First of all, let me start this by saying that i have never named any bike that I own. I mean, that's for crazy people that get attached to things, right? Well, it seems that I have succumbed to the awesome beauty that is my new expedition bike, and I have indeed come up with a name for it! The name is not something that I had to sit down and thing about - It came subconsciously, bubbling to the surface where it finally stuck. Only afterwards did I have a deeper think as to why that happened, and why the bike is now named... (sorry, you will have to wait a little bit longer - Read the damned article!)
All bikes are girls. I don't know why this is, they just are. Of course, I have no problem in being corrected by the thousands of women adventure cyclists biking around the world on "Normans" or "Geralds", but somehow I just don't think this will be the case. Female names are nicer, smoother and in my opinion sexier, which is good, because my new expedition bike is sexy! My bike is also yellow... If only there was a sexy woman that wore yellow?
Well, Uma Thurman did in Kill Bill. And she had a sword, which made her double sexy. Now, before you get excited and think that I called my bike Uma, take a little breather. She's not called Uma, but the link is there all the same, although I only realised the connection after the event.
From there, the next reason that i thought i named my new expedition bike the name it now has, was due to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A bit of a leap you might think, whilst others may believe that I have an affection for girls that can kick ass (I do!), but again the link is there if you know where to look.
(Buffy photos with her wearing yellow are as rare as rocking horse do-dah. Hope you appreciate the extra effort i put into finding this!)
And finally, for anyone that hasn't already guessed, we have the final link. Now, anybody that thinks of the word yellow must at some point think of a certain bumbling insect that buzzes around in the summer, pollinating flowers and making honey. Alternatively, like me, you think of a Transformer.
This is Bumblebee for the uninitiated!
And so, the clues start to come together.
Uma Thurman's character in Kill Bill was known as Beatrix Kiddo.
Faith called Buffy - B
A Bumblebee is a... bee!
So, I am proud to announce that my new expedition bike is called Bea. She is yellow, she is beautiful, and she is mine!
Bea the Bike
Last Updated (Tuesday, 14 May 2013 19:16)
I have had the new expedition bicycle for a couple of weeks now, and have taken it on several rides in order to break it in and see what I think to it. The fact that the weather has slightly improved, and the days are longer means that not only can I ride at the weekends, but I can also do a reasonably long ride after work on some week nights. I have been keeping track of my rides with a great little app called MapMyRide, and the maps shown in this piece were recorded using that on my Samsung Galaxy S4 phone.
My expedition bicycle - A Thorn Nomad
The expedition bicycle itself is a Thorn Nomad, which I had built up for me after visiting Thorn Cycles in Bridgwater. It wasn't the cheapest bike in the world, and looks deceptively simple, but in reality it is a virtually bombproof bike which should (I hope!) take me around the world several more times at least. Its key features are a steel frame made out of high quality heat treated steel, and a Rohloff Speedhub, and whilst these are not the lightest of items, they certainly help to make the bike what it is - An expedition quality workhorse that can stand the rigours of cycling anywhere around the world.
Cro Mo 969 Steel - It doesn't get much tougher than this!
Mountains are in short supply in Northamptonshire, which is a bit of a shame as I really enjoy pushing myself to go harder uphill, but there are several routes which at least take in minor rises. Rough roads are also in short supply, although there are some if you know where to look. Below, is a spur track leading from Brixworth back to the Brampton Valley Way.
There are rough tracks in Northamptonshire if you know where to look!
So, how does the bike perform? I have to say that I am really impressed. The Rohloff hub provides a range of gears that do not "double" as they do on regular derailleur bikes, and also have the added bonus that it is possible to switch between gears whilst stationary at traffic lights. One thing I have noticed, is that in the lower gears going uphill the hub is a little noisier and also feels noisier through my shoes (if you know what I mean). I often call these the grinding gears, and those words definitely apply to the Rohloff, although i should mention that this is not a defect. When freewheeling, the hub is also slightly noisier than a derailleur. Another feature of my expedition bike that I am very impressed with, are the CSS rims and brake pads which provide incredible stopping power on even the steepest downhill section. This is all very important, especially when carrying heavy loads on the bike through the mountains, and during my time in Peru, I wore out countless pads and even rims.
Overall then. I am extremely impressed with my new expedition bicycle, and it really is a joy to ride. Taking the plunge to fork out the cash for it was a big step for me, but it is apparent even now, that it is a well made decision which I hope will continue to be the case when I embark on my next cycling trip around the world.
Last Updated (Saturday, 11 May 2013 16:34)
The Top 50 Travel Subjects
This is a page in development. As the keen observer may notice, none of these subjects link anywhere yet, and there is not 50 of them either! However, it is something I will be working on over the course of time as part of a long term strategy for the website. I would like to turn it more into a travel information site, and it seems these subjects would be a good place to start. this page will eventually be on the front. I will keep the travelogue going of course, but i feel that i will get more page views if I write and optimise around the travel subjects below.
Last Updated (Saturday, 14 July 2012 21:46)
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Submit your travel blog here! If you have a travel blog, then create some more exposure for it, gain visitors, and have a link back from my travel blog to yours!!
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Book a hostel online
Concerned with arriving in a strange city at an unfavourable time ? By booking a hostel online, you know your bed is reserved, leaving you hassle free.
Last Updated (Saturday, 03 April 2010 01:28)