Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cycle Touring Day 1

Hmmm, not a great day cycling today, in fact, possibly one of the least enjoyable cycles I have ever done. I was carrying far too much weight. I need a trailer. The bike handled the weight well, in the 100km I cycled today, but long-term it will be too much of a strain on the bike and my arms too for that matter! I looked into getting a single-wheel trailer during the planning stage, so I already know it's a choice between a BOB Yak and an ExtraWheel.



I am so glad I figured all this out today, on the first days cycle from mum's to dad's, so I can leave half of what I brought today (which I don't need to take to Ireland with me) and collect it when I come back through with my trailer en route to Dover.

The main issue today was that I had far too much weight on the front of the bike meaning that just keeping the bike straight was putting such strain on my arms and shoulders. I had pins and needles in my hands for the first couple of hours - not an enjoyable experience in the slightest. I could not simply transfer the weight from front to back as the back was already overloaded itself. A trailer is the only option as I am going for so long and I have already stripped my kit down as much as possible. Unlike many who go cycle touring with little weight, I will be taking hiking boots, for example, with me for when I am working on farms and when I fancy doing something other than cycling.

Now that I have emptied and repacked my panniers, the weight is so much less, meaning that tomorrows cycle to London will, hopefully, be a much more enjoyable experience. In the meantime, I will choose the trailer and get it delivered in time for when I pass back through here on my way to Dover. Sorted!

I did manage to snap a couple of pics today for your enjoyment :)

Totally overloaded and ready for the off.
A bit of an understatement that's for sure!

Surely not, unless it's just to go in the tea! The Council equivalent of leaving the Christmas decorations up all year round I guess :)

16 comments:

  1. I'm following this blog daily. All the best on your travels.

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    1. Thank you so much. Hopefully I can keep it updated regularly and entertaining :)

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  2. Hi,
    I did think this was going to be the case re: the steering and the pannier weights, when I commented a few weeks ago.
    With the type and style of bike you are using and the weights you are carrying, the trailer option is the right way to go......
    Best of luck and Bon Voyage.
    Trevor

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    1. Thank you. Once I came to that realisation mid-cycle today, I was much happier mentally. I had not been enjoying the day at until then. You might email me your email address then we can liaise regarding cycling northern France in early May :)

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  3. As you decided for a trailer please have a look at Burley Nomad. I have one and it is perfect. Easy to load and unload, Packs flat when needed. 2 wheels and it stay up by itself when you stop. Only 20% of the weight on the trailer rest on the chainstay which save pressure on the bike. It follows the bike without wobble even in high speed. Only if you are going on narrow tracks you need a single wheel trailer. I know that most people tell you to get a single wheel but it is like carbon bikes only fashion !!!!

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    1. I think you are beginning to win me over. Even though today was much easier, compared to yesterday, I guess that pulling it all in one trailer that holds 45kg (which is pretty much my entire load I will need) is a much better option that having 6 panniers. I will never be going off road; my cycle tour is a leisurely one around Europe; the bike will thank me for it in the longer-term; and judging by the review I just read (below) it does seem to tick all the boxes I require ticking. :)

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  4. Here is a good write up about Burley Nomad.
    http://www.zeptepe.com/burley

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  5. Hi. I remember we've had this conversation about the load at ATG course. Spreading weight of panniers is the key. Trailer is good but you have to consider weight again as you have to still manage to pedal. Steve.

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    1. I had left and right balanced perfectly but didn't really appreciate how too much weight on the front would effect the handling. All fixed now though :)

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  6. I will be reading your updates my friend, and I will miss you :-( please keep in touch and good luck on your travels xx

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    1. Of course! Thanks for the lovely comment. I'll update as often as I can :)

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  7. So glad that you made this discovery before you got any further. :)

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    1. Me too! Close to home is best place to discover these things :)

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