Trial Run.

The weekend before last, Rob and I rode to Ely for an overnight mini-tour to ‘shakedown’ before we set off on our ride to Poland.
En route, I used the excellent Track My Tour app. Every so often, you compose a brief update of your progress and update it to the site. These show as waypoints. You can see the result of our Ely trip here.
When we leave for Poland, I’ll be updating this map, so maybe you’d like to add it to your favourites now…

The ride was hard work. We ended up doing 162km on Saturday and 155 on Sunday, all towing a large amount of kit. Most of Saturday’s was done into a brute of a head wind. We don’t intend to ride these sorts of distance on tour, but needed a test to gauge our limits.

The long, flat, straight Fenland roads, heading due east, directly into the teeth of the gale were soul-destroying, particularly the 5 mile straight after a place called Ramsey Forty Foot:

Not quite as bad as the wind in this video, but hard work when carrying such a load.
Cambridgeshire roads:

Cambridgeshire roads

On the way back I decided that I could do without riding through the middle of the city and so opted to head home via some Leicestershire hills. Stupid, STUPID idea. 
Leicestershire roads:

Leicestershire roads

I was proper tired after the trip and had worryingly painful knees, but we learned a few lessons. We have a better idea of the sort of distances we can travel in a day and that kit needs to be kept to an absolute minimum.
My list is below. I never usually make lists. My packing tecknique is to get a big bag and walk around the house putting things into it. If I don’t happen to see something then it won’t come. A list seems to be a good idea for an adventure such as ours…

So, what do you think? Too much? Did I forget something?

bob yak trailer
yak sak
bar bag – topeak tourguide
cycle computer
Personal Kit
2 prs cycling shorts
2 cycling tops – Shutt Velo Rapide merino sportwool = many days with no stink
2 prs cycling socks.
cycling shoes.
1 pr comfort socks – big, thick woolen bridgedale ones.
cycling helmet
cycling cap.
2 base layers – short (Icebreaker)/long sleeved howies merino again
Swrve WWR shorts
Altura Waterproof jacket
Berghaus Deluge waterproof overtrousers.
1 Windproof (montane)
Cycling gloves. 
Cycling glasses.
zip off trousers. 
1 short sleeve T-shirt.
Merrel trainers
Swimming shorts 
Wash kit (toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, soap etc.)
Lifeventure light weight towel.
montane smock (windproof and thermal)
Bike Repair + Maintenance Kit
Spare inner tubes
trailer tube
Puncture repair kit.
Multi tool
tyre levers
frame pump.
Small plastic bottle of general lube.
1 spare folding tyre.
shifter cables
spare spokes
chain links
Other Gear
2 large drinks bottles.
guide books, maps
powermonkey + ADAPTOR
Passport, E111, ATM card.
Waterproof stuff sacks.
Earplugs (for noisy camp sites)
lock and cable
First aid kit (plasters, anti-inflamatories, etc.).
Insect repellant
chamois crème
washing powder for laundry and twisted elastic drying line.
Mobile Phone
notebook and pencil
Camping Equipment
Vango Banshee tent
sleeping bag probably Vango ultralite 1100 but might be Ajungilak Winter if I can fit it in)
fuel bottle
emergency food (breakfast bars, clif bars etc)
Washing up liquid and sponge.
fire steel and zippo lighter.  

One comment

  1. Its a nice list, prob less than i hauled around on my tour last summer but i had tourist clothes that made my gear so heavy. From my (limited) experience i offer the following…

    5 tops. if your taking wash stuff then you can probably cut back to 2 riding tops, LS base and a T.

    3 jackets. id just go i cycling jacket and the smock.

    Soap, Washing powder, handwash and washing up liquid? Im sure you can get rid of something here.

    Pilow. Many would question do you need this or can you make one out of the smock? (id prob keep it TBH)

    Fire steel and lighter. one or other will do.

    Spare tyre. have you had a tyre fail in that distance before? no shops on route? depends if you want to go fast or can afford a detour in the worst case.

    Pen and a Pencil! extravagant ;0)

    And of course if your going with someone else then you can share the majority of that list with them.


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