Sunday, 27 February 2011
A proposed journey to Asia by recumbent, avoiding earthquake zones and nucleur reactor fallout, to somewhere, then to somewhere else, maybe almost certainly starting from here, or there, or somewhere else, or maybe certainly things can and surely will change. No timescale, no budget, but big dreams are the fuel that will pedal me far.
Saturday, 26 February 2011
The journey begins
Without pointing too much blame in anyone direction, it quickly become clear that I spoke to the wrong people who advised me badly for my choice of `bike No.2` and of the options that were available and advised to us. The Azub Ibex, although a great bike in itself was in fact not ideal for the type of journey I was wanting to make.
Within a few test rides I had already fallen off and realised that the under seat steering was very vulnerable, taking full impact with every fall, whereby the Magura brakes that I had been advised were the best were in fact very very powerfull, but also very vulnerable and difficult to repair if broken. Because of their position on the end of the under steering bars, they were protruding too much from the handlebars and were damaged on two occasions, the last which completely destroyed them.
These hydraulic lines cannot be joined if broken; the metal fittings were of unusual thread; special bleeding tools needed to be carried, all making this system vulnerable and very difficult to repair.
Simplicity and practicality is a must.
Various modifications to the original expedition luggage carrying became obvious, the heavy items being best situated as low and as central to the geometry as possible, having less impact on the stability and handling, so the space between the wheels under the steering looked very practical, so with ideas that my friend had also developed, many hours was spent fabricating brackets and bits of aluminium, to extend the carriers to this part of the bikes geometry, which proved to be a perfect ride when tested for the first time.
After all the work, testing and fabricating we were close to realising what we should have considered right at the start of our bike enquiry….we should have spoken directly to someone who knew what they were doing! Azub directly.
Finally we contacted Azub to let them know about our experiences and alterations that we felt was needed for our journey, they were at first a little confused about our modifications, our needs and our overall disappointment with our bikes, as we expressed ourselves that we felt they were not the perfect bikes that we had expected for such an investment.
They immediately informed us that in no way would they have advised us on such a choice of bike and components for such a journey that we were hoping to do, we should have contacted them at the start. Azub were genuinely upset for our delay and extra cost to our plans, so they invited us to visit them in the Czech Republic, whereby they would help us to put together a strong bike exactly suitable for our needs.
Already impressed with this helpful attitude it was further elevated after arriving at their factory to be welcomed by what I would describe as a family run business, passionate and dedicated to the product and its customers, their statement from their web site really does reflect this attitude.
|fabricating the new `low rider` luggage carriers|
|Azub5...or maybe Azub6?|
I am humble and eternally grateful for this experience and now with their help I do indeed have the best bike for my adventure coming shortly in April.
Thank you especially to Honza who had the task of taking care of our needs, putting up with us, inviting us into their homes and listening to all our crazy ideas and finally for advising us correctly.
A big thank you to all the team at Azub for their patience whilst we were there using all their tools, equipment, parts, the bad smells as fish and guests do after three days…!
Just a perfect bike now and a pleasure to have met you all, memories that will carry me far.
|Left to right..Myself, Melanie, Fabien|
|My wheel being built|
|Talking with Honza about our needs|
|Azub 5 taking shape|
Now all we need to do is just ride.....
Friday, 25 February 2011
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Bike No.1 Raleigh Detour Delux
Bike No.1 Raleigh Detour Delux
Reality Slow where he may even delay his travelling plans even further...! to talk with you about anything at all for hours and hours and hours......sorry private joke! anyway I talked for hours and hours about this problem with Fabien, who was also thinking of travelling this way and had been looking into recumbents, so after researching the available models and designs and trying a 'condor' for the first experience, proved to be very inspiring. Immediately I could imagine travelling long distances this way, very comfortably and more importantly no more sore ass…!
We came upon another brand Azub which seemed to be more substantial, its design being conceived specifically for touring very long distances. With the help of Cyclable in Toulouse, they ordered three for our little group that was emerging at the time. Then it was a long three months twiddling fingers and waiting impatiently for these bikes that were to carry us away on our dreams.
The time finally arrived, they had been hand built to our specification and were waiting to be picked up from the shop, who were also wanting the final payment to be made. I had invested all of my travelling money that I had been saving, which could have flown me to numerous destinations worldwide, so this bike was going to have to work very well to justify this.
Once the initial 'getting used to it' was over which involved a very embarrassing start from the shop, we arrived there early in the morning, stayed all day talking about how it all worked and setting things up, to set off at a sensible time of 7.30pm, dark, heavy traffic, cold with about 50 km to make. Like professional travellers we mounted our bikes, took photos because this was where it all starts, clipped our new shoes into the pedals and…….crash…..fell sideways with my feet still securely clipped in, yes the bikes and these clips do require a bit of getting used to, but a few more wobbly moments and cars giving s a good wide berth, we were off.
Yes they take a bit of practice and at first and I was not too sure if I had made a mistake or not, but now with a new set of recumbent leg muscles, which have quickly grown now after 600 km of testing, I have no doubt it will prove to be a great way to travel. I can easily cycle 120km with more weight than before, with an average speed of 15 – 19kmh.
I love it, the more I ride it the better it gets.
For a good long chat.....Mon ami blog Reality Slow