Introducing ‘The Vulcan’ …

A hybridised custom-concept cycle that combines the 80’s high watermark of elite British racing design with no-nonsense Australian innovation. This bike was made for riding.

The Vulcan, fully loaded

You will note the clean lines of a Venom, from the legendary British outfit Venom Racing Cycles. This is the Canberra-based vehicle in Mark’s gallery of modern classics. There is no mistaking the 1980’s in the Venom’s pastel puce colorway and mirror-silver/purple branding, reminding us of an era when being ostentacious was not considered the least bit ostentacious. One can easily imagine Gordon Gekko on this machine powering through Central Park (perhaps barking orders into a house brick-sized mobile phone), or Patrick Bateman using it for a leisurely ride to return videos.

The Venom was, and still is, a coveted thoroughbred.

And yet I have improved on the original.  With some adjustments here and there (I have put racks on it), this Venom Racing Cycle has been transformed and rebirthed as ‘The Vulcan,’ the ultimate tourer.

The Vulcan is superb. Except for the seat, which to me looks exactly like one used in the fifteeth century by Torqemada to power his “Wheel of Fortune.”

Anyway, The Vulcan is superb. Did I say that already? Except that maybe its gearing is better suited for flat-tracks. But then maybe I shouldn’t have weighed the poor bastard down with all the crap I’ve brought along. It’s HEAVY. The Vulcan’s a trouper, though. I spent all day yesterday living in fear that the back wheel was simply going to collapse. But it came through stress-testing unbroken and unbowed.

Vulcan or not, there is seriously too much shit on this bike

Two days into my personal pre-Xmas Epic odyssey. I started near Yass from a place called Binalong and rode beatiful backroads to Boroowa for lunch and then on to Wyangala Dam that evening. After a fabulous day’s riding – 20-degrees, glorious sunshine and a decent road where the only traffic was the odd Hilux or Triton tray-top with a tool box and two dog cages on the back – I got there after dark completely shattered. It was about 110k’s ride, but with the amopunt of crap I have, that was too far for a first day.

Stuff I learned today: Wyangala Dam stretches back about 30 kilometers and holds about two-and-a-half times as much water as Sydney Harbour. It is currently at 94 per cent capacity. But during the drought – until very recently – its water level fell as low as 3 per cent capacity. Gorgeous camp ground next to the water was pretty much deserted, but apparently you can’t swing a cat in summer. There are several thousands of boaters/skiers/fishers etc in this campground alone over Christmas.

Wyangala Dam: Yep, she's nearly full

I woke this morning sore. So I just trundled to Cowra, not 40km away. Not sure where tomorrow, the main consideration being somewhere with a decent place to watch the Wallabies.

Live Long & Prosper.

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9 Responses to Introducing ‘The Vulcan’ …

  1. Pingback: Training ride: Mapping an uncertain direction | Treeturner

  2. 888riley says:

    Corrie, this adventure is going to last as long I can stretch it …. I have a bunch of NSW friends to see and then Brother Mark is going to join me from Brisbane for a few days. But if I can find an income I am heading to Broome.
    Mark, I gave the lock away to some keen cyclists from Healesville (they saved their house in the fires but lost cars and all farming equipment during the fires and after that decided to retire at 55 and head around Australia. They have a very well set up Hilux dual cab which I must tell dad about.)
    Anonymous … register! But yes, thge layers are gradually being tossed!
    Jon, after a long walk (two flats) I got to Cudal and a gigantic tv screen after dark just as the national anthems were being sung. We are still looking good for the RWC. Quade was forgettable, but better now than in tghe final.
    Adam … I swear its better not on a bike (speaking of which I saw a chick fall backwards off a bike today in Canowdra after the boyfriend popped a wheelie in the mainstreet with her on the back – on a harley. She jumped up and said she was OK, but I reckon she lost a lot of bark …meanwhile fuckhead was up the road checking to make sure the bike was ok)
    Gilad! Great to hear from you mate! Next time I am in Sydney, you and I are going fot Schnitzel!
    Chris, I know what its like to be a third wheel ……

  3. Adam says:

    You shoulda got a motorbike it would be much quicker

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sounds great James! But that poor Vulcan! Can’t you toss the top layer?

  5. Mark says:

    Awesome! I can just imagine you giving the one-handed Spock salute to other Vulcans you pass. Welcome to the simplified lifestyle of bike touring where the first thoughts are “how can I get rid of some of this stuff?”. Seriously, is that the blue 5 kg motorbike chain on top in the 1st photo?

  6. ducatiboy says:

    Yeah i’m a bit worried about that seat, it’s not exactly an armchair. Go WALLABIEEEEEES!!!

  7. Corrie says:

    Love it James! How long is this adventure & which direction are you headed?

  8. Gilad says:

    James, you made me envy. Enjoying your writing as always.

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