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Just in case anyone is curious: The bicycle I use is called a “Hercules Cabrero Light ND”. It would appear that this specific model is no longer available from the manufacturer. I did manage to find a picture that is close enough, though.

Not quite right, but close enough.

The real deal has black text on the frame and a lot more mud splattered everywhere. And when I say “mud”, I obviously mean road-dirt, not real dirt that came from a country place with animals and plants and things.

Interestingly enough, it seems to have won a recommendation in March 2008 (just found that while looking for pictures). Which would roughly fit the time of purchase. I had no idea I owned an award-winning bike. Huzzah!

I didn’t add anything to the bike at the beginning. I cycled in my jeans and t-shirt to work, strapping a little bag on for my keys and phone.

This has changed rather a lot. Rapidly, I would add. My cycling speed plays a rather important role there. I don’t like going slow. I obviously don’t rush the whole distance at my maximum speed (wish I could, to be honest), but I do get rather sweaty (sorry, TMI?). Work is not horrible to cyclists, though, as there is a shower and a place to get changed. So one of the first additions was panniers.

 

Something like this – although looking a bit more solid. I was worried I’d drop the hobby and picked up some for roughly 25€. They came in water-resistant cloth with plastic inserts to make them roughly box-shaped. And the added bag-space was great. I could bring an additional set of clothes and a towel and some shower-gel. Luxuries in the morning – almost as valuable as coffee.

I’ve since replaced them with something better. The disadvantages were not horrible: They were strapped to the sides of the rack with velcro, so every time I wanted to remove them I had to fiddle near the rear spokes (read: black fingers). The “water-resistant cloth” was okay, but unfortunately the lid did not properly close. When I first cycled through a heavy rain I had water seep in slowly – and they filled up halfway when parked outside at work.

New ones are these:

 

They are made from something like lorry-covering-PVC and are rolled over a few times to close. I’ve never seen water in there yet. A bit more expensive (~100€) but well worth it now for the autumn and winter riding.

I’ve also since added a cycle-computer. Another cheapy thing. There are apparently versions out there that can track my cadence, heart rate and altitude. Mine does speed, average speed, maximum speed, distance travelled and temperature. Those will do.

I still don’t have an on-board water supply. As my current work-run is limited to around 14km and I intend to bring my panniers for anything longer, I didn’t see the need to add a bottle holder yet. Sure, it’s more convenient while cycling – but honestly: If I’m thirsty I can just as well stop every so often, take a bottle from my bags and have a drink. This is not the desert. Or a race. Or anything.

 

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