Friday, February 27, 2009


I'm 100 days on the road. Its about time I introduced ye to my bike.
Leonardo Da Vinci may have invented the bicycle, but it was Koga who perfected it.The Koga Signature series is no ordinary bike,in fact its probably the greatest touring bike ever built. Its hand-built in Holland to the highest specification and I have dragged it through practically every terrain there is. I dont know how it puts up with me.
Two years ago I took a 1 way flight to Amsterdam to check out Kogas latest creation-the Signature series. I took a test ride around town and basically didnt want to give the bike back. Over the next 24 hours a bike was built for me using just the components that I selected. Everything from the frame down to what dust-caps on the tyres was arranged. Some people may think €2100 is a crazy price to pay for a bicycle,but then, many people spend double that on cars that are just used for a schoolrun. That bike will take me where ever I want to go. And I want to go around the world. How did I get it home from Amsterdam? I cycled it. How did I test it for this present trip ? I took it to the most difficult terrain in Europe. I took it around Iceland for a 6 week spin. I didn't even get a puncture.
In many ways the bicycle becomes your best friend on the trip. It almost seems to grow human qualities;- a personality of its own. When its left out all night in the pouring rain or driving snow,it will squeak and cringe all the following morning until it gets a fresh coat of oil on its moving parts. As the day continues it gradually comes to enjoy the rolling hills and appreciates its freedom from the banal life of the garden shed. Its not just me who is grunting and heaving on those 15%+ mountains. As I stand on the pedals and rock the bike from right to left, the racks,which hold the pannier bags to the bike, creak under the strain. This trip will test both our limits,but its definitely me who is doing most of the cringing,squeaking and groaning on those mountain climbs.
I think the bike is unamused with my weakness.........

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