Just nine days remain until I fly from Minneapolis to Zurich, Switzerland, to launch a 1,950 mile bicycle tour, and a ride of the Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) Grand Randonee. I am mostly prepared and excited about the adventure, but a bit nervous, too, as after four months of planning, there is more to prepare.
For this trip, which will combine bicycle touring and randonneuring, I have decided to retrofit my 1982 Trek 720 touring bike. The drivetrain is all-new, with Shimano XT derailleurs, cassette, and crankset, and Dura Ace 10-speed bar end shifters. Unfortunately, with its Dynasys system, the road shifters are not compatible with the XT mountain bike rear derailleur. So, an older model of Deore derailleur that is compatible has been ordered. This is critical, since the current setup shifts through only 8 of the available 10 rear cogs. The last two big cogs will be needed to climb the Swiss and French Alps. Happiness should return when the new derailleur will be installed by this weekend.
Also, I seem to be dependent (for good or bad) on iPhone apps such as Ride With GPS and Strava to navigate and track rides. While I will have the opportunity to recharge the phone and a battery pack each night while touring, I don’t expect there to be charging opportunities to recharge during the 90-hour, 1,230 km, PBP. So, I have ordered a USB charging device, called the Sinewave Revolution, that will connect to my SON 28 dynamo hub to provide USB charging capabilities whenever the headlight and taillight are not needed. It will be great to be “off the grid” and maintain iPhone power and have a reliable and bright lighting system with no batteries needed.
Check back in a couple of days when I will publish a route map and itinerary for the European tour and PBP. I have found that preparing is a big part of the adventure, especially if it is to be successful and misadventures minimized in number and impact.