RIDES OF PASSAGE
Arthur replaced the Dawes Galaxy on which he rode the original 1994 trip some time ago. However, because he's rather keen on the ride qualities of Reynolds 531 chromoly tubing, he replaced it with another Dawes Galaxy frame. In this case it was a later model, with a fatter top tube, and it came painted in a ‘bone’ finish — giving it something of a retro look.
Years of constant use saw that original bone paintjob grow a bit tatty. So — because Arthur had always wanted a bike with the World Cup rainbow bands on the seat tube — in 2009 he sent his Galaxy frame off to Mercian Cycles, who repainted it in pearlescent blue with pearlescent white sections. Mercian even had some period Dawes decals to complete the look.
With the frame beautifully finished, Arthur fitted a Shimano XT groupset because it is tough, works well and isn't terribly expensive. He uses bar-end shifters, which can be easily adapted to work in friction mode — ie, non-indexed — and are therefore compatible with any derailleur. Finally, because he noticed that there is a tendency for the front wheel to flop around when a bike fitted with a handlebar bag is stationary, Arthur made a handbrake from a quick release lever, a brake cable hanger and a set of Weinmann brakes. This last little tweak also means that if he parks the bike on an incline, it won't roll away.