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Dawes Galaxy Ultra 2014

Well, I have gone and done it. Just bought myself a brand new bike. Other than a few trips to work and back on my cheap £99.00 mountain bikes over my 30 year working life, the last time I rode regularly was over 30 years ago and that was to school and back and my paper round. I chose the Dawes Ultra as my research told me that an athlete I am not, so an aluminium or carbon fibre framed feather light bike was not for me and an Audax half-way house, doesn't know if it is a racing bike or a touring bike, also presented me with pause for thought. As soon as I stumbled across the Dawes I knew I had found the bike that matched my character. Ok, much heavier but with a 25 Kilo capacity on the rear I knew I could at least get my rain jacket, flask of tea, camera and butties on the bike. The cost of the bike came in at £1799.00 but, with a clever bit of research, I found one sitting on a shelf in Halifax, brand new and at £1,299. As the only frame size available was the size I needed, a 53 cm and 500 quid off, I could hear the angels singing and pressed the add to shopping cart button within a nano-second. I then had face up to and convince the wife, but that is another story and she may start speaking to me again in a few weeks! So why take such a chance and spend a small fortune on bike? A few things, first of all the beer belly, it has to go. Secondly, mental health, I just need some time when it is just me. I seem to live between work and home. Third, I have just turned 47 and apart from my Bee-keeping, which I love dearly, I need a more energetic hobby. I love to set myself challenges so I find it fun to set-mini challenges like yesterday; all I had to do was stay in the saddle for an hour. Have you ever tried to ride a bike on a brand new Brooks 17 Leather Saddle? I am assured it will end up as one of the worlds most comfortable saddles, after about a thousand miles. At the moment at the 26 mile point it feels like I am sitting on a concrete post. I managed half an hour then stopped for a quick drink and a bum rest. Had my first comedy moment when I tried to re-clip. Clipped my left foot in but forgot to get up a bit of speed before I clipped my right foot in; you can guess what happened next? The bike started to lean left, I shouted out a rather rude expletive and the next moment I was in the gravel. first scratch on a three day old bike to the left hand brake lever, gravel rash on my left hand and a slightly sprained wrist, still, no one saw me which was a bit of a conciliation but I bet there is someone in a passing car with a funny story to tell . I am really interested if any of you have a touring bike, especially the same as mine or similar, to hear what you think of the bike or any tips you may have. So far I have added a pair of Altura Arran 36 Panniers, a Cateye Velo Wireless Cyclocomputer CC-VT200W and front and rear Radian high intensity lights. One question I have, my tyres are Schwalbe Marathon 700 x 32c with Green Guard. Can any one advise on what is the best tyre pressure to run on these tyres? Life is full of lessons and today's lesson, following my 8 miler is, when on a bike hold your breath when you go past a large road kill! Well, tomorrow is Sunday and I am hoping to go out in the morning for 3 hours, that is tomorrows mini-challenge; I will let you know how I get on. It turns out that that from my house, just down the road about a mile away, I cross the Meridian time line, I have always thought this as rather cool. Also, about 6 miles away I can join the Sustrans Route 1 here in Lincolnshire. This is a rote that mainly runs up the East coast of the UK from Dover to the Shetland Islands. Tomorrow I will be riding to the river Wytham and join with Route 1 for the first time heading toward Lincoln. An hour and a half out and the same to return, with a small cafe stop somewhere in the middle. Wish me luck and I will let you know how I get on. Happy cycling to every one and may the winds stay on your back and the roads remain smooth and downhill. Regards, Cycle Bikel.


Submitted by Nathaniel on

Thanks for sharing, sounds like a nice setup! I've been using my hybrid for touring, it would be good to get a proper touring rig. I've noticed that biking is great for my legs, arms and shoulders, but sort of skips the midsection. Standing and pedaling more aggressively seems to work for better core exercise.

Your story reminds me of a time I fell over in my own driveway hah. Scratched up a new bike, my left hand and even tweaked the derailleur.

Good luck!

I have to say I am a bit dissapointed at the possibility of not loosing the beer belly as quickly as I thought but going from couch potato, miles zero a week, to 60+ miles in 5 days should at least do the old tikker a bit of good. Apart from my aching legs, aching forearms and a really sore bum, from my concrete saddle, I feel great!!!

The bikes holding out great, I just need to work out what the best tyre pressures I need in my tyres.

Cheers for the reply.