Half Scottish, half German? ESI Grips makes it happen!

Half Scottish, half German? ESI Grips makes it happen!

Friday was a mixed day. First I got all my teeth in good working order with the help of my lovely girlfriend, so I should be fine for a year on the road. Possibly one thing many of us wouldn’t think too much of, but I had bad toothache in the past, and it is possibly one of those pains that could ruin my trip for a short time. That’s hopefully not the case now. On the way back from Linlithgow I had a rather unpleasant experience, first being overtaken by a car with nearly no space at all near Winchburgh, and then being assaulted verbally by the driver, who was twice the size of me. I must admit that I raised my hand after he overtook me, but didn’t use any other gestures. Being threatened afterwards was not a great experience. Fortunately a van pulled in behind and the three guys in the van shared their contact details and the incident is now with the Police.

After such a rather unpleasant experience I was very pleasantly surprised to find a parcel from the States for me in the Delivery Depot, which had made it all the way from the West Coast to Scotland. And in there were two sets of customised ESI Extra Chunky Jones Bar grips, with one grip in the German, one in the Scottish colours. On top of that ESI sent me some very useful silicone tape to prevent my frame and parts from damage, as well as bar tape to make those Jones bars even more comfortable than they already are. Check out Charlie’s shop if you are interested in a set for your bike, and I am pretty sure he will be able to get his hands on the silicone tape as well. And if you are not in the UK, you can have a look at ESI’s site here and order there directly. Thanks to Gary, Anastasia and Maria for the all the help.

In terms of packing and preparing I am almost there, and will spend the remainder of today fitting all luggage on the bike. As you can see from the picture on the top, I will mount a Exposure light, a GoPro and my Garmin eTrex 20 on the bars, while still having enough space left for altering my grip positions. The grips allow me to move my hands around before and behind the brake levers, while I can also use loop on the bars to comfortably rest my hands on long straights. My camping kit (tent, sleeping mat and bag) will comfortably fit in the smaller Apidura front roll (the one pictured is the bigger version), which reduces the weight of the bike on the front end and helps me to travel faster off-road.

The Forumslader will be fitted today and will find a lovely home in the bag from Spokwerks, and the two Cookie Jars on each side of the stem will host food for the day, easily accessible even when riding. For a review of those head here. I will have more space for food and electronic devices in the Apidura bag strapped on top of the roll, a very useful addition to the bag, while I will use the top tube bag for my camera and iPhone.

But the most fascinating improvement is the new Sea to Summit X-Pot that has just arrived. 2.8l that collapse down to almost nothing, gone are the days of bulky cooking pots that rattle like nothing else in your kit bags. There’s also space for my X-Bowl and my spork, happy days! The first couscous prepared yesterday was a delight, I will surely have more on the road.

And if you made it here and you live in Edinburgh, feel free to come to my talk this Thursday at the Edinburgh Central Youth Hostel, you can see the bike and equipment in full flesh there. And now enjoy the rest of the weekend.