I got my new bike today, and it is a thing of beauty. It seems to weigh about half as much as my Oxford hybrid and the components are dramatically sharper and more precise in their operation. I had them swap the grips for some with more traction, as well as replace the pedals with solid metal ones with cages. I have never ridden a bike with the latter before and have mixed feelings about them. With my feet in the cages, it is a bit awkward to stop at intersections. With the cages hanging loose under, they can scrape the ground on the inside of a turn.
In addition to the bike, lock, and helmet, I got a pair of 14L Arkel panniers. They aren’t the most attractive looking things, but the fabric they are made from seems extremely durable and the staff of the shop were very keen on the brand. At present, the left one has an awkward habit of sometimes brushing the back of my foot when my toes are inside the cage. I will need to adjust it somehow to avoid that.
I celebrated the acquisition of the bike and panniers through the purchase of about 35kg of dense foodstuffs: from yams to big tins of beans to salsa. Tomorrow, I am looking forward to Critical Mass. This weekend, I am looking for cycling further afield.
PS. I also want to express the degree to which I appreciated G.M Bertrand Cycles. Their staff was dramatically more helpful than those at any other place I visited. They gave me a good deal, fit the bike to me (with my pedaling on this odd stationary platform), promised a year’s maintenance, installed all the accessories I bought, did the grip and pedal switch for a pittance, and were otherwise exemplary.