Well, here we go. I’ve got a very busy month ahead of me in the day job, and of course I have to ensure I don’t neglect my lady in that time either. Nonetheless, Project Yukon Build must kick on.

I’ve laid out my recently purchased Bike Hand tools, and as I look at them, I am painfully aware that I understand the purpose of far too few of them. Still, with the help of the interwebs, I will figure it out in short order, I’m sure.

My goal at this point is to get it stripped down, learn about the parts, establish what needs to be replaced (more or less everything, is my guess), and go from there.

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Well, it’s about time I set myself to stripping down my Giant and prepping it for powdercoating.

How I’ll go about the paint stripping is undecided (so much of this is new to me), but I’ve found some resources online and we’ll see how that goes. Please feel free to offer suggestions in the comments, though.

I’ve also snapped up a BikeHand toolkit on eBay for AU$80, though sadly I’ve been unable to find any reviews for the brand, so it remains to be seen whether they’re of a good standard.

There’s also the fact that, again, all of this is new to me. I did try to grab a Super-B kit off Torpedo7, but they were sold out with no sign of a restock.

Amusingly, I look at the photo of this tool kit and realise that most of the tools there are completely unfamiliar to me. Thankfully, Nath at Analogue Mind linked me to, so that’ll be a huge help I suspect.

For a list of what’s included, click through.

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So, earlier, when I described myself as hideously unfit. I was so very right.

Today I rode into the Melbourne CBD from my home in Princes Park (basically Carlton North), and jumped onto a train out to Blackburn to visit a friend.

I knew that wouldn’t be much effort as far as cycling goes, so I resolved to ride all the way home.

See below for my efforts. Might need to click through for a more detailed view.

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My Giant Yukon – Yet another bike I know nothing about, since it’s currently in a terrible state of disrepair.

This time, however, I can at least confirm after a touch of Googling that it’s a 2003 model.

We’ll quietly ignore the fact that I discovered this by going back through the years – “2009? Nope, that looks different. 2008? Nope… 2007? Nope. 2006? Jeez, how old is this thing?”

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Aaah, yes. The Shogun Extreme.

This bike has been a great source of laughs for my friends. When it comes to cycling (or any sports, really), I’m about as extreme as a bowl of soggy chips.

Still, it does its job.

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Get a load of the amazing Vietnam cycling tour that Wade over at Cycling Tips tore through earlier this year.

I always love traveling off the beaten path because it provides opportunities for great adventure and gives me an immense appreciation for how good our standard of living is.  Trips like this one to Vietnam puts everything back into perspective.

It’s worth clicking through to Wade’s write-up on the trip, too, because he’s given a brilliant rundown of the things you’ll need to cover if you’re going to make a trip like this yourself.

While it might be cool to jump in the deep end and just go for it, I’ve got a feeling it’ll be a while before I’m attempting something like this.

Maybe I’ll try riding from Melbourne to Shepparton, instead…

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…and becoming an activist for movement.


My name is Mike, but over the years I’ve gone by various aliases, including Van, StereoMike, Kegsy and a host of others. The perils of living online!

I’m a 30 year old graphic designer and motoring journalist living in Melbourne, Australia. Thanks to the fact that I’m regularly road-testing new cars for review, I no longer own a car of my own.

I do own a bicycle, though – a relatively cheap ol’ Shogun mountainbike with more springs than a Slinky warehouse.

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