Oh dear, it is hot, temperature peaking at 40, I have a cold with a terrible cough, my fiance’s parents are visiting and I have to ride 1000 kilometres and prep the bike for the journey. Please, one of these things would have been enough!
Normally I love to ride, naturally. And 1000 kilometres would be 3 dayrides. But, in this heat, that is not possible for me. So far I have ridden 620 km, and I’m very satisfied with my work. Now I have two more days to finish off before riding down to Seseña on Friday morning.
That should be straightforward but nevertheless it’s not just to get on the bike and ride. I do need to adjust stuff, to sort out the saddle, the vibrations… I have spent most of the day scan-reading the American and British Versys forums. Now I can see how many modifications these happy Versys owners have done, to deal with the vibrations, for example. I have ordered Grip Puppies from the USA. They’re like a rubber tube to put on the grips to dampen the vibrations. I hope they work. I also need to do something to sort out the vibrations in the footpegs, the vibrations there are not as bad as in the handlebars but worry me more due to my already existing problems with numbness and sparks in my feet and shins. I am going to continue to put an effort into buying new boots, and definitely go for the touring model with thicker rubber sole. It’s just that boots are about the most difficult thing to buy, hence why I still have the smelly ones from 2005. Hopefully, set-up can do something to help reduce vibrations too – it’s going to be looked into on Friday.
Another thing is the saddle, I found lots of things on the forums, from aftermarket, expensive, custom-made leather saddles to people re-doing their own saddle. The idea I chose to follow up on was a guy who stuffed two socks in through the already existing hole in the plastic base of the saddle. I did the same, sitting on the street next to my bike stuffing and stuffing through that small little hole with a kitchen spoon as my working tool. Up comes a little old lady, “Miss is doing some work here on the street!?” Yes, I answer, I’m preparing my bike, gesturing towards the Versys and turning the saddle around so she can see it. “Oh,” she says, “I thought you were doing something on display for us to see” Ehumm…. what can I say… sorry , I’m just sitting on the street because I don’t have a garage. Sweet things these old Spanish ladies. But the sock trick did work, seating position is improved, but I still need to fine tune it. And on Friday the garage is going to raise the front of the saddle a bit too. I hope for success.
Furthermore I have planned a bit more of the actual ride. I will go east from Madrid and stay a night on the coast before riding up to Barcelona along the coast road.
What I still haven’t dared to do though is to ride with the panniers, but I do have to fit that in soon too. The preparations were meant to be done during a month’s time, not a week. Considering that, I have to say I’m doing a hell of a good job!!