What can I possibly say about the last few days?!… The last 48 hours have been spent in the vain pursuit of packing perfection – although my bike (Ramotswe; for those of you that don’t yet know) is holding everything I need in a, more or less, organised manner, she does weigh a ton. I’ve never had such a heavy bike to pedal and tomorrow I need to travel 100 miles to my dad’s house in reading! A feat I know I’ll find difficult because between uni, my old job and planning for this ride means I haven’t been able to cycle more than 40 miles a week for a very long time.
Here’s a video I put together earlier demonstrating how everything fits together. I know she looks heavy and you might think I’ve taken everything including the kitchen sink but I’m no weight weenie – I like light bikes, but I like my hammock, mask and snorkel even more, if you see what I mean?… and I’m also packing my laptop and associated electronics for the benefit of this site. So, with that defensive statement in place, I invite you to check out the video: (note: totally ripped off Ellie’s brilliant idea I’m afraid)
Aside from being a little out of shape for a 100 mile first day, and apart from harbouring a guilty consciousness about taking too many heavy luxuries on the bike, I’m really eager to get on the road and will pleased to ease myself into the simple, free and untethered life of cycle-touring again. Let the adventure begin!
After working on my last uni assignment in the morning and painfully dragging my essay to a state of roughly 90% completion I headed into the garage for a little tinkering time with my Thorn Sherpa, Ramotswe (aka Remmy). For those of you that don’t know Ramotswe is the ‘traditionally built’, dependable and lovable lady detective found in Alexander McCall Smiths’ book series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency set in Botswana, Africa. The books are a great read, the characters are fascinating and at times very funny, the descriptions of Botswana and Africa told through Ramotswe, as she sits drinking bush tea under the shade of an Acacia tree, by McCall Smith is beautiful and honest. The stories explore Continue reading Fixing up my Thorn Sherpa named Ramotswe→
If you like a bit of gritty down-to-earth science then you may have come across the BBC’s Bang Goes the Theory. Series 6 has just begun with an episode dedicated to showing ways in which combustible fuels can be produced to run in standard internal combustion engines. It’s a great show with a very hands-on approach to science and always covers topical subjects but the part that grabbed my attention in this extra clip was that the slightly bizarre Dr Yan conducted a test of cycling efficiency on a well spec’d Thorn touring bike. In the experiment Dr Yan competes against a moped to see which form of transport achieves the most milage on 1,000 calories and also concludes with a MPG rating for each. To make matters interesting DR Yan and his Thron are loaded up so that the weight of the bike is equal to the scooter. Check out the video below to admire Dr Yan the closet cycle-tourer in action. Continue reading Dr Yan rides a Thorn→
Ultralight Cycle Touring and Fully Loaded Bicycle Travel