Last minute panics always keep you sharp!
This year I did very little to the bikes, no new cassettes or chains, except for routine maintenance and a clean. Everything was shiny and spick and span and with Damae off on tour with Toos in Germany I had a week to myself to relax and pack. Or so I thought.
The first weekend Damae was away her bike gave me a fright, when I discovered that the rear bearings needed replacing and that the rear axle was bent. Still, it was better that I found this out the last weekend BEFORE we left, than the one after. The wheel we bought in Denmark in 2006 of course didn't have a standard axle diameter. So I had to cannibalise and old bike with a Shimano sized rear axle which allowed me to get cones and ball bearings that fit from SNEL.
So now her rear wheel has an axle with a bigger diameter which should be a bit stronger. Fingers crossed, as I don't want to have a repeat of bearing troubles like last year. Both bikes have grippier tyres at the back, a lesson learned from last year. We have also taken winter hats and gloves after our experiences on the Rallarvegen.
There has been an evolution in terms of bags and packing. Damae got a top box in the sales to tidy her bike up a bit. As the holiday progresses she tends to strap more and more things onto her rear rack between her 'beauty cases'. These things tend hang down obscuring her rear light, or dangle worryingly close to her rear wheel. So in the name of safety we've solved that problem.
We're really hoping that our chosen route in Sweden will not be as hard on the bikes as Denmark was last year. We learned a lot and cycled a lot as well. This year is going to be a proper holiday. Not long to go and we'll be settling down for the night, whilst the train takes us to Copenhagen.