Tag Archives: cycle touring

Post One – Trial Run, fully loaded.

First blog post.

In a weeks time I am taking my hybrid (TZ), some panniers, a tent and a lot of fear on the ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo. From there I am catching (hopefully), some trains to St Brevins les Pins at the mouth of the Loire. Then I’m spending 9 days cycling the course of the Loire to Nevers. It’s called the Eurovelo 6 route and one day will hopefully deposit me on the Black Sea at Constanta.

Yesterday was my first trial run on a fully loaded TZ.

Sarah agreed, under extreme duress, to accompany me on my test run… Not just on a fully loaded 20 mile bike ride, but also to test run my tent for the night. I say under duress – Sarah despises camping!! and cycling up hills…

Sarah and I about to depart CJ
Sarah and I about to depart CJ

For that reason I planned a route mainly downhill.

A wee jaunt, fully loaded, in Surrey

Taking the train from Clapham Junction to Woldingham (top of the N Downs), then rolling downhill all the way to Lingfield, where we would camp for the night. It’s a route I know from the club run and has some brilliant, if terrifying, downhills on country lanes, up and down, the Downs.

North Down Down

The ride to Lingfield went fairly hitch free, though I must say TZ handles very very differently with all the weight on. The front was light, especially at speed, and wobbling all over the place – lesson learned.  The pitching of the tent

Firs tent pitch

went pretty smoothly too, and I wasn’t overly concerned about the hurricane remnant apparently coming our way! After that we peddled around a bit, took in some nice food, and wine – then headed back to the campsite (Longacres, Lingfield) for a kind of boozy picnic and retired for the eve.

All in all – a successful test. And a lovely 24 hours.