It was time for final rides and farewells with friends in Den Haag. Time to imagine what it would be like to ride in Kuala Lumpur and elsewhere in Malaysia. The country of my birth and upbringing. A country where roadies were a rare breed when I left it four years ago. A country where the past few years have seen an apparent explosion in the number of cyclists of all persuasions.
It was soon time to prepare for the move. I ordered a South East Asia map card from Garmin for my Edge 705. A few days later Ride With GPS announced the availability of an OpenStreetMap (OSM) map for South Asia at a quarter of the price that Garmin was asking. Ain’t that the way? Perhaps I’ll write up a comparative review of the maps one day.
The week before my departure my friend Richard B asked me to go with him to Rose BikeTown in Bocholt, Germany. This is reputed to be the largest bike shop in Europe. More than 20,000 items spread over 6,000 square metres of floor space. A literal Aladdin’s Cave for cyclists. Needless to say I succumbed to temptation and came away with a Ritchey WCS 4-Axis Stem and a WCS Evo Curve Carbon Bar to replace the Comp Stem and Road Logic Bar that were on my steel bike.
There was no question that the bikes were going to be air-freighted to Kuala Lumpur. I assembled a collection of tools, a couple of pairs of bib shorts, some jerseys, socks, shoes, a pair of gloves and a helmet to travel together with the bikes. It was touch and go to get the new stem and bar mounted on the steel bike and get the rear wheel bearings replaced on my titanium bike before the packers came to box them up. I had until 3pm on Wednesday. The bike with the new wheel bearings came out of the shop at 1pm that day.
A few hours later everything was boxed and in the back of a truck. Hopefully to be seen again, intact and looking like they do below, in ten days time.
My steel bike:
My titanium bike: