Model Exterior Interior Packed Size Max Capacity      Weight
Length Width Length Width
Caribou 246 97 123 37 43 x 15 cm 181 kg 2.7kg
Mule 254 97 132 39 46 x 20 cm 227 kg 3.8 kg

Thinking of buying a raft for bike packing and hiking. My first thought was from Alpacka

– Open configuration, TZIP, ugly colour, $1,483.  Great price, low weight

What would I be using it for?

– Floating down the Yarra River
– Hugging the coast in Port Philip Bay
– Bike Packing (might need that just for the Yarra River)

Maybe .. in the future light rapids but it is very important to be able to tie down a Mountain bike or my folding bike.

I like the idea of a TZIP had some clearance specials on:


Blue Berry LW 210D, Open, NO TiZIP, $1,395
++ $250 for TiZIP

Blue Berry LW 210D, Open, TiZIP, $1,645
++ $150 for Self Bailer

Blue Berry LW 210D, Self Bailer, TiZIP, $1,795
Standard Coated 210D Calypso (Bi-Colour Yellow/Magenta), Open, TiZIP, $1,483 (Save $162)


Sale Item:

Weight: 3.2 kg
Packed Size: 46x18cm


Weight: 3.6 kg
Packed Size: 46x20cm

In the end I went with the green (cedar) mule with a self bailing floor with 210D. I would rather the heaver and bulkier 420D, but it is much more expensive, especially since I am buying an onsale model and not the normal price.

The normal price from 210D to 420D is an extra $250.

Cedar Green 210D, Self Bailer, TiZIP, $2,295
++ $250 going from 210D to 420D
Cedar Green 420D, Self Bailer, TiZip, $2,545

Weight difference between LW 210D and Standard 420D fabrics = ~250-350grams (

Simon Turney – Legion XXII

Finnished listening to two audio books in the Legion XXII series by Simon Turney.
I really like historical fiction as it gives you a view of life lived another way.

No modern medicine, no electricity, and a life that could be short, brutish and ugly.

The Capsarius











Simon Turney – Legion XXII 01 – The Capsarius

Warrior and combat medic, Titus Cervianus, must lead a legion and quell the uprisings in Egypt in a new Roman adventure from Simon Turney. Egypt. 
25 BC. Titus Cervianus is no ordinary soldier. A former surgeon from the city of Ancyra, he’s now a capsarius—a combat medic. Cervianus is a pragmatist, a scientist and truly unpopular with his legion. The Twenty Second Deiotariana have been sent to deal with uprisings and chaos in Egypt. Yet the Twenty Second is no ordinary legion either. Founded as the private royal army of one of Rome’s most devoted allies, the king of Galatia, their ways are not the same as the other legions, a factor that sets them apart and causes friction with their fellow soldiers. 
Marching into the unknown, Cervianus will find unexpected allies in a local cavalryman and a troublesome lunatic. Both will be of critical importance as the young medic marches into the searing sands of the south, finding forbidden temples, dark assassins, vicious crocodiles and, worst of all, the warrior queen of Kush….
From Audible












Legion XXII: Bellatrix

Egypt, 25 BC. Titus Cervianus marches into the unknown as he and the Twenty Second Legion contend with the armies of the Bellatrix: the Warrior Queen of Kush. The Kushites and the Egyptians are united against the Roman presence in their lands—but there are complex political and military forces at work. Deep in the deserts, Cervianus and his comrades must brace themselves for a furious onslaught as they take on the might of the Bellatrix.


Andy Serkis is great

As a younger man I read the Lord of the Rings every year for 13 years.

Gollum Smeagol

It is one of my favourite novels of all time.
The films were brilliant, (the Hobbit less so, 3 films WTF)

I had listened to an old audio book of LOTR, but the narrators voice was horrible.
A bad narrator can ruin a good book.
Not the case here, Andy Serkis is great, especially the Gollum/Smeagal character.

It took me about two weeks of listening to get through it, well worth the effort. Listening to the book helps with the pronunciation of names.
The only things that could make this production better would be a full treatment like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series on Audible.
The three Sandman audible books have multiple actors doing characters, excellent sound effects and music. In effect a movie sans moving pictures.

American SUV’s

Was riding my bike to work and I passed one of those massive SUVs that Americans love. It was massive, normally when lane splitting the motorbike handlebars or mirrors might hit the SUV mirrors (they go over car mirrors).

With the American SUV it went under with plenty of room to clear. The front end of the SUV was about the top of my helmet.

Cleary owners of such trucks are over compensating.

My new old Surly Bridge Club

Back in July I was talking to a bike mechanic about how bikes were in short supply due to COVID killing the supply chain.
I said I was looking for a Surly Bridge Club and surprise, he had one to sell for $1,900.

Not a bad deal, as the frame brand new is $1,200 at commuter cycles. The front rack is $250 at commuter cycles, but you can get it for around $215 if you look carefully.

I bought it! Some minor fit issues, which I am now only addressing.


FrameSurly Bridge Club, Seatpost Clamp: Surly Stainless 30.0
ForkSurly Bridge Club
HeadsetCane Creek 40
WheelsWTB ST i21 TCS Front Hub: Novatec 9×100 QR Rear Hub: Novatec 9×141 QR 11-spd
TyresSurly Extraterrestrial 700×41, 60tpi Tubeless Ready
BrakesTektro HD-M275 hydraulic disc, Rotors: Tektro 160/160mm
ShiftersShimano Deore M5100 Rapid Fire
DerailleursRear: Shimano Deore M5100 Shadow Plus
CranksetShimano Deore M5100 32t replaced with Wolf Tooth XTM8 96 BCD 36T Drop Stop A
CassetteShimano Deore CSM5100 11-51t (11-13-15-18-21-24-28-33-39-45-51 teeth), Chain: KMC X11 EPT
Bottom bracketShimano BSA
HandlebarSurly Terminal Bar: XS,S – 718mm / M,L,XL – 735m
StemPromax, 31.8mm
SeatpostPromax, 27.2mm
SaddleWTB Volt 142
Accessoriesgrip: Velo Black


  • Clearance for 47mm tyres in 700c (or fits 27.5 x 2.8” tires) 
  • Oodles of frame mounts for all kinds of accessories such as racks and water bottles or micropanniers
  • 11 Speed Shimano components
  • Versatile bike 


Head Tube Angle70.0°71.0°71.0°71.0°71.0°
Head Tube Length110120130145165
Seat Tube Length335.6406.4457.2508558.8
BB Drop6060606060
Chainstay Length435435435435435
Top Tube Length, Actual534547.5570591.5610.3
Top Tube Length, Effective545570595615630
Seat Tube Angle73.0°73.0°73.0°73.0°73.0°
Standover Height709750.5780812845.5
Stem Length80809090100
Stem Angle
Crank Length170170175175175
Fork Length420420420420420
Fork Rake4343434343

As a highly versatile touring bike, the Bridge Club hits the sweet spot that separates on- and off-road excursions. The simplistic design makes it fully adept to handle a full rack and pannier setup, frame bags, or any combination of the two. It doesn’t feel sluggish on paved shortcuts, but can also hold its own on dirt detours. If you’re feeling a little zesty on your next road tour, you won’t be ill-prepared for reroutes through the woods. The Bridge Club is designed to handle it all.

  • Crankset: Shimano Deore M5100 32t
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore M5100 Shadow Plus
  • Cassette / Cog: Shimano Deore CSM5100 11-51t
  • Chain: KMC X11 EPT
  • Handlebar: Surly Terminal Bar
  • Stem: Promax, 31.8mm
  • Headset: Cane Creek 40
  • Shifters: Shimano Deore M5100 Rapid Fire
  • Brake Levers: Tektro HD-M275
  • Brakes: Tektro HD-M275, 160mm rotors
  • Saddle: WTB Volt 142
  • Seatclamp: 30.0mm Surly Stainless
  • Seatpost: Promax, 27.2mm
  • Hub: Novatec 9×100 QR Front and 9×141 QR 11-spd Rear
  • Rims: WTB ST i21 TCS
  • Tires: Surly Extraterrestrial 700×41, 60tpi Tubeless Ready
  • No Pedals included

Shimano Deore M5100 11 Speed Cassette (11-51T)


*Compatible with HG freehub bodies*

The Shimano CS-M5100 is the suitable cassette for the new DEORE 11-speed group.

The distinctively designed HYPERGLIDE sprockets incorporate specially positioned shift ramps and tooth profiles for improved chain control during shifting. Fast and responsive indexed shifting is the result. The HG cassette sprocket, which was developed for 11-speed system, underwent comprehensive optimization to achieve super-highly efficient shifting.


  • Use: MTB
  • Group: DEORE M5100
  • Model: CS-M5100
  • Type: HG
  • Gear: 11-51 for 1×11-speed
  • Compatible chain: HG-X 11


  • 11-51 (11-13-15-18-21-24-28-33-39-45-51 teeth)


  • Steel, Nickel plated

Microspline freehub body is not necessary with this cassette.

Shimano Deore M5100 11 Speed Rear Derailleur—long-cage-1×11.html

The 11-speed DEORE rear derailleur enables precise and quick shifting within the 11-51T range. 13-tooth pulley wheels and SHIMANO SHADOW RD+ technology reduces chain chatter and gives you improved chain retention thanks to a stiffer derailleur arm and higher chain tension.


  • Shadow RD+ For optimal chain retention
  • RD-M5100-SGS  
    • 51T max cog size
    • Works with 11-speed 11-51 teeth cassettes
  • Pulley size with 13T increased for reduced friction


  • Use: MTB
  • Group: DEORE M5100
  • Model: RD-M5100
  • Mount: Direct Mount
  • Technology: Shadow RD+
  • Gradations: SGS-Type 1×11-speed
  • Compatible chain: HG-X CN-M5100 11-speed
  • Max. teeth large sprocket: 51T
  • Min. teeth large sprocket: 51T
  • Max. teeth small sprocket: 11T
  • Min. teeth small sprocket: 11T
  • Max. Front Difference: 0T
  • Total Capacity: 40T


  • Type-SGS long

Shimano Deore M5100 11 Speed Rear Shifter

The DEORE 11-speed right-side shifter benefits from the same technologies as XTR, DEORE XT and SLX. Together with the speed of RAPIDFIRE PLUS and a TWO-WAY RE-LEASE feature you can shift up and down the 11 gears of your cassette faster than ever before.


  • 20% quicker lever access time
  • Compact design and lightweight
  • Quicker lever access and light operation force maintains rider concentration
  • Greater flexibility and action-optimized cockpit layout
  • 2-WAY RELEASE for instant push/pull movements


  • Use: MTB
  • Group: DEORE M5100
  • Model: SL-M5100-R
  • Shifter Type: Rapidfire Plus
  • Mounting: Clamp
  • Gear rear: 11-speed
  • Optical Gear Display: Yes
  • Instant Release: No
  • Multi Release: No
  • 2-Way Release: Yes
  • Cable adjust: Yes
  • Cable included. Housing not included


  • Main lever body: Aluminum Painted
  • Lever body: Aluminium, GFRP

Shimano CN-HG601 11 Speed Chain


Surly Terminal Bar $160

Surly 26-29″ CroMoly Rear Rack Black $240

Wald Bicycle Baskets

Was doing some research on Wald Bicycle baskets. I found the cheapest option is actually to buy them from through

Wald 137

Baskets are 38cm side to side x 25cm front to back and 12c deep

WALD 139

Baskets are 45cm side to side x 33cm front to back and 15cm deep – the basket tapers to a bit narrower at the bottom

Wald 135

36.8 x 24.1 x 22.9 centimetres

So I have ordered a “Panier avant pour vélo-Wald Standard,#137 x 15 “/ 10” x 5 “- Noir” which in English translates to “Front Bicycle Basket – Wald Standard, #137 x 15″ / 10″ x 5″ – Black” for AUD $79.03

In a bicycle shop it would cost me around $100 without fittings to around $130 with fittings.

The fittings are two brackets to attach the basket to the handlebar and two legs to attach to the bike axle.

I think my order includes the fittings, but I am not 100% sure. It does not matter because I will be zip tying them to my front rack.