Monday, July 2, 2007

Mercy!

I leave Wednesday for the big trip. Here we go! I've spent countless hours tracing out my hoped-for route (the end of the Northern Tier with a detour around the Green Mountain Loop) across the contour lines of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. I made myself a faboo saddlebag. I've found some friends and friends-of-friends to stay with en route. I've trained and tuned up my bike. I've been 90% packed for more than a week. I'm just about as ready for this as I'm gonna get.

Today I loaded everything up and took Mercy for a test spin down to the beach and the only dirt road I know in NYC outside of Staten Island. The good news: Nothing fell off or even jiggled very much! The other good news: It still felt really good with most of the weight up front now that it's fully loaded (~25 pounds of gear in the front, maybe 10 in the back with 4 full water bottles). The bad news: I think the raincoat material I used for the saddlebag is a bit flimsy and prone to tearing. Not that there's a real danger of it falling apart on the road, but it might wind up a rack-top trunk instead of a saddlebag a few days in.

A few more snaps all loaded up:
The bike is a 70's (I'm guessing) Mercier mixte, with all the parts switched out from when I got it except the headset, brakes, bars, and fenders.
Gear-heads, here's the fine print:

Stronglight 99 triple cranks
Eggbeater pedals
Original mafac racer brakes & levers
Original stronglight headset
SRAM long-cage plastic rear derailleur
Shimano ??? front derailleur
Shimano bar-end friction shifters
XT 9-speed cassette, of which 8 are usable due to wacky mixte geometry (the middle stays get in the way, so I set the r/d limit screws as if the smallest cog wasn't there)
Vittoria Rando 700 x 32 tires
Brooks Pro saddle (borrowed from my commuter)
The front rack is an Old Man Mountain that mounts using a special skewer. The up-side for me: it's super easy to install ( the front rack won't fit in my bike box so I'll need to re-assemble it in my hotel room) The down-side: you have to pull the skewer the whole way out to change a front flat.


Finally, here it is all boxed up! I got a fancy aircaddy box that lets me put the bike on the plane without disassembling it -- the back wheel is still on -- I just had to pull the seat and front wheel and turn the bars backwards.

Thanks, everyone for your well-wishes! My next bike-y post will have the mountains in the background instead of my porch! There will be stars, it'll be cold at night, and I'll eat lots of pie. Hooray!

5 comments:

Enthusia said...

wow--i have no idea what any of that is on a bike. sudden urge to consult my owners manual and actually know my bike--

have a great trip! the photos will be amazing, to be sure--

Anonymous said...

Looks like you're ready to roll. Have fun, enjoy the ride, and eat lots of pie. We'll be living vicariously thru you.

hareyakara said...

Have a great trip! Sounds like a lot of fun.

Emily said...

I am so jealous of your trip! Have fun-- I can't wait to hear about it.

rduht said...
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