Thursday, 3 February 2011

the bikes

Bike No.1 Raleigh Detour Delux

A nice bike which I dressed up with all the relevant equipment, carriers, bags, bottles, spares, welded and braced the frame because of all the extra weight and set off on a few short test rides, enjoying the sensation of travelling autonomous, but always finishing the day with a sore ass that no matter how many seats, suspension seat posts I tried, never seemed to give any relief. I found that beyond 50km my comfort could not be maintained and was just a matter of will and endurance after that, which is not fun and finally I decided travelling everyday like this would soon lose its romance.

Bike No. 2 Azub recumbent

I talked with a good friend of mine...Fabien, who would love to talk to anyone for hours and hours and hours if you have any technical queries about the Azub recumbent, Roholf or Magura braking can contact him through his travel blog at Reality Slow where he may even delay his travelling plans even further...! to talk with you about anything at all for hours and hours and hours......sorry private joke! anyway I talked for hours and hours about this problem with Fabien, who was also thinking of travelling this way and had been looking into recumbents, so after researching the available models and designs and trying a 'condor' for the first experience, proved to be very inspiring. Immediately I could imagine travelling long distances this way, very comfortably and more importantly no more sore ass…!

We came upon another brand Azub which seemed to be more substantial, its design being conceived specifically for touring very long distances. With the help of  Cyclable in Toulouse,  they ordered three for our little group that was emerging at the time. Then it was a long three months twiddling fingers and waiting impatiently for these bikes that were to carry us away on our dreams.

The time finally arrived, they had been hand built to our specification and were waiting to be picked up from the shop, who were also wanting the final payment to be made. I had invested all of my travelling money that I had been saving, which could have flown me to numerous destinations worldwide, so this bike was going to have to work very well to justify this.

The handling!

Once the initial 'getting used to it' was over which involved a very embarrassing start from the shop, we arrived there early in the morning, stayed all day talking about how it all worked and setting things up, to set off at a sensible time of 7.30pm, dark, heavy traffic, cold with about 50 km to make. Like professional travellers we mounted our bikes, took photos because this was where it all starts, clipped our new shoes into the pedals and…….crash…..fell sideways with my feet still securely clipped in, yes the bikes and these clips do require a bit of getting used to, but a few more wobbly moments and cars giving s a good wide berth, we were off.

Yes they take a bit of practice and at first and I was not too sure if I had made a mistake or not, but now with a new set of recumbent leg muscles, which have quickly grown now after 600 km of testing, I have no doubt it will prove to be a great way to travel. I can easily cycle 120km with more weight than before, with an average speed of 15 – 19kmh.

I love it, the more I ride it the better it gets.

For a good long chat.....Mon ami blog Reality Slow

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