I went to visit the grandparents yesterday in Bamford, about 32 km (20 miles) there by road and about 28 km (~17 miles) back by canal. This is the first longer distance ride I have done on the DL-1 and also the first proper ride since I swapped the handlebar and rods out. Compared to doing the same basic ride a week ago on the Kona Africa Bike, it was a breeze. Hills were easier to climb, due to the feet-forward frame geometry. The general ride quality was better and I arrived feeling almost as fresh as a daisy. The ride back was also good, although the narrower tyres meant that the roughest sections of canal felt a little rougher. A quick pint of J. W. Lees Cask Bitter at The Ship near Hopwood Hall’s Middleton campus helped to dampen those vibrations a little for the rest of the ride (as a note to others, it seems that alcohol has a less pronounced effect when enjoyed in the midst of fairly rigorous physical activity – possibly due to faster metabolism compared to the typical experience of alcohol where physical activity is generally at a minimum).
I am quite happy with the results of the handlebar swap, and I can see why Raleigh called the DL-1 the “Tourist” in later years; it really does feel like you can carry on going forever.