So first big news:  I got my bike!  WOOP WOOP!!!

Yes, despite a few days of not-so-mild panic that I wasn’t going to be able to do my big adventure on my finally-decided-upon preferred bike, the incredible Genesis Tour De Fer 20, I finally found one in my size.

I’m disappointed that the two independent bike shops I approached were unable to assist me, and thus I was unable to support them with my purchase.  As a former small business owner (that’s another story for another time!), I genuinely believe in the value independents provide and their importance to local economies.

Ironically, it was only after both independent shops delivered the bad news that they were not going to be able to get me my preferred bike in time, when I started actively looking for second-preference touring bikes which may be available, that I stumbled upon my first-preference bike, available, in one of the larger bike chain retailers…

And in spite of being a big chain-operation, I found the helpfulness and friendly-professional service of the folk at Evans Cycles to be spot on.  From the faceless name on Live-chat who directed me to the Glasgow Braehead store (as they had the bike in my size in stock), to the Braehead stockroom manager and shop-floor sales guys – their helpfulness and excitement about my upcoming adventure reassured me with all the confidence I’ve been lacking of late.  So you all have my thanks!

Not such big news, but pretty important to the memory-making-ability of the trip, I got my Go-Pro camera too!

Sure, of all things that would be important to an epic bike trip, a small screen-less, complicated-to-use, branded camera might not be up there with the greatest of necessities – not like, say, a really good tent, comfortable saddle, warm/lightweight sleeping bag/mattress.

Yet, finally having this camera is significantly important to me.  All because of a little sideline project which I’ve had at the front of my mind ever since I started thinking about this cycle.  The idea is to time-lapse record the journey across America.  This has been done before, but mostly in cars stuck on congested highways, with high bankings and peripheral vision obscured by close tree-lines.  My vision is to see a more natural route across the US, in much the same as the masses of European settlers would have done a couple hundred years ago (albeit on minor roads, rather than dust tracks!), charting the exploratory crossing at a slower pace. with less constructed infrastructure and more of nature to see.

OrtliebClassicPanniersRedOh, and rear panniers too…

Classic Ortlieb.  They’re recognised as the best because they just are.  And when the nowhere-near-as-good competition are virtually same price, just why would you!?

Then I went out for a cycle (on the current bike, Genesis is still partially-dismantled in the boot of my car)…  Relive my ride here!


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