Saturday, July 23, 2011

How it grows

I knew when I decided to buy the Safari that there were things to be adjusted, replaced, added and changed. Reviewers disliked the seat. The handlebars were too low. Handlebar tape was inadequate. But there was no criticism of the basic bike, except for the lingering argument; aluminum or steel? For me there is one question. Does everyone become so immersed in thinking about their bike and riding somewhere?

I recall how I enjoyed looking at my '67 MGB. Forty years later, I look at my bike with the same appreciation and joy. The biggest difference between the two, other than the obvious, is that Novara makes more dependable bikes than British Leyland did cars. Of course, just as with the MG, I also get wet when it rains.

If you have followed the links to REI for an image of the Safari, you might compare it to the way my everyday transportation looks now.

Soon, I will add a Tubus Tara Low Rider front rack and suitable front panniers, probably Ortlieb Front Rollers. My research suggests I will need the space to remain as self-sufficient as possible when I tour. I anticipate using a tent 5 of every 7 nights, at least. REI offered a deal on a Big Agnes Lynx 3 and because of my size I opted for it, knowing there would be times when I would be tent-bound. Following some suggestions, I looked for an alternative to the standard foot print and stumbled upon Gossamer Gear, a source for minimalist camping equipment. Their Polycyro ground cloth seems good as a footprint alternative and waterproof wrap while traveling.

It seems likely that I will encounter numerous others when venturing north. As odd as I seem to some, I am no more than fellow traveller to the touring community. I have a Bikes and More as my link with equipment and the local Cycling Society for cognitive consciousness. It's been a long time since I have felt I was doing something useful to myself and the world. Every turn of the crank is a statement in favor of making the world little greener.