Monday, August 6, 2007


A final word about this trip. It again was a susbtitute for another and totaly different trip (I hope I'll get a chance of that one eventually). In a way it also was a test of my abbilities to cover large distances in short time and without rest days. The test was completed succesfully, I think, I made 4640 km in 33 days, which is 141 km in 7:06 hours of cycling per day on average. Except some pain in the shins in the first 3 days of the trip I didn't have any problems with keeping the high pace, it quickly became undisturbing routine. It is reasuring to know that I can make 4000 km in a month. For example I could make a trip from Europe to China, a standard tour of the Europeans, in 3 summer months, profiting in high temperatures and long days. At the risk of being boringly repetitious, I must add that this is possible also becouse of the minimalistic approach toward equipment. Only mistake that I made was that before the trip I was training on a different bike. I got used to a different saddle and the one I used on the trip felt uncomfortable for surprisinly long time - 15 days.
Other than that the bike was performing great. I had no punctures and even a cracked back tyre patched with duct tape held for the final 1700 km. The "crack" in the chainstay that I discovered early into the tour happened to be just a residue from the leaking of a water bottle. However, this bike has now covered 12831 km without modification and this is starting to show. The chain is understandingly worn, but so are the most used cogs in the cassette, as I happened to notice after the trip. This is a small price to pay for trouble free shifting during the amazing 2 years of use and three awesome tours. A more worrying fact is that I got a scratch on the carbon fork. The replacement of the fork is out of the question, since that would cost almost as much as a whole new bike. My assessment is that the scratch is not severe and that the bike is good for another 10000 km or so, but I will take it to the bike shop to get a professional opinionMy tool kit.

My other equipment was standardly minimal. Weighing only 6200 grams it was the lightest tour with camping gear. In fact it would be less then 6 kg, if I didn't take a bathing slip, T-shirt and a second lock as the last minute inclusion - a sign of weakness even in the strictiest of light-weight practiciants .