The gear post

Overall, Gear quite possibly could be more fun then the trip itself. Researching, reviewing, testing and buying the right gear for the right trip is important and is also quite a nice task (if you slightly lean on the OCD side of things) to plan out.

We could have not done this trip without the help from many many lovely people that we have on our thank you page ! We had no idea when we started our funding page how positive friends and family were about our trip and wanting to help us with donations!, we can’t thank you all enough for your support. You have helped us help people that need help. Thank you.

The Bikes

Well, if we have to start with a piece of gear this is the one. I got mine a year ago quite cheaply on eBay, an entry-level around the world touring bike, the Mk 2 Thorn Sherpa.

Molly has an Mk1 Thorn Nomad, our bike have things like three-bottle holders, strong as hell  front and back rack mounts (lugs), a longer chain stays so you’re feet down hit your bags when cycling, along other things the frames are just bomb proof!

Thorn Cycles based in Bridgewater are pretty much the best touring / expedition bike fabricators in the UK if not the world, so we went with them – (with lots of tralling on ebay we found second-hand of course)

Important info / Accessories 

  • Steel Frame: makes it easy to weld anywhere in the world if your frame snaps in two.
  • 26inch Rims: Squtnik / Andra / Sun’s Rhyno (36 spokes is best)
  • Brooks B17: best seats for long tours, this is what these seats are really made for as they moldle to your shape
  • 26in Tyre: Schwalbe Mondial 2inch (heard people doing 20,000 miles on these and they are still going strong, they are the classic that replaced the XR)  Schwalbe Marathon Supreme also good if your just on tarmac most of the time, life time of more like 10,000 miles for these.
  • V-brakes: standard Shimano v-brakes are the best, all over the world they have them, don’t go fancy if you don’t have too.
  • Rack Mounts: Thorn (or any other tourer should) come with a great front fork  with a number of rack mounts options, as well as the back mounting points.
  • Nice Rack!: get your self a good back (and if long touring front) rack, Tubus is a leading brand (Cargo, Logo both good back racks) and (the Tubus Tara is a classic or the Duo for front racks) see below for pictures. Surly also make a bomb proof front rack and can carry anything holding lower or higher and has top space, its called ‘The Surly Nice Rack’ which is also a bit of a classic.

Maiden Voyage

The first leg of the maiden voyage

We have picked 22nd April 2017 to set off on our Maiden Voyage from the Haywood / Newberry household (Molly’s home). From here we leave to cycle to cross the channel !

But how you may ask?

Our maiden voyage starts small but mighty. Starting off by riding to Chichester down on the coast where my Mum and her partner Martin live on a sailing boat.  They have sold my home where my sister and I grew in East Sussex for a centre cock-pit Moody 47ft.

They are currently sitting in Chichester marina planning to set off on a world trip, sailing across high seas. We have come up with a hair-brain plan, which we proposed to them, that they should sail us across to France !

the-first-leg
The first leg map

Bike prep

Approaching the first leg of our journey we are spending a lot of time going over our bikes, taking things apart, cleaning them, putting them back together seeing how they work.

 

As the long list of new things that i’v leant grows, like taking a cassette off with a tiny portable tool, and taking a tyre off the rim just using your hands ! – (boasty mc boast boast). We start to get ready to be fully self supported !

Maiden Voyage

 

Test runs

The shakedown’s are super important. We need to test all our stuff to work out what needs changing. The most important thing is to get our neck, back,  but not the pussy or the crack sorted first (position on bike). I did a trip in Portugal with friends (Ben & Ned) to test all the stuff and found my arms were killing me. So I changed to position of my set up and now i’m good to go!

We have another test trip shakedown coming up next weekend (24th Mar) down to the coast. So this will be one of our last tester trips with all our gear before we go!

Pre test run fully loaded