Ortlieb Bike Tourer Panniers – Product Review
In spring a young man’s thoughts turn to love; a not-so-young man’s thoughts turn to touring.
One of the challenges of touring on a tandem is luggage capacity. Mary’s philosophy is to take absolutley everything she might possibly need. Before we got Lady CoMo this approach worked reasonably well, but the tandem forced us to rethink our approach.
The Ortlieb panniers that we settled on have been excellent. After completing two tours with them we fully expect they will be with us for the rest of our touring days. Here is what we like about them.
Sometimes letting go is hard to do…
My name is Chris, and I'm a hoarder. I find it difficult to throw things away. Not everything, you understand. I don't keep my urine in assorted milk bottles or that sort of thing, so I'm not about to feature in a Channel 4 documentary – at least not for a while. I only keep things that might be of use to me in the future. Don't I?
Just in case...
The trouble is that others don't always think that these things are useful. Round at my parents' house the other day my Dad gave me a carrier bag of bits and bobs I had put aside perhaps 25 years ago. The choice items in the bag are those you see above. Broken front and rear derailleurs – Suntour VX and something from Huret. Those little screws could surely come in handy? And what about the barrel adjusters now that rear mountain bike derailleurs don't always come with them as standard? How far-sighted am I?
Start How You Mean to Go On!
I've always felt that what you do on New Year's Day somehow sets the pattern for the rest of the year. A bike ride is therefore compulsory but a weather forecast for severe gales and heavy rain from 9.00 am was hardly encouraging. An early start was my only option, and so, while normal people were sleeping off the previous night's excesses, I headed off while it was still dark. A ferocious gust just as I opened the gate almost sent me scurrying back in, but I persisted, choosing the most sheltered roads I could find.
Whitchurch Winter Wind Down 100K Audax
I joined AUK last year with the idea that it would encourage me to do more rides on the mainland but it hasn't really worked out like that. Instead I've ended up riding round and round the Isle of Wight chasing AAA points on DIY round the island rides. A change of scene was definitely called for and so Dennis was persuaded that he would like a day out in the South Downs while I rode from Catherington, north of Portsmouth, to Whitchurch and back. An early start was called for to catch the 7.00 am ferry but with a fine day forecast I sent off my online entry just before the entry closed with 100 riders.
Off We Go!
Boris & the Blame Game
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has been criticised for what he said in a radio interview following the deaths of several cyclists in road accidents in London (six have been killed in November). He has widely been accused of victim-blaming and insulting the dead after suggesting – in the interview – that cyclists have a duty to obey the laws of the road and heed signals. Sickeningly insensitive is what CTC's Campaigns Director Roger Geffen called it and in last Friday's CycleClips CTC newsletter was a piece titled 'Boris Blamed' with an invitation to write a letter to Johnson demanding him to 'end the disproportionate threat that lorries have posed to cyclists and pedestrians in the capital for years.' It is worth listening to the whole interview, I think.
Boris Johnson doesn't blame anyone. It is too soon for that, until the facts are established in each of the six accidents. No-one has yet been arrested. So what should he say?
Hung Up On Winter
I have a very simple conundrum. To hang or not to hang?
Winter approaches. This past weekend was gorgeous, and what was I doing? Raking leaves. If I don't do it now I will be staring at a pile of leaf mold in spring.
it is time to put the bikes away. My question: Should I hang to bikes by their front wheels on hooks? Will this distort the wheel? Are there better options for long term storage?
Any thoughts are appreciated.
8 weeks with no cycling (plus 6 to go)
It might be a bit longer than 8 (it was in France in September when I last rode my bike) but 6 is fixed (because that is Christmas). The re-roofing job at my house must be finished by 22nd December or else. I have not ridden my bike because I am doing a lot of the work myself, and it has turned out to be more than a mere re-roof. I had thought it might take a couple of months at the most, but in Grand Designs fashion, things have slipped, or expanded. Not that the design is particularly grand as it affects only one third of the house, but it has to be done right. Anyway, if I ride my bike it will take longer. If I had gone cycling as I normally do I would be just starting parts of the job that are now complete.
Not Riding the Gridiron
For the last few years I've cycled over to the New Forest in mid October to ride The Wessex CTC Gridiron ride. I was all set to do this again. I'd entered well in advance, made arrangements to meet clubmates at the ferry, the weather forecast was looking good. Well, it was until the middle of the week when it went rapidly downhill. The balmy autumn day that was originally forecast turned into a warning of gales and heavy rain. Emails arrived from my erstwhile companions who had now had second thoughts. I would like to say that I am made of sterner stuff, that I don't mind riding on my own all day in the pouring rain. However, while I don't mind the rain for a while, the Gridiron is a long day involving a fair amount of hanging around waiting for ferries. I like to enjoy the autumn colours, the wandering donkeys, ponies and pigs not put my head down for a 12 hour sufferfest. I too dropped out.
It's not always easy to mix cycling with family life. I don't know if this will help, but I picked it up last weekend...