Planning, Preparation and Packing

During the couple of weeks before I left, I carefully considered what I needed to bring, and bought the new kit I needed. My previous, shorter cycle tours had always relied on youth hostels for accommodation, but with such a long distance to cover, it was hard to find a B&B or hostel in desired locations, and booking ahead would tie me down to reaching a particular place at a particular time. Camping would ultimately give me the freedom to cycle as far as I could or wanted to each day, before finding a campsite or wild camp pitch for the night. I therefore decided to buy a new lightweight tent that would pack down small – the Vango Helium 200. I also bought a lightweight sleeping mat, summer sleeping bag, inflatable pillow and sleeping bag liner.

Vango Helium 200

Vango Helium 200, the tent I used for my tour

My touring steed is a road bike and as such it isn’t really intended for long distance tours. However, I couldn’t afford the extravagance of a new touring bike, so I fitted my Specialized Allez Elite with Mavic touring wheels, and packed everything compactly into a Carradice saddlebag (Nelson longflap) and Avenir handlebar bag. My luggage weighed a total of roughly 13kg.

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One Response to Planning, Preparation and Packing

  1. Dom Icely says:

    Hi James, I enjoyed your site. Im planning a LeJog trip and wanted to ask your advice on the bike and equipment you used. I see you used a Specialised. I am also planning on using a road bike. I have an older Aluminimu Specialised and a newer Carbon bike. The plan is to travel very light and use a Caradice barley (with Bagman support) and a bar bag. The current plan is not to camp, so we should be a bit lighter than you. I was a bit worried though about whether a carbon bike would be up to the job. Any thoughts? Would you swap out the carbon seat post for an alloy one, for instance? Havig read your post, I might now consider swapping the Bonty Race XXX Lite wheels (low number of spokes, altough I have spares). Ive ridden them all over the palce before, but how did you find the roads? I guess we can expect continued poor road surfaces after the harsh winter and in view of the Local Authority budget cuts. What wheels did you go for?

    Thanks in advace for any tidbits.


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