29 June 2009

Susan. And Sardegna. And Corsica.

Who is Susan? This is Susan :)
We leave Berlin early on a sunny morning and fly to Sardegna with our bicycles packed in two big heavy cartons - to arrive at the Mediterranean in a chilly downpour. But the weather changes quickly and after a few days we sweat away at almost 40 degrees centigrade on the steep roads of this amazingly beautiful island. Susan just comes out of her job in Nigeria and the hills present a rather hard training.
However the hardship - in the end the beaches and the clear blue water compensate for any painstaking effort that one has to go through in order to reach them.
Sardegna offers a wide range of different landscapes. Steep rocky terrain with small hidden bays, dense pine forests, dry rough hills, high cliffs falling into the ocean, sanddunes, low wide fertile agricultural plains, narrow canyons, wide sand beaches... and always fantastically clear blue water!

After two weeks on the west coast of Sardegna we take a ferry to the northern island of Corsica. The beaches are just as pretty as in Sardegna and after a first dip-in we decide to do something antirely different: mountains. Corsica has a massive mountainrange running all through its middle from south to north and it features what is described to us as the european cult-hiking-path GR20. We leave the bikes at a camping site at the beginning of the trail and pack our backpacks and get going. The trail is tough and demanding. It leads through a different type of terrain almost every day and on clear days you see the ocean - sometimes to both sides of the trail!!!
Hiking-fanatics: this is really worth a trip :)
Tough and hot as it is we don`t manage to do all the 15 day hikes that it takes to make ot all the way from Porto Vecchio in the south to Calvi in the north or Corsica. We decide to make our GR20 adventure a GR10 stop in the middle to hitch hike back to the bicycles. Then we follow the east coast all the way up to Bastia where we sit now and wait for the famous yellow ships of Corsica/Sardinia Ferries to take us back to the European mainland.

The new bike

So this is the new old look... Hardo Wagner managed to send me their "Trekking" frame quick enough to arrive in Berlin at the same time as Susan does. Her bike is already receiving a thorough overhaul...
At the same time as I change my frame from Fat City Cycles to Hardo Wagner I also change my brake system to Magura hydraulic rim brakes (see Statistics on http://www.globetreter.gmxhome.de/).
The bike rides great. And on top of this it is as BLUE as my old one.

16 June 2009

This is the end...

Sadly, on my way to Rome I discover that my beloved Fat Chance Monster Fat frame has developed a spiral shaped crack close to the bottom bracket. The frame is now almost 20 years old!!! I hesitate to have it welded but then decide to contact the German bicycle maufacturer "Hardo Wagner/Ferrotech" and ask for their support. In record speed they are able to ship a new frame to Berlin were I fly a couple of days later to pick it up together with my girlfriend Susan who will join me cycling in Sardinia and Corsica...
Until then I jerry-rig my old frame with a bandage made out of an old coke can and some duct tighteners and hope that it will still last until Neaples.