People are so busy with their everyday lives that it’s hard to sometimes find a little inspiration for something new and exciting. A long term goal of mine has been to bike tour to the farthest wild places I can find. New Zealand, Scotland and Canada amongst others have done their share of satisfying me, but once you’ve taken that first step, the bug bites you pretty hard!
So what’s next? Well first things first I’m going to have to build a new bike – most of the parts from my last two bikes have been robbed for other bikes or sold along the way to pay for races! So along with building a new road bike and mountain bike this year I can add a new tour bike to the mix. To be honest though that is part of the journey for me – you build such a close bond with your bike when you depend upon it for survival and so she has to be perfect.
This third version of my BLACK.TØUR.29.BIKE will feature for the first time (on my tour bike) 29 inch wheels and hydraulic disc brakes. I feel that the brakes have become reliable enough now and I’m quite used to bleeding and/or servicing them so along with full sized wheels I’m making the leap! I’ll be using the same Rohloff Speedhub as before and an updated version of my old XT crank. The real expense will be on the frame – I haven’t quite settled upon a builder yet, but quality handmade steel is worth the price in my opinion.
With the bike sorted, where should I head for? A route around the coast of our own island would be good – people always discount more local places, but there is a lot to discover in our own land. Even a shorter trip of England would be a good test of the new bike. The west coast of Scotland and Wales are both on my list of places to spend more time, along with Exmoor and the Lake District.
Further afield I’d like to ride to the far north of Norway via the west coastline of The Netherlands, Germany and Denmark with the return leg taking in Sweden as well. Riding into the Arctic Circle will take lots of planning and preparation, but I already have most of the equipment needed for such a trek. A journey to the far north may be best attempted next summer, especially with the extra cost involved with a trip into Scandinavia.
The other trek which is similar in spirit would be a ride to Cape Town. Africa is one of only two continents that I haven’t been to properly and so I think would make a fascinating tour. Having spent a small amount of time researching the trip it would seem that Africa is not nearly as dangerous as many people would have you believe, for me this misunderstanding of the land and its people is one of the attractions.
For now these trips are but mere hopes and dreams, mixed up with the pressures of work, family and everything else that’s expected and so who knows where my life will take me…
Glen runs THE.TRIBECA.SPORT.WØRKSHOP which is based at 28 London Road, Southborough, TN4 0QB – 01892 533 339 – email@example.com . The shop specialises in precision servicing, race prepping, 3D bike fitting and high quality bikes and equipment. Drop in, give us a call, visit our Facebook page or browse our website for more details. He also runs the shop race team and club as well as racing ‘cross, road and cross-country nationally.
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