This weekend is our final pack and we have managed to freak ourselves out a bit. Last time we loaded up for a practise run we had 17 kilograms, including the panniers, and the Captain was confidently telling people we would most likely get away away with under 25 kilograms. After all, we only had to add the proper tools, handlebar bag, toiletries…
Well, to his credit, the Captain wasn’t too far out. This morning’s weigh-in of front and rear panniers, tent bag and handlebar bag came to a grand total of…over 27 kilograms!
This sent us into panic mode. When we rode with 17 kgs, we were trashed! Absolutely exhausted! And that was for one day! We now had 27 kgs, some very big hills to ride up (in the first three days of our tour too!) and we hadn’t even included the weight of the water bottles yet!
The panniers were unpacked and some items weighed again in the hope of finding a way to lighten our load. The Stoker had a dress AND a skirt for non cycling activities. The skirt was discarded for the sake of 113 grams. The rubber thongs we were going to use in public showers weighed 650 grams altogether so they were left out. The padlock we were going to use with our Kryptonite cable to lock the bike was exchanged for one 150 grams lighter. We discussed the option of leaving the iPad at home, but decided it was worth its weight.
After all this, load was still only one kilogram lighter.
In desperation we turned to Google, our Internet version of comfort food, to find out what other people were regularly carrying when cycle touring.
We read comments from people on various websites and forums saying they carried anywhere from 7 to 30 or more kilograms, and on a solo bike. The panic started to subside and our 26 kilograms on a tandem bike began sounding less heavy. The decision to keep the iPad was affirmed and we even momentarily reconsidered taking the rubber thongs.
Maybe we will make it up those hills after all…
…even with the extra 113 grams of skirt the Stoker managed to sneak back in when the Captain wasn’t looking 🙂
EDIT: When the Captain read this post, he said he was actually boasting that we would get away with under 20 kilograms of luggage. 27 kilograms was definitely a shock for him!