Words and photos by Neža Peterca (@t.w.w.c)
I’m Neža Peterca from Slovenia, a tiny country in Europe. Cycling has been wrapped around my life these past two decates, and it’s influenced a lot of my decisions. About eight years ago, after cycling with a group of Hungarians from Ljubljana to Budapest on a fixed gear bike, I packed my bags and moved to Budapest.
Once there, I started a brand called Blind Chic., creating backpacks for urban cyclists with my friend Julia. The city soon became too small for me to explore, so I started going further afield and swapped my fixed gear for a gravel bike. Before long I knew the surroundings of Budapest better than any local.
As a woman, it became really important for me to try to inspire other women to go out there alone and be more independent as cyclists. The brand was a great platform to communicate that and we started to organize women’s rides, campouts, and bicycle repair workshops.
I wanted an even bigger challenge, so I went on my first bikepacking trip to Spain, alone. Without any experience it was more of a crying trip, but at the end what mattered is that I did it despite all my fears. I’ve done many trips since then: some very short, some weeklong, and I recently returned from a monthlong trip through the countries of former Yugoslavia.
Last year I moved back to Slovenia, needing a bit of change and mountains in my life. I also started a new path, specializing in outdoor gear repair. I’m now working for Patagonia’s Worn Wear program, roaming Europe and repairing technical garments.
I’m still very motivated to get more women out on bikes and I’ve been working on a bikepacking mentorship program that will hopefully see light of day next year.
My bike is collaboration between me and David Phillips from No Public Issue (@nopublicissue). David mostly works on one of a kind projects, custom built bicycles that are developed and made closely with his customers. I wanted to have a bike which would have it all. And by “all” I mean something that could be an expedition machine, local trail bike, or my commuting bicycle. I wanted this bike to be the only bike I own. The biggest task was bike fitting, but we managed to get it right with a help of a friend, Fabian Baum.
The classical mountain bike geometry allows me to have a big frame bag that’s large enough to carry my water and bunch of other things. The carry handle turned out to be the most useful feature on my last hike-a-bike. From my previous trips I learned that a bent derailleur means big trouble, so we added a custom cut Kuwahara bumper.
Since I really loved my DIY front harness, we came up with an idea to make the same system for the rear bag and David developed an adapter for my saddle harness.
- Frame/Fork No Public Issue / Brother Cycles
- Rims WTB KOM Though 40
- Hubs Hope Pro 4 (front) / Hope Pro 4 MTB Boost (rear)
- Tires WTB Rangers
- Handlebar Jones H-bar
- Headset Hope
- Crankset Shimano SLX 175mm / 34T chainring
- Cassette Shimano SLX 11-Speed 11-46
- Derailleur SXT Shadow 11-speed
- Brakes Shimano SLX with Trickstuff 180mm discs
- Shifter Shimano SLX 11-Speed
- Saddle SQ Lab
- Seatpost TSB Titanium
- Stem TSB Titanium
- Frame bags All DIY handmade
- Other accessories Custom cut Kuwahara rear derailleur bumper
About the name Hoop Snake, legend has it that that deep in the wilderness of the Australian desert lives a snake that bites its tail and rolls after its victim like a wheel. Its stinger at the end of its tail is dripping in venom and kills you in seconds. If you’re luck enough to see its coming at you, your best chance to survive is to hide behind a tree. As the snake gets within striking range, it unfurls itself and throws its body stinger first at the victim. If the intended victim was lucky enough to find a tree, the snake will strike the tree instead. The venom will seep into the tree, making it wither and die. The snake will be stuck in the bark and will die as well.
So, what better name for a trail rolling machine than a Hoop Snake, I thought. To top it all off, the graphics on the bike are all hand painted by a tattoo artist Mihael Kovacec.
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