Finally, two weeks to the day and pretty much the hour, since placing the order for my new cycle touring bike, it has arrived.
I've just unpacked it and put together the bits I needed too (install the pedals and raise and straighten the handlebars) and taken it for a quick spin. The chap in the shop who built it up for me, chose not to use anti-seize anywhere by all accounts, so I have just attended to that - I chose to bring a pot with me.
The only other things I had to do was install all the other bits and pieces that were stolen with the previous bike - the handlebar bag mount, the GPS mount and the three bottle cages. Why can't some people just leave other peoples things well alone?!? The hassles that I have been caused in trying organise all this and get myself back on the road could have been avoided if the world did not contain so many thieving bastards!
At first glance there are a few things I am not too happy with - the wheels don't look anywhere near as sturdy as the Mavic A719 rims I had previously, these Freedom by WTB Ryder 21 rims don't have the extra eyelets for the spoke nipples and do seem jolly thin; the Continental Contact types don't look anywhere near as long lasting as a Scwhalbe tyre; the WTB Rocket V Comp saddle does not feel right and looks like it belongs on a child's bike rather than a touring bike. I am sure I will be replacing that with another Brooks B17 Special saddle in the not to distant future; I am a little skeptical that the 26/36/48 chainset on an 11-32, 9-speed cassette, will give me the ratio that I need for pulling all my kit and the BOB trailer up mountain passes (previously I had a 22/32/44 on an 11-34, 9-speed) - but only time will tell; and finally the handlebar tape, although quite thick does not have the gel support that I put on my previous bike - I will be addressing that this winter. For now I am happy to be in a position to get back on the road.
Oh, and another piece of good news, just as the bike arrived, an email from the mother informed me that the insurance company have accepted my claim and are paying out the £1,000 towards the cost of my stolen bike! Which was nice :)