Oli’s stories about his bikes

How many bikes is too many? Here are the five bikes Oliver Evans sort of calls his own

June 11th, 2019 by | Posted in Bikes+Frames | Tags:

The Pink Bike (It’s Complicated)

This bike has been the subject of discord within my household as of late. It was Nick’s, my old roommate, and he told me it would be mine when he moved out. Then, shortly before he left, a new roommate joined us, and they were without a bike. Nick kindly gifted the bike to them.

I’m not at all bitter.

Now, that roommate has moved out too and I have two more. My ex-roommate’s new apartment does not allow bikes inside, so the Pink Bike was left at my address, but still belongs to them.

We at my house now share it for various commutes and errands, but I feel a sense of rightful ownership over the Pink Bike and so too does another roommate of mine. There’s a bit of a Cold War of sorts.

However, the conflict brought unto the household by the Pink Bike’s presence is far outweighed by the absolute joy and resolve one will feel while riding it.

The Pink Bike corners like a champ and the grips are worth more than the rest of it. It looks hot and is an absolute skidding machine. The front basket is perfect for a few groceries, a case of beer, or transporting my laptop and notebook to the coffee shop to write this article.

The rear shifter slips, so, much like dead Di2, the default gear is the small ring in the front, and the hardest in the back. I find that my climbing strategy has had to adapt to the bike, in that in order to climb the steep hill to my house, I must hold the shift lever in place with my thumb if I’d like my cadence to be above 40.

The Pink Bike’s uniqueness is most noted by its oval-shaped front chainrings. You may have noticed that Chris Froome uses rings of this sort. Something about efficiency. I just think it’s cool.

The Kona Yeet (Ute) / The Green Bike / The Cargo Bike / The Party Bike

I used to pick my ex up from work on this bike. Come to think of it, that might be why she’s my ex…Apparently sitting on the cargo rack lacks dignity or something.

Like any 19 year old, this was what I asked for for my nineteenth birthday. The first house I lived at in Victoria (aka the first couch I slept on) had this beauty under the deck. It sat there, rusted chain and all, the entire time I lived there. I asked if I could have it when I turned 19.

This bike is an awesome alternative to a car, and with the desire to be a little friendlier to the environment and not at all inspired by the ludicrous price of insurance, my father and I decided not to insure the shared van this year, and use the “Yeet” for groceries instead.

As a car alternative, it is not yet considered an acceptable vehicle for the McDonald’s Drive through, as I learned one morning around 2 a.m. with two passengers aboard the back rack.

I can do cool tricks on this bike, like riding slower than I previously thought possible or standing on the rack while going down a hill. I have picked up roommates who flatted while out riding their race bikes, having them sit on the rack while I pedal and they wheel their injured steed next to us, much like Uber. Drivers don’t mind at all.

I had another roommate endo this bike while riding uphill. I have no idea how this is physically possible, but it happened.

The handling is awful and downright dangerous. The brakes work… sometimes. The rear fender rubs a lot. The kickstand falls down while you ride.

It’s perfect.

The Bianchi

My most prized possession isn’t even really mine.

This masterpiece was gifted to my friend, Danick, and myself, from a very lovely mutual friend of ours in Winnipeg following our trip to the cyclocross world championships in 2015. The bike was to be used in our next fundraiser, if we pleased, or simply ridden. Fortunately for me, I’m taller than Danick and the bike is a wee bit too big for him. So I get it… for now.

When he one day opens a bakery/coffee shop, he gets to, uhh, hang it on display or something.

When I initially quit cycling in 2017, the first bike I rode was this one. It reminded me that riding is fun. Riding is freedom. Riding is beautiful. It taught me to appreciate bikes once again. I’ve also always loved Bianchi’s Celeste.

I have plans for this bike. Big plans: Tanned side wall tires, a Brooks Saddle and matching bar tape and better coloured cable housing. However, anytime I think I have some money to spend on bikes, I figure I’m better off spending it on more sensical purchases, such as food (sustenance). You know… like avocado toast or a $6.00 Geisha pour over.

The Trek Emonda SLR

This bike is sick. It’s so damn fast (shame about the rider). This is a real group ride winner.

The Trek belongs to Trek Red Truck for the season. It’s equipped with Shimano Ultegra with hydraulic disc brakes, Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 wheels, Bontrager xxx carbon bars and the slickest coat of red I’ve ever seen.

It’s light as heck and handles like a dream. I adore it.

There’s enough clearance for me to ride my 28 mm all-season tires, and when no one’s looking, it handles excellently on gravel.

This bike is for sale by the team at the end of the season. Let me know if you want it. Or, alternatively and preferably, let me know if you want to buy it for me…

The Crux

So, this is actually the only bike out of all the ones I’ve written about that belongs to just me. The Yeet and Pink Bike are shared, the Trek is a team bike and the Bianchi is mine, but only for now.

I got the Specialized Crux when I signed with Accent Inns Russ Hay’s for 2015. I’d be heading to cyclocross worlds that January and as per Specialized’s sponsored athlete requirements, it was mandatory that I race on one of their bikes. A pro deal and some fundraising later, I graduated from a third-hand cantilever, aluminum bike, to a brand new, disk brake carbon machine.

My only issue at the start was that this bike is orange. The colour grew on me.

Four years ago I had the friendly folks at Russ Hay’s mount some fenders, shortly after learning that Victoria’s idea of fenders is not parallel with the ignorant understanding of what fenders are to anyone else in Canada. They did such a great job, including their custom fender extensions which are mandatory on winter group rides and definitely scrape the ground when I ride over bumps, that I haven’t taken them off. Laziness and a fear of not being able to replicate the workmanship of their fender installation may be reasons for the bike’s permanent winter road riding state.

I use this bike as my winter bike. The fenders make it incredibly slow. I consider it resistance training and receive loads of kudos when I compete with fellow group riders on this rig.

The tires would be wider if the fenders permitted, but 25 mm is all the clearance I’m afforded. This, however, does not stop me from crushing gravel, mud and single track in the rain.

Devinci Wooky

This bike is wrecked.

I competed at the Western Canada Summer games in 2015 and finished second in the mtb race, which was actually just a glorified cross race with overly equipped bikes. Following my silver medal performance, I figured I’d take up mountain biking.

This was short-lived, however, as 20 minutes into my next mountain bike ride, I lay under a tree with my bike on top of me. There is now a 5-inch long section in the down-tube where tree bark has replaced the carbon.

I can’t part with this bike, as I still dream of owning a functioning mountain bike. One day, when I win the lottery, I’ll buy a new frame and swap the outdated parts over. Does anyone want to trade a broken frame for a functioning one?

Oliver Evans 20-year-old cyclist from Winnipeg, currently living in Victoria. In 2019, he is riding with Trek Red Truck Racing.