you may have noticed I’ve not been writing much recently… something of a cerebral overload has been going on here as I worked towards a major design review, which was successfully pulled off last week… major creativity suppressant though. Anyway, it’s over now so hopefully after a few good nights kip… apparently kip = chicken in Dutch.. or so I am reliably informed.. so after a few good nights chicken I’m hoping I’ll be back to my usual self… whether that is good or bad is for you lot to judge. I also fractured the middle finger on my right hand last week in an embarrassing office doorway incident, so no kayaking this weekend… and my braking action on that hand is weak… lucky then that I have my fixed gear to ride… though luck as little to do with it as these days it seems just about all I ride.
Planning for my South American trip is complete in that I know where I’m starting, also where I plan to finish and that I need to head in a generally northerly direction. As for the all that space in between.. well, I’ll make that up as I go. Best estimates indicate between 5000-7000km of cycling (ya I know that is very ‘ballpark’…) given I want to explore northern Argentina while I’m at it. I also plan to use the trip to raise a bit of cash for Shelterbox – more on that soon.
This weekend my Nomad had it’s most thorough overhaul since I built it nearly 7 years ago.It’s seen a lot of adventure in those years and is a really well sorted bike.. All I’ve done is replace all the bearings (headset bearings, bottom bracket and hub bearings), new tyres, couple of new chainrings, new chain and cassette and new cables all round. The FSA Orbit XLII headset is handy in that you can easily get hold of replacement bearing cartridges. The XT hubs have cup and cone bearings… new cones and balls cost bugger all and are worth it I reckon as ‘insurance’. The wheels themselves still appear sold as a rock, the ceramic 618 rims were worth the money – they show no real sign of wear at all, and I’ve never had a spoke go despite some serious abuse. I always carry spare spokes inside my handlebars (along with a copy of my passport) anyway and a hypercracker to get the cassette off easily if a spoke goes on the rear drive side.
I have an idea I’d like to keep my entire load, with camping gear down to around 15-17kg including some ‘luxury’ like a pair of jeans for off bike days :-) I dumped some of my gear in Colombia last year so I have a new tent – Force Ten Helium which weighs about 1kg and a new MSR Hyperflow water filter which only weighs a couple of 100grams. Anyway, as I get my gear together I’ll update my gear list with an all up weight…