Friday, April 29, 2011

Prologue. With many Saturday rideslogged prior to this trip pete and I feel eager to test our everyday riding legs. Saturday train ing rides averaged 45 to 60 miles and one 115miler. We were riding one day out of seven. The european trip will be 100km everyday. See a problem comin?  Maybe the swimming yardage helps
Riding in seattle in winter means riding in the rain and dark; using lights and fenders,gloves, and lots of merino wool.  The bike takes a whippin too. All the grit and grimes attaches to the brakes and transmission. Additionally the roads are slippery when wet and visibility can be poor. Bottom line is we still feel ready to roll
Gearing the bike up for a ride has been a real learning experience. How much weight can I carry?  How different will the bik handl with racks and loaded panniers. One of the biggest challenges has been figuring out how to keep batteris charged while out on the road or camping. Cell phones, cameras, and lights all require batteries. Looked at hub generators but they are heavy and costly and you still require power conditioning. Solar panels are not quite there yet. The cheapest and lightest option is to carry extra batteries and charge them at night. Thanks chris west. Of course you need chargers and cords an euro power adapters
Obviously you canttake 80 pounds along as gear.  Lightweight camping gear is essential. Petes packed gear weighs 19 lbs and mine weighs about 22 lbs. Read othertourist reports. Some ride with trailers, ride with kids and pets. They look like winebagos. We decided on bivy sacks instead of tents no cooking gear we will cattle graze through europe. Bread, salami, cheese and wine. The breakfast of chamions
Another challenge was understanding airline policy for shipping th bikes. First we were told ~$50 dollars each way per bike. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. After rechecking we were quoted $200 each way per bike. There werealso size and weight restrictions. The shipping box could not be larger than 115 linear inches and weigh less than 50 lbs. Nervous anxiety filled me as we droppedthe bikes off at the checked baggage counter. The airline agent did not evenmeasure or weigh the package and only charged us $175 ea way. Pete and I laughed about the bargain we got especially since we packed both bikes in one box hehehe. Hope we get the same deal on the return flight

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