Looks like my first actual shakedown ride is going to be the day I wobble out of Biarritz... I'm reckoning that my Epic bags will arrive later this week when I'm away at the Trek Press Launch in Austria. That means I'm going to land at Stansted on Sunday, drive up north, gather everything in my 'Take to France' box and try to stuff it all in. Then I'm turning round and driving down to Bristol on the Monday, ready to fly on the Tuesday morning.
Ahh, it'll be right, eh?
Final purchases made at Springfield Camping on my way past this morning: some iodine tablets (though there are loads of freshwater springs on the mountainsides in France - in fact, unless it says 'Eau Non Potable' then it's good to drink...), some laundry soap, an MSR Pocket Rocket (I may not be taking a stove this time, but that doesn't mean that I'm not going to be taking one in the future...), a guide to campsites in France (I'll rip out or copy the relevant pages rather than lugging the thing with me...) some superlight and cheap flipflops and, er, that was about it.
I now have some Gore Bikewear arm and legwarmers (and it's heartening to see that the 'Large' size is tight on my mountain bikers' arms - grr!)
Oh, and I recabled the Fargo last week with full Gore RideOn cables. Fully sealed systems should give me some decent service in the mountains. The brake outers are white, just to annoy Jenn Hopkins, who was complaining about some of my colour choices on the bike. I mean, what's wrong with my purple Cane Creek headset and Sage-coloured frame? Really, some people...
Sticking the Fi:zi'k Arione saddle on tonight. Much as it would be fun to take my Brooks Swallow saddle with me, it's not at all broken in yet and it may be me that breaks first... The Arione has proven itself in the Alps last year, so it's coming.