In late August/early September '06, Frank A. Cavaluzzi successfully rode a custom-configured
"standing" style mountain bike throughout Southwestern Ireland, on a solo on-road/off-road speed tour.
The route consisted of a series of well paved high traffic
primary roads, twisty secondary roads, and muddy singletrack off-road trails from Shannon Airport in County
Clare down along coastal County Kerry, around the Dingle Peninsula and down through Killarney National Park. The route was
ridden solo and standing "saddle-less" each day for six-days. Cold rain was a common weather condition
throughout the week. Severe rain storms, dense fog, and high head winds and cross winds made Connor Pass in route to
Dingle most challenging. The terrain varied but consisted mostly of rolling hills and narrow virtually non-existent shoulders.
Info was noted on optimum rider positoning, footwear/orthotics, nutrition, heartrate, mileage, weather, and allergic asthma management throughout the trip.
The "standing" BTT project bike was born a Mountain Cycle San
Andreas downhill racing bike. It has since been modified into an 8-spd (the final trip bike ran a 32x18 single-speed
drivetrain), fully rigid (no suspension), with a custom-configured frame geometry to best suit the rider. The front wheel
is a 29er with a more traditional 26" wheel in the rear. A single rear v-brake, wide off-road mountain bike tires run
at 50 psi and a BMX racing stem and handlebars top off the rig...and of course...no seat or seatpost of any kind.
Water, tools, first aid gear, and personal identification were mounted to the frame of
the bike to keep the bike's center of gravity as low as possible. An ultralight Vaude backpack provided the necessary
storage for one extra set of clothes and various other lightweight essentials such as a headlamp, journal, and a day's
supply of Irish soda bread. This weight distribution helped keep heavier items off the rider's back, minimizing
fatigue and improving overall handling.
Click here for more info: