Saturday, June 12, 2010
More about the bike...
So after a day spent fiddling with cables and duct tape, trying to make sense of user manuals and pedalling up hills to see what gear ratio to use, the bike is finally dressed up in race mode and ready to go (well almost, it still needs one more bottle and cage)
A couple of tweaks include ditching the lock-on grips in favour of thicker bar tape for a bit of cushioning, putting all the tools and spares into a bottle and storing it low down in a bottle cage instead of a saddle bag, strapping the spare tyre under the saddle and sticking with the original 32x17 gear ratio.
And then there's the electrical system - the front hub houses a dynamo which powers the light directly, without the need for a battery pack. It also powers an onboard charging unit mounted on the stem, which will be used to charge the tracking device and a phone. The devices being charged are stored in the small pouch mounted up front on the top tube. I'll also be using a headlamp mounted to the helmet to light the way when walking or carrying the bike over some of the portages because the front wheel needs to be turning to provide power and light. The components are all off the shelf items popular among long distance touring cyclists so hopefully they'll be reliable out on the trail too.
Now it's just a case of packing my bag with all the clothing, maps and other paraphenalia needed and then I'll be on my way down to Pietermaritzburg for the race registration and briefing on Monday night. The race started officially today (Saturday) with the first of seven batches leaving this morning at 6am. Most people made it into the first support station at Mackenzie Club just before dark with some riders electing to push on even further.