More people have been curious as to how the bike is holding up rather than me! I’ll take that as a positive vote of confidence in my abilities to get through this in one piece.
So the bike, Reggie Ridgeback Panorama. He appears to be fine. Initial annoyances with rattles and squeaks and vibrations have disappeared. I’ll put this down to starting the trip on British “boneshaker” roads in the first couple of days. Now that I am cycling on predominantly good quality road surfaces, such minor issues have all but disappeared. Iain Harper back in Deal also helped me by tightening a few screws. But I do have the Italian roads to come… I think I am over using the middle gear of the middle front plate or cog and it is occasionally starting to slip, especially when starting off in that gear. Everything else is fine which is what you what you would expect really from a new bike in good cycling conditions. I hope that doesn’t tempt fate.
Well as you ask, I’m fine too. My only issues remain my cut foot from the shower slip in a Luxembourg hotel and I still have a slight twinge in my left shoulder from the ballroom dancing episode back in Boulogne…. I’ll stick to the cycling 🙂
Slipping middle front? Could be many things but it is unlikely to be wear yet. I lost a tooth of an ultegra middle ring once and that gave a few misses but this is very rare. Chain condition is more probable. A stiff link due to rust (it has been raining and this can wash a chain dry of oil) could be the culprit but take care not to over oil it! (put it on the side of the chain the cogs touch only and wipe off excess with a rag) get a pair of gloves from your first aid kit and feel that every link moves freely. If you find a stiff one oil it and work it with your fingers till it is loose. A kink in the chain line could also cause skipping, this should be apparent when looking down the chain and is usualy caused if your chain came off and jammed. this is best fixed with a new chain (about £20 fitted by a bike shop, Whipperman are good strong touring chains if you get a choice) It could also be the front derrailure out of adjustment but you would have noticed the rubbing noise.
Hope this helps