Merlin was a wizard, and my 30 year old mountain bike was made by a company called Merlin. So bearing both those thoughts in mind, I named my bike Merlin. And it does imbue some magical qualities. For one thing, after four months of off road riding the Trans Canada Trail in Newfoundland, Nova Scoria and PEI, some of it gruelling, it never, ever, broke down.
I have an old friend who I have not seen in a very long time, Joe Murray, to thank for Merlin. Joe was one of the early world class mountain bike racers and later bike designer, described as a pioneer in the mountain bike culture. He is also a man with a sweet, kind spirit who I send gratitude to every time i ride this bike. This was one of his racing bikes before he started designing for Kona. Thank you Joe.
And the reason the bike is still going, with its original project 2 forks is because of the love breathed into by the bike mechanics at this Bike Shop in Newfoundland. I have had a hell of a hard time tracking down a name and it is located at the back of another business on the outskirts of St. John’s but it is a gem, the small gold nugget in the tonnage of rock.
Also, in Moncton, the kind people at the Consolvo bike shop (http://www.consolvobikes.com) who gave me a discount on some bike shorts, tool kit and tire tubes.
And lastly, huge gratitude to Arkel ( http://www.arkel-od.com) for gifting the Panier bags for the journey. I have ripped through three pairs of hiking shoes, 6 tents and 3 stoves. My Arkel bags have been put through a hard core product test, I have wiped out dozens of times and my bike has smashed hard rock and big tree’s. The bags have withstood rain storms, snow and hail. They have survived me.