Thursday, 31 December 2009

My bikes

Here's the lowdown on the bikes I'll be riding on my trip. I say bikes because I'll be using two very different machines depending on the terrain (and because I can't afford to buy a specialised touring bicycle).

The first is a 2009 Giant Defy 1 road bike. I plan to ride this on stages 1 and 3, as they run almost entirely on tarmac road surfaces.

My Giant Defy 1 road bike, with Mount Ještěd just about visible in the background

And the second is my 2007 Author Vision mountain bike (Author is a popular Czech brand). I'll be riding this on all the other stages, as the climbs there will get too brutal and the surfaces too rough for a road machine.

Me (in slippers!?) and my Author Vision, packed and ready to head off to Berlin, May 2009

Both bikes will be kitted out for credit-card (i.e. lightweight) touring. Wikipedia defines this, rather amusingly, as the kind of travel where "a rider carries a minimum of equipment and a lot of money". In the extreme case, as described in this Guardian article, you carry practically nothing at all and buy everything you need along the way. I can't get away with such a purist approach, as I'll be travelling through some remote areas, and mainly at weekends, when the shops are often shut in the Czech Republic. So, I'll be taking a change of clothes and other basic kit in a set of rear panniers and I'll be staying overnight at guesthouses.

The Vision has been my companion on several previous trips, so I know I can depend on it. The Defy, though, is untried and untested as a tourer. However, it has a relatively upright riding position (for a road bike) as well as mounts for a rear luggage rack and mudguards, so I'm fairly confident it's up to the task. And its light weight and narrow tyres should allow me to make brisk progress.


Unknown said...

Awesome job really it's great

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