When I bought my new bike, a Torker, it was sold to me as a commuter bike with a way more generous gear ratio. Perfect, I thought, for long-distance cycling. Just because I had a few extra teeth though didn’t mean I should plan to cycle the Highlands of Scotland or attempt a JOGLE, but that’s exactly what I did.
JOGLE, from John O’Groats to Land’s End in Cornwall: in fall 2016, 1,100 miles in 20 days, one spent holed up in a gale in a caravan. Only later after getting home and thinking more about it did I reckon I needed better gearing for touring.
Halifax, Nova Scotia – Deer Isle, Maine: June 2017 brought me a new bike adventure. 638 miles over 12 days, definitely more relaxed and several ferries. I spent 2 days cycling the carriage roads of Acadia Nat. Park. But on the very last day of my trip a problem reoccurred—I threw a spoke on my back wheel. This same thing happened in England, but just dismissed it as a result of cycling so many miles sometimes over dirt and gravel. But the mechanic in Blue Hill told me my bike was not built for touring.
So when I got home I began to research. I went from 28 spokes to a brand new rear wheel bought used for $8 with 36 spokes. I also began to upgrade my gearing. From 13-26t to my lowest gear is now 34. I had compact gearing 34 – 50 in front. I bought a used triple crank for $15, 42 – 20. This will be a world of difference on my next trip.
Which I’m planning now in the bone-chilling dead of winter. How about you—ready to come along?!