Meet TDA 2013 Bike Mechanic Catalin Pricoiu
While wrenching and riding along-side TDA 2011 race winner Paul Wolfe and hearing stories of a 4 month bicycle expedition across Africa, there was no question in his mind as to whether he too would one day be telling these stories.
Amongst the months of preparations to get ready for such an undertaking there are many gear decisions to be made. The biggest decision for a mechanic heading out on a trip of this calibre, is of course, which bicycle to bring. Not only for the sake of ones own comfort and personal style, but also for the fact that all eyes will be on you for what the mechanic, of all people, dubs as the best choice. There is however no one bicycle that is the TDA special. People ride mountain bikes and cross bikes with a countless assortment of part combinations making up the many unique beasts to travel the 12,000kms to Cape Town.
Catalin’s bike is certainly no exception; it too is a bad-ass, one of a kind, cross continent ready, cycling machine. The frame is a Gary Fisher, 2011 Sawyer, limited edition, hand painted with love by all of his favourite co-workers and clients from back home. Add a touch of Kris King everything and a set of sweet swooping cruiser bars and this bike is ready to ride through any dusty road villages with style.
As we head into the off-road, Catalin has three simple tips to keeping your bike rolling smoothly and keeping your trusty mechanic happy.
- Wipe your chain down every morning with a dry rag. Simple daily maintenance will save all of your parts in the long run.
- Cover your shifters at camp with something simple like a plastic bag, a pair of socks, anything to keep the sand out.
- Pay attention to how your headset is feeling, checking for the grating feeling of sand working its way in.
Any given day on tour you’ll find Catalin and JJ working long hours whenever needed ensuring each and every bike is ready to roll the next day. This tour certainly tests our bikes to their limits, and in turn tests our mechanics right back.