Equipment

Bike:
Koga Miyata World Traveller, second hand (a new one is way too expensive!). I changed the butterfly handlebars for a ‘bull’ bar (Koga Dali), because it also fits an ‘aerobar’. This is especially comfortable on longer, flat stretches where you have the wind against you.

Tent:
Vango Dakota, an old hiking tent for two, which Mieke and I bought for a hiking trip into the Grand Canyon. I did not want to spend a lot of money on a new, smaller shelter for one. As a matter of fact, I can store all my luggage in the tent at night. Sorry bike, you stay outside!

Luggage:
Rats, this is an enormous list. I visited some forums on internet for my preperations and I noticed that there is a lot of fuzz between the ‘weight watchers’ and the ‘comfort bikers’ Never put believers and non-believers in one room: that means trouble!
Me? I happen to stuff even more on my bike than the comfort bikers. I will soon find out where my ‘ship’ runs aground. I can always discard the things that are not useful, because I do not carry much valuables in my bags. The one disadvantage of travelling on my own is: it’s only me that carries all that stuff. No equally dividing between travel partners!

I will give you a rough description of the ‘household goods’ I carry with me:
– stove (MSR Whisperlight), with small liquid-fuel can
– mess kit
– plate, mug, ‘glass’ (plastic)
– kitchen tools
– multi-tool
– repairset
– sewingkit
– foldable wash basin + sponge
– multi-soap: dishes & laundry
– herbs for cooking
– headlamp, candle, matches, lighter
– clothes-pins and line
– sleeping bag and mattress, sheet bag
– small, foldable chair: to relax and read in the sun (e-reader!)
– mp3-player, camera, small tripod, cellphone, earphone, USB-cardreader (to upload photos while on route in an internet cafe)
– and to charge all electronic devices: one ‘multi-multi’-charger, which I bought in a chinese shop: a plug with all sorts of bits for my e-reader, mp3-player, camera and cellphone!
– small backpack (for my days ‘off’)
– firstaid kit
– the travelbooklets of Paul Benjaminse (route)
– lightweight umbrella
– rainsuit, cap, biking helmet, (biking) sunglasses, biking gloves
– toilet case
– slippers
– (biking) shoes
– clothes; no, I won’t list them all here! Funny, I just read on a forum that you are still not allowed to wear ‘bermuda’ bathing trunks in public pools. As a matter of fact: swim’tights’ are actually lighter in weight, but no, you won’t see mé swimming in them…

And then you end up with more than 30 kg! It’s a miracle how these weightwatchers are comfortable with only 15 kg; it’s not me who will adapt a Spartan way of life. One has to have a little fun, right?
My first testround, with my bike fully loaded, went fine. But France and Spain are not as flat as Holland, I think…

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