Climbing the Grenchenberg
Climbing the Grenchenberg on September 2, 2023

Travel Bookings To Balconia

The last time my wife and I traveled was in October 2017. We drove to Nice to meet an American friend who happened to spend a few days there. We used the trip to Nice to visit a bunch of wineries in the Rhône Valley. On the way back, we crossed the border into Italy for a winery tour through the Piedmont region. A drive across the Great St Bernard pass brought us back to Switzerland. We have not spent any vacations abroad or within Switzerland since. Seeing how one natural disaster is following the next on our ever-hotter planet, who can still travel with a good conscience today? Travel by air or by car is a luxury only a few on this planet can even afford. It’s a First World luxury and not a necessity. For a healthier planet and the future of generations to come, we should honestly do without.

Lately, my blog has focused more on equipment and gear than rides because I do all my riding from home. I have not been able to spend the time I would like on the saddle, so rides aren’t long nor particularly adventurous. So, there just isn’t much interesting to report about. This past seven days, I took a staycation and took advantage of the dry, sunny conditions to hit the trails on my Stooge. While some days were at my heat limit, I got out for 3-hour rides daily. The trails were spectacular. Looking at the leaf-covered ground, one felt like being in the middle of autumn. Looking at the foliage, though, autumn seems nowhere yet. That isn’t good. The forests at our latitudes aren’t used to the kind of heat we’re experiencing, and they’re suffering from heat stress. It remains to be seen if our trees are going to carry the beautiful fall colors that they should in the weeks to come or if they’re going to drop their foliage as rapidly as some already have.

I’ll return to share a few bike updates In the coming weeks and months. I already mentioned in a recent post that XPLR is the perfect drivetrain for my road and gravel rides. So, there are a couple of things on my todo list:

Nordest Albarda:
  • Install a 5-bolt 110BCD spider and FlatTop compatible 42T oval chainring ☑️
  • Remove SRAM Red AXS front derailleur ☑️
  • Replace the 30mm BSA bottom bracket ☑️
  • Replace the 2.5mm offset Rotor road axle with a shorter standard axle ☑️
  • Replace SRAM Force FlatTop chain
  • Install SRAM Red XPLR AXS rear derailleur instead of the standard one
Volagi Viaje:
  • Install a 5-bolt 110BCD spider and FlatTop compatible 44T oval chainring ☑️
  • Remove SRAM Red eTap front derailleur ☑️
  • Replace Industry 9 Torch HG-type freehub body with an XDR freehub
  • Install SRAM XPLR 10-44T cassette
  • Install SRAM Force FlatTop chain
  • Install SRAM Force XPLR AXS rear derailleur instead of the old one
  • Install SRAM Force AXS shift/brake levers instead of the old Red eTap ones