I am still in the process of assembling gear and while this can be fun, it is also quite exhausting. And expensive, at least when looking at the sum total. Based on recommendations by other long-distance cyclist, I am trying to set priorities of which things I need in excellent quality (many parts of my bike), which can be ok quality and which ones can be cheap knock-offs.
Bike shoes were in my middle to last category. Yes, I want to be able to pedal well and have shoes that are comfortable for walking stretches inbetween. But not at any price. After a long search all over Berlin, I finally slipped into a pair that fit really well. And was really not in the price range I wanted them to be in. There was another pair at a reduced price which fit well, but not as remarkably well. The vendor had peppered me for quite while with questions about my trip (most of them in utter disbelief about why on earth I would do this). When I mentioned that these shoes were actually not in my price range, he looked at me sternly: ‘Listen, if you are crazy enough to go for this trip and do so alone, I want you to have the best-fitting shoes that can be found’. Said this and handed me a voucher for a discount. There are some very kind and helping people out there. Thanks so much! My feet already love you for this!