July 4, 2009
It's 11 pm and I'm just back from the Rocky Mountain bicycle plant in Delta, where Peter Vallance, the man who's in charge of sponsorships for the company, put the final bits on my new bike tonight. It looks fantastic (see the pictures): great, tough, solid wheels, disk brakes, chromoly steel frame, top-end Shimano Deore and Deore LX components. I brought the Surly Big Dummy front fork, the special touring handlebars, pedals and seat that I wanted and Peter finished the assembly work. It was fascinating to see all the new bike frames under development and to watch such a skilled technician fine-tuning and adjusting all the necessary bits. My first test ride, a couple of laps of the parking lot, felt fantastic: I've never had such a smooth-riding, smooth-shifting bike. The Blizzard frame even looks good, in the red-and-white of the Canadian flag, with lots of maple leaves, handy to establish my nationality in places where Canadians might be more welcome than Americans.
I still have to put on some stuff; my new Tubus racks (Ergo front rack and Logo rear rack) which will take some creative problem-solving to deal with the disk brakes currently in the way, my Cateye cycling computer, water bottle cages and handlebar tape, but the bike looks fantastic and I'm very happy to be riding it on my trip. It's a definite step up in quality from my faithful old Rocky Mountain Sherpa, and I hope it serves me as long and faithfully.
Can't wait to start riding in Bushehr in a little over a week!!
A big thanks to Rocky Mountain in general and Peter Vallance in particular for providing me with such a high-end bicycle for this trip. It's a better bike than I would ever have bought for myself!