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Robert Ewing (Western_Flyer)

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Joined: 9 March 2008
Topics: Bicycle Life  Bicycle Touring 
Locale: North America > United States > Oregon > Multnomah > Portland  - map
Bio: Bike history: When I was six years old I was given my first bike, a fixed gear, with no brakes. To stop the bike in a hurry I turned sharply put my inside foot on the ground and slid sideways with one foot and two wheels until I came to a stop. How I survived I don’t know. I can only imagine the lawsuits such a "child’s bike" would generate today??!! The bike was a Western Flyer and riding has been a love affair ever since.

My longest tour to date was in 1963 at the age of sixteen a high school friend and I rode from Vancouver, BC to Tijuana, BC un-chaperoned. I recreated this ride in the journal BC to BC.

I courted my wife-to-be while touring the Hawaiian island of Maui.

I briefly raced while living in Hawaii. I loved the thrills, but alas I wasn't very good.

At age 65, I am a heart patient. My cardiologist says riding is better than the medicine she gives me and blessed a ride down the Oregon coast in the summer of 2007. I am back in the long distance saddle again.

After living on its coast or in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for almost my entire life I am now a river dweller in Portland, Oregon. My last four rides have been down rivers--the Klamath 2008 and the Columbia 2009 and the Upper Colorado River 2010 and up the Willamette 2012. I am planning to explore the Fraser River in British Columbia during the late summer and early fall of 2012. The web of life, land, water and civilization connected by riparian systems has opened my eyes to a new understanding of existence and coexistence.

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MJ and Robert Cir. 1982 Vancouver Island
My jersey was worn on my 1963 ride "BC to BC"

Journal: "BC to BC" by Robert Ewing (Completed Dec 2008Featured Journal #313)

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Start of 2009 Columbia River ride
on my Bianchi Axis

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Lunch overlooking Flaming Gorge

Image #765396 on journal page: "Green River to Sheep Creek CG, Flaming Gorge" in Journal: "River of Commitment" (not published)

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My Western Flyer was designed by the legendary Sky Yaeger for Bianchi USA under her design logo 100% Chick Designed. It was conceived as a hybrid light tourer/commuter with true cyclocross geometry and off road capabilities.

The frame is made from cold stirred Easton 7005 aluminum and was fabricated in Taiwan in 2006. Its OME components were made in Indonesia, Korea, Japan and China. Only the seatpost and Crane Creek headset remain on the bike today. Almost all components were replaced in my first year of riding as they fell apart save for the Shimano 105 front and rear derailleurs, which were replace last year.

The logo branding rights were sold to Bianchi USA by Bianchi SpA, which ceased to exist as an independent corporate entity in the early 1990s, when almost all Bianchi's Italian production ceased. Bianchi is now wholly owned by the European cycling conglomerate Cycleurope, which in turn is controlled by Grimaldi Industri, which was initially tied to the Bank of Sweden but has become an international corporation, holding the logo rights of many once legendary European bicycle manufactures. Production and distribution are controlled by a French management team. In short it is not so very Italian!

All this is to say my bike, like most production bicycles, is a truly world bicycle with all the worst and best connotation mixed together. Being that my bicycle was a Bianchi in logo only (that would be thirteen logos screaming its imagined Italian heritage with a splash of Celesté paint to seal the fantasy), I repainted it, re-logoed it and rebranded it as the Western Flyer-the first two wheel bike of my childhood.

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File: TourList2012PDF
Type: PDF document, version 1.5
Size: 75 KB

Tour Gear List 2012

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Tool Kit - approx 600 grams (home sewn canvas roll)
Vim 1/4" ratchet hex bit driver - WIHA 74mm bit holder #71130. These two tools are the heart of my tool kit. (When I am breaking a pedal or freehub loose on the road only the very best will do.) WIHA hex bits 2,2.5,3,4,5,6,8&10mm + #6 slotted and #2 Philips screw driver bits. All have been used on tour. 15mm Topeak Alien pedal breaker with 8&10mm hex wrenches (is used with Vim drive and 8mm hex bit). Rav TX 10 tool chain breaker (less 5 mm hex wrench). Sram power chain link. Stein cassette cracker. 15&13 "chopped and channeled" cone wrenches (Not pretty but will get you home or at least to the next bike shop.). Shimano crank tool. Shimano M-56 cleat w/screws, Derailleur hanger. Fiber spoke with 100 miles of use. Brake and derailleur cables, Nitrile gloves. White bearing grease. Wet lube oil. Glueless patches for air mattress. Park tire boot. Valve caps, valve cores, 5&6 mm hex socket hd screws. Kept separately in a saddle wedge bag Topeak tire levers, tube patch kit, Zefal pressure gauge, and standard 5 mm L hex wrench for slow release skewers (I stopped using QR skewers years ago.).

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2013 Gear List

Contact: westernflyer108 at gmail dot com
Updated: 10 June 2014

Journals and articles:

Summary Expanded
Type Title Author Updated Status Hitcount
 Article   Air   Robert Ewing  Apr 2012 
Completed Aug 2010
 Article   The Sewing Circle   Robert Ewing  May 7 
Work in progress
 Article   Waterproof pannier fabrics   Robert Ewing  Mar 2012 
Completed Mar 2011Featured Journal #425
 Journal   The Log of Seaweed John's Subduction *   Robert Ewing  Mon 27 
Work in progress
 Journal   Coal - Train - Coal - Trains - Going - So - Far   Robert Ewing  Aug 19 
Completed Aug 2014
 Journal   Many Rivers - One Ocean   Robert Ewing  Mar 28 
Unfinished, not updated for 217 days
 Journal   Cold Mountain Water   Robert Ewing  Oct 2012 
Completed Oct 2012
 Journal   Narrow road to The Water   Robert Ewing  May 2013 
Completed Mar 2010
 Journal   Klamath Pilgrimage   Robert Ewing  Apr 2010 
Completed Jun 2009Featured Journal #390
 Journal   BC to BC   Robert Ewing  Dec 2008 
Completed Dec 2008Featured Journal #313

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