I was excitedly looking forward to getting my shiny new touring bike this week. Unfortunately, when all the new bikes got delivered to BikeTrax (the bike shop), my bike was missing. Ridgeback, the company who make the bike, now say they can’t built it until June because of supply problems. I spent a lot of this week on the phone, but didn’t get anywhere. I’ve now had to cancel the whole order. Google take note: Ridgeback == bad.
All of which means … plan B is needed! I’ll do the ride on my existing bike, which is a 8-speed hub geared Courier Nexus which I use for commuting to work. Whilst undeniably the touring bike would’ve been a bit nicer, I’m reminded of the title of Lance Armstrong’s book – “It’s Not About The Bike”. The challenge is a mental and physical one at heart, and the bike itself is a relatively minor factor. On the plus side, I’ve done all my training on this bike and I know that I can do long days in the saddle fairly comfortably.
I’m doing some maths to figure out if it’d be worth tweaking the gear ratios for the hilly sections at the start and end of the LEJOG route. Even though the hub gears are all fixed, there’s still a sprocket on the back wheel which you can replace with something other than the default 20 teeth job that came with the bike.
Training: I’ve just got over a fortnight of colds + stomach bugs so the training has been a bit light recently. I cycled to work a couple of times, including a mammoth 18 mile off-road route coming home on Thursday which looped around next to the airport (passing just under the planes as they departed!).
If I’m feeling up to it, I’ll cycle to/from Kirkcaldy this weekend (~50miles). Next week, I’m heading down for an evening blast around the red route Glentress and then I’m cycling to Ayrshire and back at the weekend (~130 miles over 2 days).
Logistic-wise, I need to:
- finalise my gear list and try fitting it into my panniers.
- Buy a handlebar mount for the GPS
- Finalise the route, get it onto GPS and figure out where I’m staying each night
- Err, that’s about it.
Five weeks to go …
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