Hi Andrew, Thanks again for your kind words and add on your blog. Your trip to the south of Italy sounded awesome, there are so many good trips to do out there! Yeh, I was a bit hesitant telling the kids at first but I have had a really good response from them, looks like I will have to get them to apply to join us on the first leg as so many want to come! All good! What bike did you use? It looks like our attempt to get three bamboo bikes might be a bit unrealistic now so I will probably get a new hybrid/tourer but not really sure where to start, My budget will be around £800, any ideas thoughts would be appreciated. Anyway, thanks again Lisa
Apologies for the delay in replying – I don’t function on a non-teaching level until I wake up on a Saturday morning. I’m sure you know what I mean. I bought a Ridgeback Panorama which cost about £1,200. I get good use out of it however as I use it every day to cycle to and from work. I always try to think of the costs involved with the bike in comparison to what I would be spending if I had not given up on a car a few years ago, so £1,200 seemed reasonable, especially for the long trip I was planning last summer. It did, however, take me quite a while to decide what I would buy – see the page on my website where I listed some of the alternatives – but once I had decided, I was happy with the choice. The Ridgeback is a strong but light bike with both back and front pannier racks (some just had the rear ones) which had good reviews when I read up in magazines and online. If I had the money, I would have loved to buy a Koga Miyata – the bike that Mark Beaumont (and others) used to cycle around the World and from North to South America, but to get a good one, you are talking thousands… I did make one main modification to the bike and that was to replace the drop handlebars with butterfly bars. I can’t recommend enough these bars. They are extremely comfortable; I would have come back from southern Italy bent double if I had kept the drops. Unfortunately they don’t tend to come as standard with “cheaper” (!!) bikes, only with the likes of the Koga Miyata. One last thing to note; I bought my bike via my employers (Oxfordshire County Council) and was able to reduce the cost by about 35% as it was deductible from tax. Most large employers run the scheme and it’s worth looking into. I suppose I ended up buying my £1,200 Ridgeback Panorama for about £800 which actually brings in into your price range…
Anyway, best of luck with the trip. I’ll be following you every step (or turn of the wheel).
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