Finally some gear photos and an idea of what I am carrying around with me.
As you can see I am not nearly as prepared or geared as I could be, but I am having fun and surviving. So just to let you know, you don’t have to have the best gear, and the top of the range stuff to make your adventure (Whatever your adventure is) possible.
Here it is:
- Note books
- Sketch books
- My hat
- Sleeping bag
- First aid kit.
- Pocket towel (Which is an awesome invention)
- Head torch and normal torch, both with rechargeable batteries.
- Food (Peanuts, rice, smash, tea, green tea, milk powder, game powder, mieliepap, dried fruit, tuna, coffee, sugar, more tea, biscuits and snacks)
- Skipping rope to stay fit when I am not cycling
- Bike pump
- Camera and charger/usb cable
- Battery charger
- Kitchen utensils (knife, fork, spoon, wooden spoon, lighter, tin opener, drying towel, spare matches, pot holder and two pots)
- Straps and rope
- Toiletries (shampoo – despite my current shaven status, wet wipes, toothbrush and toothpaste, washing powder, cream, sunscreen and toilet paper)
- Spare tubes
- That is the tent bag that currently is filled with clothes and water bottles.
- The tent is strapped to the bike and the tent bag is used to hold kitchen things and toiletries.
- I have a secondary bag to carry clothes and other items
- Then there is the main backpack, filled with clothes, and the immediate things I could need. So this changes regularly as I find out which items go better in which bag
- Front aluminium Bracket attached to the handlebar
- Water bottles not pictured, but I have three 1.1lt bottles and a 2.5lt bladder in my backpack.
- And obviously there are clothes as well, I have a thermal jacket, beanies, scarves and about four changes of clothes.
All in all, I have 55kg (including the 19kg bike) of luggage to haul across SA. It is lighter than it sounds and the great thing is when you have momentum built up, it is not that much more strenuous than peddling an unloaded bike.
I do not have any panniers or racks, I bought a luggage rack, but it did not fit the 29 inch wheels. So I have to carry it all on my back and over the front home made aluminium bracket. Which works great. I pack almost 20kg on the front of the bike, which makes it top heavy, and I have a hard time keeping it balanced when not moving. I cannot rest the loaded bike against just anything. It tips over at the slightest movement. Flat tyres at the front mean holding that weight up to get the wheel off. And then lifting it up again and getting the wheel in with one hand while I hold up the bike with the other. Rear flats are less tricky, but require me to put the bike down on its side and remove the back wheel, a much easier process, but the packing has to be checked and fixed after. So a lot more time consuming. I have had both, and honestly, if I had to choose, I would get only front flats from here on out. It is so heavy and difficult to get the wheel in and out, but so much faster.
And that is about what it is that I have concerning gear. Besides my front suspension “keepers of clean” which are water bottles that I cut open and wrap around my shocks to keep dust off them, otherwise I spend too much time cleaning them and go through oil like crazy. I decided to name them something dramatic, like from a fiction novel…
I love my bike and even though it is not the best or best fitted to this type of journey. I look forward to many (painful) hours in the saddle.
See you soon!