Yep, long time aquaintance and purveyor of fine singlespeed, fixed and 29er bits Charlie the Bike Monger has agreed to kit me out with some essential stuff for my trip. I am not sure when I first met Charlie but I am pretty sure I was still at Johnny A's and it could have been one of the singlespeed races at Thetford. His online business has grown from a few items on Ebay to a proper online shop stocked with lots of great stuff and information on how and why to use it.
My bike is awaiting a 20t Surly fixed cog and new chain and a tropical tweed cycling cap for me. Stainless steel and wool...what a great combo. Needless to say that by bike will now be sporting (more) CtBM stickers and please follow the link on the left for all your perverted cycling parts needs :)
Other news is that I have fitted a CaneCreek Thudbuster ST to the bike [Si'down at the back!] If its good enough for uber-Viking berserker Dicky I can dam well use one too. Its the secret to off-road fixing over long distances according to the big-D so I'll give it a go and hope it saves my ring on the rough stuff. Thanks to Extra UK (CC importers) for doing me a staff deal on it.
Also on the bike are two chainrings, a Surly 34t and 36t so I can run a dinglespeed 34:20 (uphill at altitude) 36:18 (downhill and over 15mph!) without moving the brake pads or more likely a 36:20 for round here as we lack amazingly long up or downhills. So no its not a singlespeed anymore. Blah.
Also worth noting is the mc write up on dropbar padding and wrap. Cloth tape is a lot more durable and making use of an old mouse mat pure genius. Might give it a go if I can get my Oury grips off in one piece.
Riding has been a start-stop affair as I went on the Ashton night ride last Tuesday with Trevor from work and had a blast in the cold clear night on to of Cleeve until I clipped a pedal on the way into a small bomb-hole and went A-over-T and landed hard on my right side. I managed to keep riding but the next few days were worrying as it hurt more and more on my hip and upper arm. Then it started to heal just as a huge bruise came up on my shin. Ah well. Training is just not a good idea :) My fitness was not as bad as I feared BUT I still have a huge way to go to get it back on form.
Planning the logistics side of things has been easier as sitting indoors with a cup of tea sounds a better option at this time of year. Latest plan is to carry the bulky but light stuff (ie clothing) in the Carradice SQR pack where it won't rattle and the heavy tools, tubes etc in the bottom of the frame bag. This leaves the top of the frame bag for food, water, camera and other "to hand" stuff. AND NOTHING ON MY BACK. Worth using CaPsLoCs for that. I hate carrying stuff on my back and unless I am really careful my neck and shoulders mutiny which is the last thing you want on an 8 day race.
Thats enough for now.