When we dream of a bike, we usually imagine it on our favorite slope or deep in the forest. At such times, in our imagination, we hear the wheel slamming the gravel, leaning on an imaginary bend and reaching to our ears. In the meantime, we often forget about the meticulous planning, the work it takes for our bikes to run smoothly and take us to the end of endless journeys.
The image report below is about such a work and the first journey of the fruits of the work.
Reggel nyolc óra tizenöt perc van, amikor a Mesterbike & Coffee ajtaján benyitok. A megbeszélt időpont előtt negyedórával érkeztem, hogy még megigyak egy kávét és összerendezzem a felszerelésem. Ittlétem célja nem más, mint hogy Köves Lajos vadonatúj bringája építésének legyek szemtanúja, amely kifejezetten a 2022-es Silk Road Mountain Race teljesítéséhez készül.
Ahogy belépek az ajtón, Lajos már kávéjával igyekszik egy asztal felé. Arcán még látszódik a februári csípős reggel nyoma, hiszen bringával és vonattal érkezett Várpalotáról. Az asztalnál kávéját kortyolva, telefonjáról intézi, hogy a legutolsó alkatrész is ideérjen mire Mittermájer Géza elkezdi az acélvázas Ritchey Ultra köré építendő bringát.
Tools to be deployed.
Even at the last minute, Lajos Köves checks that all the parts arrive on time.
By 2022, it is no longer really surprising that it took almost half a year to procure the parts. The parts needed for Lajos’ bike come from a box labeled “Gravel”. It’s worth the wait for the parts, as the Ritchey Ultra is surrounded by pieces like RockShox SiD fork, Selle San Marco saddle, SRAM 1×12 drive, Crankbothers pedals, Magura brakes, DT Swiss wheels and Vittoria tires, among others. This compilation is especially remarkable considering that it is Louis ’first mountain bike.
Most people know Lajos Köves about his long, lonely bikes. He has already competed in the Transcontinental Race, and last year, in 2021, he started for the first time in the Silk Road Mountain Race. They started with a curved gravel bike. Considering his hand fracture in 2021 and his experience on Silk Road, he made the decision to try to defeat the giant mountains of Central Asia in the saddle of a mountain bike.
Lajos and the others are still talking at the table when Géza starts assembling the first parts. Not only the mask belonging to today’s protocol evokes the operating atmosphere, but also the order and cleanliness that Géza keeps on the workshop table. All necessary tools have their own place on the wall or in the drawers, and all stray lubricant drops are wiped off immediately. When I ask Géza how many bikes he has built in his career, he just laughs.
Adjusting the right amount of airless brake fluid is a real art.
Lajos and Géza pay attention to the smallest details together.
Excited childish joy sits on Lajos’ face as he pushes the finished bike out the door of the Masterbike. We are still photographing a couple on one of the nearby streets and we will discuss that we will continue at Várpalota.
As we talk in Lajos ‘castle palace apartment, Blue, Lajos’ dog, is constantly looking for his owner’s hand to lure a complete caress with love. The dog also suspects that he will see less of his master because of the black-and-blue bike. “When I got home last year, I was amazingly happy to see my family again, but in the meantime I also thought about how I was going to tell them I wanted to go back,” says Lajos when I ask what his family is saying about the remote and not exactly a harmless challenge.
After the conversation, Lajos still runs Blue, and we check the weather by grabbing a chocolate at the local convenience store. We then cut him off on the first trip to the Ritchey Ultra. The cam wheels just buzz on the asphalt, and when we leave Castle Palace, we immediately jump up a hill and smile. “This is the playroom,” says Lajos, shouting the industrial wind.
The road and gravel pedigree can still be seen on Lajos ‘ride and movement, but the parts chosen for the bike work perfectly, and based on Lajos’ determination, it can be assumed that the new bike will work. The rehearsal round doesn’t want to end, and when I ask what it really takes for adventure biking, Louis replies, “Curiosity. You have to be curious to see what’s beyond the hill and where the wind is blowing. ”
Returning to the castle palace, the early evening twilight will arrive in the city with us, and the rain will start to rain. Louis even picks up a dinner for his wife and one-and-a-half-year-old daughter. Thank you with big smiles. We can only wish to see similar smiles on Lajos ’face at this year’s run of the Silk Road Mountain Race.