2, at AU$550, has served me brilliantly for the last 7 years, as brilliantly as a Surly Trucker which, at the time I bought the Reid, was list price at nearly 5x the price and only 3x8, not 3x9. First mods were drops and integrated road shifters, 1x9 widerange gearing (same range as the stock 3x) and upgrade to mechanical operated master cylinder disk brakes. Even with all new parts (except the drop bars - hard rubbish), still a third of the price of the Surley, still a lighter, yet supple ride, despite an aluminium frame. I am not knocking anybody's Surly. They're a great bike. If you can afford one, get one. Just don't question my choice. It works really well. It's my main ride and I have no desire to replace it.

The 1x9 was a mullet hack, too. The Acera deraileur had to be mounted on a hanger extension to accommodate the widerange cassette. The MicroSHIFT R9 integrated road levers needed an adapter pulley to Match the Acera's MTB sprocket pitch. I mention this, because this is my mission here, to prove that everything is compatible with the right thought and the right parts.

So, welcome to clunkerbike, a place where we can discuss mulleting the fuck out of bikes, safely, cheaply and reliably.



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