When our friend, Bec, sent a message two days ago saying she had booked flights to Tasmania, leaving in just over a week, and was considering cycle touring from Hobart to Devonport, I nearly tripped over myself in a mad scramble to be part of a women’s only touring escapade. All my cycle touring trips thus far have been as a Stoker on the back of our tandem bicycle. The Pedlar has always been the super bike mechanic Captain on the front handling any mechanical (and steering and braking) issues. This will be my very first touring trip on my own bike AND without the Pedlar on hand to look after my every need…ahem…
This trip will take thirteen days, with two of those days used for travel to and from Tasmania. No formal plans have been made yet (no point being too prepared!) but the idea is to cycle up the east coast, camping in caravan parks or free camping, and taking time to enjoy the scenery, food and other delights as we come across them.
Rather than take my utility ‘pub bike’, already kitted out with a Tubus rear rack, mudguards and Schwalbe Big Apple tyres, and with a round town history of reliability and strength, we decided that this trip would be the perfect opportunity to test out a Vivente World Randonneur touring bike. Conveniently we had one in my size in the shop, a Vivente Anatolia (anyone sensing some forethought here?).
Vivente bikes come with everything except a front rack. They have mudguards, dynamo lights, quality Tubus racks, Schwalbe tyres, hydraulic disc brakes and handlebars that are well above the level of the standard fare usually offered. The Anatolia was just ready and waiting to be ridden!
So, yesterday the Pedlar and I (yes, both of us because I now have to know all this stuff) swapped out the saddle for my Brooks saddle from our tandem and adjusted the handlebar height. In the next few days we will add a front rack (I’m keen to spread the load rather than carry it all on the rear rack) and get plenty of riding done so the new Vivente is at least slightly worn in and ready to go when the trip begins next Saturday!
In the meantime, there is still a whole seven days in which to practise, remember and learn important things like how to set the bikes up when we get to Hobart airport and repack it when we get to Devonport airport, and how to do basic roadside repairs.
Just as well we are women!
Keep an eye out for a post on Bec and her well travelled bike as we jump headfirst into this new adventure!