On Saturday my wife and I put on a "gourmet bbq" and were just delighted with the support from all our friends...your guys are amazing! We are tallying up the donations buts its given both the Dom Pardy Trust and Rethink donations a really big boost that was much needed...I'll post the numbers shortly with a few photos.
But THANK YOU!
In the meantime...I had a bit of a shock last week. I'd taken Bianca (Yes - the bike) in for a final health check before I head off next week...and got a call from the mechanic saying he'd found a crack in the frame. Worst fears were confirmed. It doesn't look like much to the naked eye, but getting in there with the flash revealed Bianca was a sick girl who would not safely get me the required 1000 miles:
So, I've started the slow process of trying to get a replacement under warranty. Whilst the bike is a Bianchi Camaleonte hybrid bike, and frames are covered for 5 years, I have no chance of getting this sorted before next Tuesday. "Bianca" has done over 12,000 km so I've been more than happy with that bike - I'll try to get the frame replaced and then decide what to do with her from there. I'm also really glad I found out about this now while I can do something about it...not in the back country, miles from any bike shop!
So, I went bike shopping on Sunday. After some frenzied research and getting thoroughly hacked off with Evans Cycles website showing bikes they wont have in stock for months (argh I hate on-line retailers that advertise stuff they don't have!!) I narrowed it down to a couple of options then went round 7 or 8 bike shops on Sunday looking at options.
In the end, took a bit of a risk going for a road bike frame - a risk because in training I wasn't riding in that position...but the bike is beautifully suited to touring and will do a better job than my nippy commuter hybrid.
I got a Specialized Tricross Sport:
Cyclecross bikes are tough enough to take a few knocks whilst still potentially having a bit of zip to them, and I'll switch the fatter 32mm tyres that came with it, to narrower road tyres. Tonight I've been fitting all my bits and pieces and will now cram in as much training as possible in the next 7 days...yup, just a week to go!
Thank you so much to all my friends and colleagues for your generosity...its almost time for me to pay it back now and do this thing