10th October 2018
Home From Africa
Our customers inspire us. Their stories of past & future epic rides and the photos they share with us are truly amazing and nothing makes us want to do our own #fastfar journeys more!
Often their MASON carries them further into adventures than they ever imagined, and other times there is a specific job they have in mind and the MASON is the exact bicycle they need for it.
Toby is an early adopter of Mason, starting with a Resolution and recently he came into ownerhsip of a Bokeh Rival1x with this epic adventure into Namibia and Botswana on the cards.
Below you'll find his journal from his successful and memorable trip.
What's next? We hear an Aspect is in the pipeline and with this trip under his belt, who knows where he'll be riding #fastfar?
I am home from Africa and have fallen in love…. with Namibia for one and with the Bokeh too. As you know, as soon as I saw the Bokeh I had to ride it on my African adventure and I really appreciate the efforts you made to loan me one, but I am so very happy that you could not and that the I now own one instead because that means I don’t have to give it back, which quite frankly would have been a very painful experience! That bike was simply stunning in Africa.
I completed just shy of 2100 miles on it during my trip and we covered many different road surfaces from good tarmac to potholed roads that make the UK roads look smooth, to washboard gravel, smooth gravel, sand and boulder strewn excuses for a road, you name it and I think we cycled it and the Bokeh handled it. There were times when I could have done with a set of 650b wheels with some fatter tyres but we had no room for extra wheels. The 700c wheels with my 35mm Panaracer Gravel King tyres running tubeless handled the lot and but for a boulder whacking the rear tyre at speed putting a hole in the side wall I would have made the whole trip on one set of tyres. I had a few punctures along the way but I only know they happened because every now and then I would get a little spray on my leg as the tyre sealed itself. I was amazed at how well the tyres handled the trip, but for that boulder I would have had a completely puncture free trip.
The roads were interesting and I think we rode about 60/40 tarmac to gravel in percentage terms which is a lot more gravel than I had expected. Pretty much 80% of the Namibian roads were gravel of some sort, good and bad. One of the biggest tests for the bike was on the gravel roads which develop a washboarded or corrugated surface and a lot of it would just come out of nowhere, you would find yourself belting along enjoying a reasonably smooth ride and then bang, you would hit the washboard surface, the vibrations caused as you hit it would make your vision would blur, teeth chatter and your brain would bounce off the side of your skull whilst you just hang on for dear life and hope the bike will survive the pounding better than you are….. and of course it did, every time it just took the beating without complaint.
Basically the Bokeh was simply stunning and a joy to ride. This bike has a "Smiles per Mile" factor that is off the chart. I have never ridden a bike that does almost everything so bloody well. Since getting home a week ago I have ridden it several times and it just rides like a dream with supreme comfort and road handling. I still cannot get over how fast it rides on the road, it is almost as fast as my Carbon Canyon road bike and far more comfortable which means that bike might be surplus to requirements soon!
You guys probably think that you are in the business of designing and producing bicycles and I guess for the most part you are, but I think you are also in the business of producing pieces of modern art that are beautiful and functional, that enable dreams to become reality and at the same time put stupid big grins on your customers faces. I love that you have designed and produced a beautifully engineered bicycle that just works so well. You should all be really proud of what you have achieved in such a short time and I wish you all the very best for the future.
I have added a few photos from my trip below. hopefully you have seen many more from the trip on my Instagram feed. Feel free to use any or if you like one from my Insta feed let me know and I will send it on to you
All the very best Toby
A crappy quality photo…but is that an Elephant behind me?
Stopped by a mountain of Elephant poop
Termite mounds taller than me
Very tired after 218km with the temp in the mid 30’s
A cold Fanta to reward me after the long ride
Sand pit of a camp site
Ignore what looks like silly ears, just my handkerchief neck shade sticking out.
Sand…and I just cleaned the chain!
The roads just keep on going
Solitaire, home to the best Apple pie in all of Namibia…or so they say! I have to admit, it was bloody good but after 83km any apple pie is going to be bloody good.
Gravel road grading machine, just clears the corrugated surface but makes the gravel deeper
This was one of the best rides ever. very fast gravel road with a tail wind.
What a ride. Very happy to see my family who met me in Capetown. I lost 3 kg over the course of the trip