Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Bicycle

I finally picked up my bike - Danny the bike. It wasn't a smooth process. The bike store, located in M√ľnster-Germany, was not as organized and service minded as you would imagine a German bike store to be. Quite the opposite actually. Nevertheless, it's in my possession now and I'm very happy with it.
It's a Bergamont Vagonda Sponsor Edition, a durable and comfortable trekking bike. Trekking bikes are sort of hybrid bikes, a mix between a road bike and a mountain bike. Danny the bike has a sturdy aluminium frame. Most gearing components are Shimano Deore XT, which is good quality stuff made for off-road biking. Other components are also Shimano, such as brakes (Altus), cranks, dynamo, etc. I also mounted an extra front-rack on it, and replaced the trekking pedals to instep pedals to ease the pedalling. It also has adjustable suspension, which is good when you go from paved roads to dirt road and back on paved roads again.
There are still a few things to be added to Danny the bike such as bottle holders, bike computer, mirror, and of course I still need to get the panniers (bike bags). The only thing that makes me a bit nervous is the saddle. I've read a lot about saddles but it doesn't matter really until you try one for a long ride, possibly over a few days. The options are unlimited and variations beyond comprehension. I will get back to this later when I have tried it out for a longer period.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

First blog

Why am I writing a blog? The idea here is mainly for me to track my upcoming journey on a bicycle, starting in South Vietnam and ending in Western China, lasting 100 days. Sounds crazy but if you are not familiar with bike touring, I can tell you there are lots of people out there who are a lot more nuts than that. Imagine 5 years biking around the world. More about that later. So, this blog is not going to be about everyday bullshit, or how my weekend was. This will be a story about me traveling on two wheels through parts of the world I have never seen. It's about a journey of experiences.
Now, it's still more than three months to departure day, so it's a bit silly to start now, but for me, planning is half the fun, so that needs to be documented as well.
Current status is that the route has been planned and bike has been bought. That is, the big things are taken care of.
More about that next time.