Though much of Burkina is flattish, after my first year there on a single speed Surly Cross-Check my knee started to bother me a bit. So, I did the only sensible thing you could do and designed a Titanium S&S coupled, Rohloff-equipped adventure bike, which is still my main rough riding bike today. The bike was built by Black Sheep bikes in Fort Collins, Colorado, and I picked it up when I was back in the states for vacation one year:
Heat aside, biking in Burkina was a lot of fun, and was the perfect way to get out of town and explore the countryside and small villages off the main roads. I miss being able to be “in the bush” after only 25 min or so of riding. I also miss being able to do so much mixed surface rough riding right from my front door. Here in San Diego, you have to work a bit harder if you want to enjoy low to no traffic dirt roads.
Given the paucity of paved roads in the country, riding in Burkina means mixed surface rough riding, as the only way to make a loop is to combine stretches of pavement and dirt road. This is no place for 700×23 road tires! The bike I first brought over with me was a Surly Cross-Check with 700×40 tires, set up as a single speed:
The death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore police custody on April 12 has brought renewed attention to a police practice known as “rough rides,” offering the latest evidence that they may not be a relic of past.
and the Rough Riders