Sunday, July 7, 2013

Well Done @Andy_Murray



I delayed setting off on the next part of my cycle touring adventure just to watch this years Wimbledon. I thought he could win it from the outset and today I am so glad I waited :) Well done @Andy_Murray

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Pannier Packing Checklist

Dispensing with the trailer this time means that I can and need to be far more efficient with my packing. Last time I found myself opening the trailer bag, the rack bag and at least two panniers every time I had to set up camp and cook. This time all the camping and cooking equipment is in the new rack pack meaning that arrival and set-up at camp will be far less cumbersome.

With my condensed packing list now complete, for this trip I will also try to stick to this pannier packing checklist I have created which should, hopefully, mean that finding stuff every day will be far more efficient too. It should also aid with packing up camp each morning as well. Not that I lost anything last year, but I found myself constantly double checking which bag I had put things in before setting off. I will keep a copy of this list in the reverse side of my handlebar map pocket so I can refer to it on the road before I stop to open just the bags I need to.

Mounted on/in Bike Frame
GPS
Front Light Battery Pack
Pump
Water Bottles x 3
Bungee Cords x 3
Spare Spokes & Nipples (Rear x 6 / Front x 6) (Stored in Seat Post)

Handlebar Bag
Map (Currently Navigating in Map Case)
Wallet
Cash
Debit Card
Passport & Laminated Photocopy
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
iPhone
iPods & Headphones
Digital Camera
English / French Dictionary
Tyre Levers x 2
Puncture Repair Kit
Knife / Fork / Spoon
Penknife (inc. Bottle Opener / Corkscrew etc)
Sunglasses (Or On Head)
Cycling Cloth Cap x 1 (Or On Head)
Lighter
Matches
Antihistamine Tablets & Eye Drops (Hayfever Medication)
Sun Lotion
Lip Balm
Chamois Cream
Travel Face Cloth x 1
AA Batteries
U-Lock Keys (One Set)
Tri-Star Allen Key (6mm / 5mm / 4mm)

Saddle Bag
Spare Inner Tube x 1
Front Lights
Extra Rear Lights x 2
Tyre Levers x 2
Puncture Repair Kit
Screwdriver
Allen Keys
Brooks Saddle Spanner
Brooks Saddle Proofride
Brooks Saddle Waterproof Cover

Front Left Pannier
Spanner
Pliers
Chain Link Removal Tool
Cassette Tool
Spoke Key
Grease & Gun
Spare Nuts & Bolts (Pannier Racks & Mudguards)
Spare Cleats
Jubilee Clips
Cable Ties
Fleece Hat x 1
Fleece Top x 1
Lightweight Jacket x 1
Waterproof Trousers x 1
Cycling Insulator Gloves x 1
Cycling Waterproof Gloves x 1
Travel Towels x 2
Toilet Roll
Washbag
Soap
Toothbrush & Toothpaste x 2
Dental Floss
Deodorant
Shaving Gel
Razor & Blades
Nail Clippers

Front Right Pannier
Spare Inner Tube x 1
Tyre Boots
Spare Chain x 1
Spare Gear & Brake Cables
Latex Gloves
Hand Wipes
Chain Lube
Electrical Tape
First Aid Kit
Plasters & Bandages
Facial Wipes
After Sun
Insect Repellent
Pain Relief Gel / Cream
Antiseptic Liquid
Paracetamol Tablets
Cough Sweets
Clear Storage / Food Bags

Rear Left Pannier
Trousers Long x 2
T-Shirts x 4
Underpants x 4
Socks x 4
Swimming Shorts x 1
Maps (France & Spain)
European Phrasebooks
Document Pouch
Laminated Passport Photocopy
U-Lock x 1

Rear Right Pannier
Laptop
Cycling T-Shirts x 1
Cycling Long Sleeve Tops x 1
Cycling Padded Shorts x 1
Cycling Thermal Sleeves (Legs)
Cycling Socks x 3
Cycling Headband x 1
Cycling Skull Cap x 1
Cycling Neck Tube x 1
GPS Laptop Cable
Laptop Charger
iPhone & iPods Charger
AA Batteries
AA Battery Charger
Digital Camera Charger
Wind-Up Head Torch Euro Plug Adapter
USB Keys
UK Four Socket Extension Lead
Fleece Jacket x 1
Sandals x 1
U-Lock x 1

Rack Pack
2 Person Tent & Groundsheet / Footprint
Inflatable Mattress
Soft Pillow x 1
Inflatable Pillow x 1
Sleeping Bag & Fleece Liner
Bivvy Bag
Tent Peg Hammer / Extractor
Washing Line / Spare Cord
Campsite Electric Hookup Leads
Spare Tyre x 1 (Folding )
Gas Stove & Refills x 2

Wearing
Cycling T-Shirts x 1
Cycling Long Sleeve Tops x 1
Cycling Padded Shorts x 1
Cycling Over Shorts x 1
Cycling Socks x 1
Cycling Mitts x 1
Cycling Cloth Cap x 1 (Or In Handlebar Bag)
Cycling Helmet
Cycling / Walking Shoes x 1
Sunglasses (Or In Handlebar Bag)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Packing List: Version 2.0

Having dispensed with the trailer for this trip, I'm cutting back on lots of the things I took with me last year, as I now realise they were superfluous. Also, as the new Ortlieb pannier bags are much smaller than the Altura ones I had last time, that too will dictate just how much I can take. As it turned out, the Altura panniers are not waterproof (despite being sold as such), so the smaller Ortlieb panniers are a small price to pay to actually keep the stuff inside dry! This year there will be no meeting up with family (to send stuff home) either, so I will be carrying everything until at least November.

Clothing - Working / Walking / Hiking
Trousers Long x 2
T-Shirts x 4
Underpants x 4
Socks x 4
Swimming Shorts x 1
Fleece Hat x 1
Fleece Top x 1
Fleece Jacket x 1
Lightweight Jacket x 1
Waterproof Trousers x 1
Sandals x 1
Sunglasses

Clothing - Cycling
Cycling T-Shirts x 2
Cycling Long Sleeve Tops x 2
Cycling Padded Shorts x 2
Cycling Over Shorts x 1
Cycling Thermal Sleeves (Legs)
Cycling Socks x 4
Cycling Mitts x 1
Cycling Insulator Gloves x 1
Cycling Waterproof Gloves x 1
Cycling Headband x 1
Cycling Skull Cap x 1
Cycling Neck Tube x 1
Cycling Cloth Cap x 2
Cycling Helmet
Cycling / Walking Shoes x 1

Camping
2 Person Tent & Groundsheet / Footprint
Inflatable Mattress
Soft Pillow x 1
Inflatable Pillow x 1
Sleeping Bag & Fleece Liner
Bivvy Bag
Tent Peg Hammer / Extractor
Washing Line / Spare Cord

Cooking
Gas Stove & Refills x 2
Lighter
Matches

Bike Specific
Spare Tyre x 1 (Folding )
Spare Inner Tubes x 2
Puncture Repair Kits
Tyre Levers x 2
Tyre Boots
Spare Chain x 1
Spare Gear & Brake Cables
Tri-Star Allen Key (6mm / 5mm / 4mm)
Allen Keys
Screwdriver
Spanner
Pliers
Chain Link Removal Tool
Cassette Tool
Spoke Key
Grease & Gun
Spare Spokes & Nipples (Rear x 6 / Front x 6) (Stored in Seat Post)
Pump
Latex Gloves
Hand Wipes
Spare Nuts & Bolts (Pannier Racks & Mudguards)
U-Locks x 2 & Keys (Two Sets)
Water Bottles x 3
Lights (Front inc. Battery Pack & Rear & Extra Rear x 2)
Brooks Saddle Spanner
Brooks Saddle Proofride
Brooks Saddle Waterproof Cover
Chain Lube
Spare Cleats

Electrical
GPS & Laptop Cable
Laptop & Charger
iPhone & Charger
iPods & Headphones
Digital Camera & Charger
AA Battery Charger
AA Batteries (GPS & Rear Light)
Wind-Up Head Torch Euro Plug Adapter
USB Keys
Campsite Electric Hookup Leads
UK Four Socket Extension Lead

Hygiene / Health
Washbag
Soap
Toothbrush & Toothpaste x 2
Dental Floss
Deodorant
Shaving Gel
Razor & Blades
Nail Clippers
First Aid Kit
Plasters & Bandages
Chamois Cream
Lip Balm
Facial Wipes
Sun Lotion & After Sun
Insect Repellent
Pain Relief Gel / Cream
Antiseptic Liquid
Paracetamol Tablets
Antihistamine Tablets & Eye Drops (Hayfever Medication)
Cough Sweets
Travel Face Cloth x 1
Travel Towels x 2
Toilet Roll

Tools
Knife / Fork / Spoon
Penknife (inc. Bottle Opener / Corkscrew etc)

Books
English / French Dictionary
European Phrasebooks

Documentation / Money
Passport & Laminated Photocopy
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Maps (France & Spain)
Document Pouch
Wallet
Cash
Debit Card

Other
Map Case
Jubilee Clips
Cable Ties
Bungee Cords x 3
Electrical Tape
Clear Storage / Food Bags

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Getting Some Head Space

It's been a while since I posted anything to this blog but I am finally setting aside some time to do so and to catch up with it all. I have still been taking photos and keeping notes so it's all there to share as I begin to progress with it.

For those that don't know, I took the opportunity to return to England for Christmas and New Year but have since decided to stay here until July. That opportunity came about after my plans changed following the theft of my touring bike in Barcelona last October, and some hastily rearranged volunteering with Workaway for the whole of winter, did not work out. I should have been spending the four winter months (from the start of December), near Perpignan but found myself at the other end of the Pyrenees near Bilbao and Santander. So, with no plans and winter approaching I decided to get the ferry back home from Santander to Portsmouth.

Once home I began reflecting upon all I had experienced in the six months in France and Spain and something which kept coming into my mind was Permaculture. I discovered Permaculture whilst staying with my second wwoof host in Brittany in May. Essentially it is concerned with growing ones own food but with a huge emphasis on earth care, people care, fair share and sustainability. I had always been a consumer in the past but that's all changed since I embarked on this cycle touring adventure. I am currently studying a full Permaculture Design course in Brighton and will complete that in June this year.

In the meantime though, I am already starting to plan the next leg of cycle tour and plan to go back to France and continue with the adventure from July 1st. I am already getting itchy feet!

In order to combat the moments of agitation, frustration and restlessness I seem to be feeling at the moment, a cycling friend (@cycle2everest), whom I met whilst cycling along the Loire Valley in July last year, suggested I give meditation a go. I have never really been "in-touch" with myself in that way before but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. It might make future solo cycle touring adventures a little easier to relax into also. They suggested www.getsomeheadspace.com. I have only tried the first 10 minutes session today but it seems alright and the website is very nice looking...