(Editor’s Note: This is an article submitted by Malte Wiedenmann, seasoned mechanic and long distance adventurer, currently (and since some time) managing repairs at Fahrrad Cohrt in Hamburg, a must-to destination for bike lovers of all stripes, and one of our fine Dealers of Excellence. Malte was kind enough to share some words and pictures regarding one of his life’s great loves.)
“Back in 87 or 88, the Mountain-Bike-Boom was on and somewhere in Taiwan a sturdy frame was welded. The main triangle consisted of 4130 CrMo-steel. Equipped with the complete (somewhat heavy but reliable) Shimano Exage 450 Mountain groupset, I purchased a bike in Whakatane/New-Zealand labelled as the Healing “Wild Thing”.
(Healing used to be one of two major bicycle-companies in New Zealand. The company has gone by now, leaving only a few traces on the net.)
After some more or less demanding cycling tours up Mt.Tarawera, through Urewera NP or to Hawkes Bay (and regularly driving 230 Jersey-Cows towards the milking-shed) I took it home to Germany.
In 1992 I rode it from Edmonton (Alta.) to Dawson City (YT) on the famous Alaska Highway, only being topped by the wild Dempster Highway, a graveled road stretching over 730kms beyond the Arctic Circle as far as Inuvik (NWT), close to the Arctic Ocean. Completed with a loop in Central-Alaska and another one in Washington State, the whole journey clocked up 9000kms on the odometer.
While being used for every day-use it was consecutively upgraded to DeoreXT. Additional more or less spectacular rides in Northern-Germany made it one of my favourite bikes.
After some trailer-towing at home and on vacation the “Wild Thing” was degraded to a pure winter-vehicle for the days when the other (spike-tire-equipped) mountain-bike would have been too noisy.
And some day it ended up totally dismantled in the basement for a five year long sleep …
Last winter I decided to wake it up. The old paint got stripped and new a powder-coating was applied. Mostly used parts but also some old, unused components were fitted. Only the Deore shifters have to be replaced by the precious and hard to get XT-thumb-shifters and the XT (730-735/737) groupset will be complete.
BTW: on top I mounted my well broken in, 23 years young, Brooks Professional!”
Malte from Hamburg, North Germany