The Dutch word 'tegenslag' is translated into English rougly as 'misfortune' or 'setback'. I guess setback comes close, but I still prefer the slightly different nuance of the Dutch word. So why is this post called tegenslag? Well, I've been preparing for another cycling trip, but things are not exactly going smoothly.

The fact that I'm preparing for a cycling trip is not really big news, since I'm always cycling. This trip will be slightly different though, for several reasons. The only reason I'll tell you guys today is that I will be traveling alone. No buddies with me this time, meaning I have to be doubleplus prepared. So for the past weeks I've been working on my bicycle, fixing (or letting other people fix) all the small things that are wrong with it.

The gears are pretty much fixed, which is the most important part. The next part is the fenders. Both the front and rear fender broke during last year, partly because of rough usage, but mostly because they're crappy plastic-y parts that fall apart just by looking at them. Unfortunately, because my bicycle is an extremely exotic Giant Great Journey 2, 2007 model, getting fenders that fit are a near impossible task! I've been to four bicycle shops already. Two of them basically told me it can't be done, one of them told me they'll call Giant and ask around, and call me back, which they never did. The last shop is supposed to call me next Wednesday, and it's my last hope. If anyone reading this knows where to get spoilers for a Great Journey, that would be greatly appreciated! Japanese tidbit: in Japanese, a fender is called 'doroyoke', or 'mud-dodger'. Descriptive, isn't it?

The last setback happened today, while I was shopping for a handlebar bag. I found the perfect one, but it proved to be unmountable on my bicycle, because of the peculiar setup of brake lines on my handlebar. The brake cables basically block anything in-between, so I can't have a handlebar bag. I was really looking forward to having one.... I could finally have had a place to put my camera within easy reach, and have a map of the road directly in front of me. Now I'll have to put them elsewhere :(

Great Journey

On an unrelated note: I added a poll about which articles you guys prefer. Give me some feedback, guys!

Posted in Cycling , Photography , Spirit of Japan | Tagged , ,