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And the Winner Is...

And the winner for Nif’s New Bike is...Independent Fabrications – the Independence Touring Frame . I came to this conclusion somewhere in the wee hours of the morning after asking every divination method I could thing of about which wheel to choose 26: or 700c. Finally I just said, “Screw it,” and figured that the 26” was sturdier.

independence-lg.jpg

Apparently, much of Bolivia is unpaved and then there is the infamous Ruta 40 in Argentina which apparently is getting better, but that’s looking on the bright side. I’ve just heard from Ian Thumbert (who is organizing a trip from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego) that “…much of this route the road is "BRUTAL" for cycling with large rock and potholes and barren, desolate, and isolated. Very hard on car tires and undercarriages. Obviously very tough riding on bikes; particularly hard on tires, tubes, and wheels if you are not careful.” Lucky devil took a scouting trip.

Ian’s tour is scheduled to leave in May or so, I believe, and you can contact him at j.thumlert@shaw.ca for more information if you’re interested in joining the trip.

Back to the bike…I have an appointment with Zoltan from Sid’s Bikes in Manhattan on Friday the 24th and I hope we get everything straightened out. This is the moment where I put down the huge deposit – it’s like buying an airplane ticket - I hate it, but love where it gets me.

As for the frame, I’m still not sure whether Zoltan asked Independent Fabrications if the frame could be made for 26” wheels. I suppose these things will be ironed out in good time (as in Friday). I’ll go in fully prepared anyway with the fit kit from IF and a description of the bike.

I’m excited. And apprehensive. And excited!

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