Thursday, 9 May 2013

bike packing set up

Today with a bit of free time I set up my bags on my 2013 Kona Unit to see how it looks with a full set of bags and how it handles. I have previously done several long tours of 3000 kms with a traditional pannier bag set up and this year I have decided to try bike packing for a change. The bike handles quite well and I personally think it is balanced better this way as the steering and general handling of the bike feels much better. Once the weather heats up a little I will go on a overnight trip and test everything out, my plan this year is to do several short over night trips then in Oct or Nov to do a 5 day tour into Fukushima to check out a few places I have always wanted to see.

Pictured below is the Kona fitted out with a Freeload rear rack which is supporting my two man tent , a Salsa frame bag which will hold the Trangia stove plus cook set and bike repair kit. The front bag is a Porcelain Rocket mission control bag which holds my down sleeping bag which is inside an outdoor research dry bag ( the last thing you ever want is a wet sleeping bag ) , the small front pocket on the front will hold money, camera and any other small items that I want easy access too. I always use a 2ltr camelbak for water so that is why I do not need water bottles attached to the frame.


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Day off training ride

Today my mate Brian & I went out of the city on a 70km plus training ride, it was not very warm but luckily it did not rain whilst we were out , but the head winds on the homeward leg of our ride made it rather hard , felt like a lot more than 70km !. We rode out of the city towards the village of Yokogoshi before deciding not to head into the mountains , it looked like it was already raining up in the mountains so we took a left turn and made our way across the mighty Agano river to Hyoko lake and then pressed on to the onsen village of Tsukioka to take a fee foot bath which is located in the middle of the village. It felt great to give our feet a break and a nice long soak in the hot water before departing into a strong head wind on the open plain to Toyosaka . Before finding a place for lunch we stopped by one of the only motorcycle shops in Niigata that deals in vintage bikes called Rocket Motors and as we are also both members of Vespa club Niigata , it was nice to see a great old 100cc Vespa on the floor for sale. The boss then recommended a nearby ramen shop but upon finding it was closed we continued on our way and found a chain ramen  store that was doing a roaring trade and soon we were seated and devouring a nice big bowl of soft pork ramen which somehow managed to give us the energy we need for the extra 10km or so back over the river and into the city arriving home at 2.30pm . Below are a few photos of today's ride