Monday, October 5, 2009


Reminder: Start reading entries at the beginning of October; this is a running commentary as random thoughts come to mind.
The logistics of getting my custom titanium bike to Land's End seemed extremely complicated as I planned the adventure. For about the same expenditure, I could refurbish the components on Kurt's (son and dtr-in-law who live in England) old bike, thus benefitting both of us. Thus he now has Ultegra throughout, with 12-27 cogs and a triple crank set. I did Alpe d'Huez in a 12-25 so that seemed sufficient. As he went about evaluating the upgrades, Kurt determined new wheels were in order and funded them himself. Even better, he commissioned a custom wheelset of Bontrager wheels with 36 heavy-duty spokes and 28cm Bontrager tires. To them I added Stop-Flat, a polyurethane liner that fits between the tire and tube. BTW, not even a hint of a flat and I only aired the tires twice in three weeks.
Because I was in the UK, I wanted fenders (mud guards) and because of the touring aspect, a rear rack rather than the Camelbak I usually use. Kurt also supplied the rack pack, an invaluable accessory, as it turned out, due to the many in-travel clothes changes required because of the changing weather.
Albeit a tad heavy relative to what I am used to, the bike rode quite comfortably. Some of the roads had deteriorated to the extent of being extremely rough, but I never worried about equipment failure. Someone asked me about my speed (fast) downhill and my response was you had to trust that everything would work as designed. "Always buy the best, you will never be disappointed."
Having the proper clothes and bike allowed me to concentrate on the cycling and scenery. Two prime reasons this trip was so successful. Thanks, Kurt.

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