I have fourteen minutes to write this. It is going to be a rant. I'm in Melbourne, Australia waiting for my flight to Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. On my way here, I got heavily dinged because I was 14kg (30lbs or so) over the checked bag limit. I went over the limit because I had a bike.
My rant is this. I don't weigh much. In fact, I bet that I weighed 14kg less than over half the people on the flight. If they sell tickets by the space that you take up, why can't they sell baggage the same way? I'd like to see a consistent system so that I can diet to carry more crap around with me. OK, I don't think this system is going to work, but I was definitely frustrated to have to pay an extra $100 USD when I still had less weight overall than a lot of other people.
In more positive news, I finally own a road/commuter bike and I'm super excited about it. I bought a blue Surly Long Haul Trucker. It is going to be a sweet ride. Surly is based just outside of Minneapolis in Bloomington, MN. My decision might have been influenced by a few factors including the fact the winner of the masters division in the UPA series this year was based out of Minnesota and named Surly, but I think that had to do with the Surly Brewery. It might also have to do with the fact that B-Nelson had a surly shirt that he wore all winter long. It might also have to do with that it is a sweet bike.
It is really hard to get North American sporting goods down here right now. The North American production cycle ramps up for our spring in March/April. Places in the Southern Hemisphere need that gear now, but it just isn't too be had. I called five bike shops in NZ and ten in Australia before I found it. I got lucky and even got a used one. I got double lucky because the US dollar is so good against the NZD.
Current plan: Bike Tasmania for 2-4 weeks, possibly hike the Overland Route in Tasmania, possibly bike the Great Ocean Road between Torquay and Warrnambool, go to Sydney to see friends, return to Christchurch, NZ for the World Busker (street performer) Festival. I'm going to be blogging less in the future.