Practicalities – or: How is this even supposed to work?

Over the last couple of days I’ve cycled a longer stretch for the first time in ages. Maybe 60km in total. First insight: My brother’s old lady bike is not going to cut it. Second insight: I lack backside – big time. Third insight: Coming to think of it, I have never done a longer bike tour by myself.

Insight after 60km on an old lady’s bike: That’s not going to work.

So I turned to a good friend whom I’ve travelled with in South Africa and and on two more road trips. He knows things. He’s not only crafty and handy, but has also never given up believing that he can still teach me such skills (thank you for your patience, David!).

David is currently putting together the bike for my trip. Based on a Cube Delhi 2015 frame in colibri light blue (you might have guessed, it is my favourite colour) he assembles the features of a Raleigh Blackline 5.0. The lightweight aluminium frame is common for trekking bikes allowing for maximum stability and robustness while keeping a lid on the overall weight. Thanks to carriers in the front and in the back I will be able to carry about 60L of equipment in addition to the tent stored on top of the carrier in the back and a small backpack.

Before kicking off the journey in Southern Germany,  I will spend two days with David in Cologne to assemble the bike, apply a final touch to the equipment and let him explain to me what to take care of, how to maintain the bike etc. During those two days after Easter we’ll do test rides to make sure that everything is adjusted properly and do a test packing of all the equipment. Let’s hope things go smoothly then!

Equipment and camera

David is also the not only the one advising me on the required equipment (well, rather telling me what to get), but also the one lending me a large part of it. Following the slogan “less weight – more fun biking” we focus on reducing unnecessary equipment while maintaining a high quality for the rest. To keep expenses as low as possible, we are looking around in our peer groups for everything from the tent through the pannier bags to a penknife instead of buying new stuff. By doing so, we also manage to interest a minimum amount of people in the trip – at least the ones who care about the fate of their property.

Pictures – pictures are important. For you who are reading this, but also for the purpose of the trip. Since my eight year old Sony Cybershot really isn’t up for that task anymore, I consulted with a bunch of people on another camera. Based on the advice received I finally decided to get a used Canon PowerShot SX700 HS, which should arrive any day now.

With 16.1 megapixels and a 30x optic zoom it should do the trick. Another plus is its very low weight of 266g. Hopefully, I’ll be able to show you some pictures in a short while.

One aspect of the journey incrementally makes its way into my understanding: Most of what I am doing during my preparation is learning by doing! I am delving into many new things from technical details about the bike through setting up and maintaining a proper blog to the skilful use of a decent camera.

 

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About the blog/Über den Blog: https://chrisbikes.wordpress.com/about-this-blog/
About me/Über mich: https://chrisbikes.wordpress.com/about/
The German Red Cross project/Das DRK-Projekt: https://chrisbikes.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/in-the-name-of-humanity-the-drks-assistance-for-refugees/
Donate/Spenden: https://www.betterplace.org/de/projects/33861-fluchtlingshilfe

 

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