Part Deux of our staff interviews, part-time designer, part-time mechanic, and general creative guy Lewis Earl
You seem to hang around here a lot. What do you actually do?
I'm a designer by trade, and I do a couple of mornings of graphic design for Bike Otago and other bike-related things. I also work the occasional Saturday so Joel can have a weekend off... I worked as a bike mechanic all the way through uni so I'm pretty handy.
You're English - have you ever met the Queen?
Yes. And I like warm beer too.
What sort of riding are you into?
Long remote rides, overnighters - getting out into the middle of nowhere with nobody around. New Zealand is great for that sort of riding - even just over a weekend you can ride out on some trails or 4wd tracks to a hut, stay the night, ride back the next day. I also like old bikes and always have a couple of vintage projects on the go.
What's an off-road touring bike look like?
I'm using an On-One Inbred - a steel 29er with a rigid fork with some bags strapped on. At Bike Otago we've recently been able to supply Revelate Designs bags which I think are the best way of carrying stuff on a mountain-bike... the technical term is 'bikepacking'.
Ever got into a tricky situation in the middle of nowhere?
Yeah I've had a few mechanicals. Once in Scotland I dropped my bike in a ford just before I set up my tent for the night - the next morning I headed straight into a descent and found that water had got into the shifters and cables and frozen solid! Couldn't change gear, and since I was using cable discs, I couldn't brake either!
And what's your next bike going to be?
I've got my eye on that Niner ROS9 on the wall... trails in Dunedin are way steeper and more technical than back in the UK so my Inbred is a bit out of its depth.
Good luck! Other than riding, what else do you do for fun?
Tramping... which I suppose is pretty similar to off-road touring. Chris King hubs are pretty bling but ice axes are way blingy-er!