A Mixed Bag
The last few days have been rather up and down, so I reckoned it was about time for an update.
DISASTER! I had always known that the bike I was planning to ride - a 1994 Dawes Synthesis - was pretty old and needed many parts replacing. I did not know, however, quite how worn its parts were getting. What started with a cheap tyre that exploded during a ride made me realise just how tired this old bike really was: so old, it turns out, that the mechanic described it as 70% worn out, and that the only serviceable parts were the wheels and the saddle. Somewhat of a spanner in the works there. This is the bike which I have been riding for the past (nearly) 6 years of its 19-year life; I rode it 900 miles across the UK from John O Groats to Lands End when I was 16, competed on it in triathlons, and I must admit I'm hugely sentimental about it, mainly because of its sturdiness and fantastically ergonomic handlebars. It's something I hate to have to do, but I am now faced with the problem of looking for a new bike. I'm considering what is effectively the next evolution of the Synthesis after Dawes stopped producing it, the Galaxy AL. This is the lowest-priced of the Galaxy range (the top of which reaches almost £2,000) at £600 which, whilst providing me with what will hopefully be a long-lasting touring bike, unfortunately has a knock-on effect on travel plans for next year.
But I can't really complain: at least becoming a professional guinea pig for psychology experiments has allowed me to save enough money to be able to afford a new bike without kicking a hole in my student budget next year. I've also managed to get myself some local news coverage: hopefully this exposure will encourage more donations, in combination with some opportunistic propaganda-flyering when the Tour de France route comes through my hometown on 7th July. It feels a little ridiculous to be attaching a link to another site, but maybe the journalistic stylings of Eleanor Busby will put my case to you better than I can.