Well, getting back to work after the holiday I found my employer - despite trumpeting an environment friendly travel policy and being a huge national concern - doesn't actually take part in the cycle to work scheme! Speaking to the manager concerned I learnt it maybe happening by the end of September...maybe. If it is up and running they will partner with the cyclescheme company and so will provide up to £1000.00 in voucher form to use at participating dealers. Cycle Sense in Tadcaster does participate so that is some relief anyway as they are my local Koga dealers. There is a twist though...
I have been looking at various forums on the pros and cons of various touring bike set ups and the more I read the harder it becomes to make any final decisions. Also a second contender is now up for consideration - Santos bicycles - another custom builder in the Netherlands. (The website is in Dutch but they plan to have a English language version up "...by the end of the Summer...". Your guess is as good as mine!)
A couple are cycling the length of the Americas on a pair of Santos Travelmasters and documenting their travels on www.worldonabike.com. I must admit it was Mark Beaumont's record breaking round the world cycle that switched me onto the Koga and this trip has highlighted the Santos bike. Both Koga and Santos would no doubt provide more than the bike I need for commuting and what are likely to be shortish tours in Europe but I still want to choose the most appropriate bike for me and that means researching all I can (It's half the fun!).
Still, I need to confirm my potential job change this month and have a employer scheme to use before I will consider spending hundreds of pounds on a pushbike. I also have a perfectly acceptable bike set up for commuting in the Marin and my Pennine Cycleway isn't happening until July 2010 so I have time I can bide.
I have just ordered a Brooks B17 saddle from Wiggle though, so I can at least start to break that in!