Every year, a group of friends do a ride from San Francisco to Ventura Ca. It’s in the neighborhood of 400 miles or so. The ride is self sufficient in terms of lodging. We carry all our own camping gear, and camp along the way at various sites. Last year was the first year I was able to get away to do it. 14 started, 9 of us finished. As I sort of jumped on last minute last year, I rode my cyclocross bike. Although a great bike, being aluminum and carbon, it wasn’t the most suited for the ride. I spent a lot of the ride thinking about what I would want different in a bike for next time. I knew I wanted steel, I knew I wanted more hand positions, and I knew I wanted a brooks. And I knew I didn’t want to break the bank. I was fortunate to find the exact style frame I wanted. An early 90s Bianchi. Being an early ‘hybrid’ with brake bosses for canti or v, and wide tire clearance. Once I had the frame I pulled the trigger on the bars i’d been eyeing. Velo Orange Casey’s crazy bars. The rest developed pretty much around that. All that was used from the original bike purchased is the frame, fork, headset, and seatpost. Without getting too into detail, 2 by 9 drivetrain, compact double front with a 175mm crank. 11-34 cassette in the rear. Friction front, index rear thumbies. V brakes. 700x 37 conti tires. There’s a few unique touches. Pulley to adapt bottom pull front derailleur for a frame designed for top pull. In line barrel adjusters for the thumbies. Wacky cable housing courtesy of my remnants box. Been commuting on it the last two weeks and I really love it. Excited for this years ride on it!