Since I don't have a job in France, and have promised not to get one in a translated and notarized letter, I will be spending most of my time riding my bicycle through the rolling hills of the French countryside. I've been trying to make the bike that I will bring as versatile and durable as possible. After thinking for a while I decided to take my road bike, after some modifications.
I decided to put S&S couplers on to make train and air travel with the bike much easier; powdercoating to prevent rust and scratches during packing/travel; full fenders with a mudflap to ride in the wet; cloth handlebar tape that won't get ripped when the bike is packed up; a handlebar bag for food and maps; wheels I built myself that are easily repairable; downtube friction shifters that will never break.
Jefe's Bridgestone RB-1 with S&S couplers
Once we get there, I'd like to find some old cruiser/city bikes for grocery shopping. Probably something where the parts are no longer available; something that rattles incessantly over the endless cobblestones; something strong enough I might actually want to bring it back with me. Then I have to remind myself that I'm trying to get rid of bikes.
Jefe and Rebecca's refurbished English 3-speeds
For right now, I would like to thank all the people that donated little bits of knowledge that helped me create the bike I am taking to France. Strange how such minor changes to a apparently simple machine can shift its functionality a large amount in one direction or another. Hopefully, I have created the perfect bike to take, but I doubt it. There will always be someone, somewhere that has a suggestion to make a bike a little better for one purpose or another.