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Thursday, August 25, 2011
Building a touring bike
Awhile back, I bought a Soma "Double Cross " frame and decided to build a touring bike. Like many people in the cycling industry, it also means that I own several bikes and always have another bike or two that need attention or new parts. I built this bike with the mindset that I could be in the middle of nowhere, so wanted something easy to maintain and parts that were easy to find wherever there might be a shop. I built some Velocity Deep V wheels, and a nine speed drivetrain with barend shifters. Now, I'm sure that some of you are thinking "why is she crazy?". Well, the truth is that a nine speed drivetrain would be easier to find parts for if I should need anything, barend shifters will allow me to go to "friction shifting" if I should bend a derailleur. And besides all of that is's truly pretty cool! And to top off the package, I put the best tires that you can buy for touring... Schwalbe Marathons, great rolling, very puncture resistent AND very durable for a few thousand miles. And yes, they truly are that good.
So, this weekend, I'm headed to the Northeast Kingdom in Vermont and more than likely will make a loop through Canada as well. Of course, the big issue is not what to take or leave home, or how many sets of clothes I'll need, it's whether Hurraicane Irene will allow us to start on Sunday. We won't have some of the drastic weather that many of you may have, but it does sound as though we could have plenty of wind and rain. But living in Maine, I've learned one thing in life, and that's if you wait another five minutes, the weather will change again. So, thanks to my friend Kathy for taking some vacation time and riding with me. She is the experienced one in this group with a xc trip under her belt, and many other trips in the Northeast and Canada. And all of these trips have been self contained, so I'm in good company and I'm sure will learn a thing or two along the way.