With the touring season approaching, the thoughts of a sport touring bike began to simmer. After lots of research, Novara Randolee looked to be the best fit. Today was the day for a trip to REI in Cranston R.I. where there was a good selection of Randolees in stock. I was not impressed with the ride. Not disappointed, but it didn't strike me as being any different from the Marin I now own.
The Novara Safari sitting on the end caught my eye. Since I didn't know anything at all about disk brakes, I never paid much attention to bikes with them. The wrench at REI who had lots of experience with touring customers, answered all my questions and pretty much eased all my concerns. I decide to give the Safari a test ride and liked it a lot.
REI has a thirty day satisfaction policy, and with that, I decide to make the purchase. I have to say that dealing with REI was a very good experience. The two staff, sales and wrench, worked very well together, answered all my questions and didn't make any kind of pitch on a bike unless I asked.
I do three distinct types of riding. Road, commute and sport touring. I have a bike for each now and feel like I'm covered for any comeuppance. Like having all the right sport coats in the closet.
Now for the tent.