Which bike to ride?
As I am set on the trip, it’s down to decide which bike to ride? For a start here are the options: Option one is to take my Cube Ltd which served well so far as touring bike with off-road abilities. I has done me so much favours, serving as true companion while cycling with Glen all over the South Island in NZ, on various trips in Scotland, then back in NZ and lately being my bike of choice while preparing for the trip in Scotland. Equipped with Magura discs, Mavic Crossland and a indestructible Rock Shox Duke it serves all purposes well, despite being a wee bit slow in the flats. I am pretty confident that i will survive this trip as well, however option two is becoming more and more likely, why not do the whole trip in old-school fashion, who needs gears, when you get more publicity? Just joking though.
So, yes, option two is becoming more and more attractive, the more I think about it. No gears, no dérailleurs, no fuss. I have found a retailer who still stocks Specialized’s Singlecross, even though it’s a 2009 model, it could be become my weapon of choice. Looking at the profile of the route, it should be possible to do it without gears, a true pioneer mission then. I have never ridden single speeds before, but the Scottish winter conditions will force me to do so anyway. So trying it now seems about the right time to do so. The only cracker could be strong headwinds, but let’s not plan with that, bad enough to have them on the road then. At the moment I would have to average around 100km a day, which seems possible even with only one gear, as the slimmer tyres and the road seating position are a big advantage compared with the more upright position on the mountain bike. Equipped with a lightweight rack that should compensate the loss of some gears, and make up for a real challenge. I would re-plan my route slightly to avoid the mountains and opt for a lower level route possibly, and see how I feel on the go. If anybody has any advise on single speed touring, please get in touch, otherwise I might give it a try, it sounds durable. Will keep you posted!