Just so you know this blog didn't go to the dogs the other day, I'm posting this photo:
Charlie just happened to be there when I was setting up my new camera, which I bought because my old one is dying and I wanted a camera with a wider-angle lens for my upcoming trip.
Believe it or not, he was rescued. With a face like that, how in the world did he end up on the streets?
All right...Enough rhetorical questions that question the state of the human race. You're not reading this blog for that, right?
So I'll answer a burning question. Yes, Miss Mercian II is just about done. I only took her for a couple of quick test rides: not enough to offer a detailed ride report. That, I'm afraid, will have to wait until I return from my trip.
I've kept most of the equipment that was on the bike when I bought it. However, I changed the fenders (from black plastic ones), brake and shift levers, and chainrings (from a triple to a single with a guard). However, the most interesting--to some of you--change might be this:
I flipped over a pair of Northroad-style bars to give a position that's somewhat similar to what Helene, my other Miss Mercian, has with the Porteur-style bars. The bike originally came with dropped bars, which necessitated changing the levers.
I had originally planned to use the bars in the upright position. But then I found it more upright than I really wanted, so, as per Velouria's idea, I flipped the bars. That made yet another change necessary:
I had originally planned to use the Gyes Parkside I took off Marianela. However, I found it was too wide after I flipped the bars. So I went to Old Reliable: a Brooks B 17, the same saddle I have on Helene. (Arielle and Tosca, my road and fixed-gear Mercians, have B-17 narrow saddles.) And we all know that you have to put a honey or brown saddle on a green bike, right? Of course--especially when the grips match!
And I decided this bike simply had to have gumwall tires. There aren't as many good-quality ones (that is to say, real gumwalls as opposed to ones that are merely yellowish) as there were in the '70's or '80's, and even fewer in 700C. The ones on this bike are made by Schwalbe.
I might make another change or two once I get some miles on the bike. But most of what you see is what will remain on this bike, I think.
Note: My posts during the next two weeks will probably be more sporadic. If you don't hear from me, I've joined some group that's riding to Moscow or someplace. Or, I've gotten a job teaching English or met a guy named Vaclav!