10 Things we need to work on – Lessons learned from our first bike packing trip

If you read our last post, you’ll know that we just did a shakedown overnight bike trip, in order to get ready to head off on our planned-for bicycle road trip next month.

We wanted to share with you now, 10 things which need work (as discovered on this first 80 mile bike packing, shakedown trip):

  1. New saddle needed on Sandra’s bike. The current saddle WTB Speed She Comp Black Saddle has been great, but at over 15 years old and ripped in a few places, it’s time for something new.
  2. Also, in relation to Sandra’s ride, some new bars might be worth experimenting with in order to vary hand positions and perhaps the addition of bike gloves too.
  3. The warm Florida weather can take it’s toll on your skin and more breathable bike shorts should help in that regard. Enough said.
  4. Bike repairs – the front brake and the front & rear derailleurs on Sandra’s Cannondale are pretty well shot.
  5. Wheel size – Dominic really needs a bigger stronger wheel for the back of his recumbent. The 700 that is on there currently will be taking some heavy weight with large bags on the rear rack.
  6. More food. We should have seen this one coming of course. You can never have enough food when working so physically hard all day. We plan to experiment with a stove for our next trip. Not sure a diet of trail mix and cold soaked noodles is going to be for us day-in and day-out (and don’t judge us for the ICEE in the photo which accompanies this post!).
  7. There are no words for how important a good nights sleep is when you are on a trip of this nature and some kind of pillow would have made a world of difference (more than just tomorrows socks & shorts rolled up together). We knew this from backpacking of course. We just forgot how much it sucks, to not have a pillow.
  8. Pack size – Dominic has a GoLite Summer quilt, which doesn’t take up much room but, Sandra’s Big Agnes sleeping bag proved too bulky for our panniers and a quilt will need to be sourced instead.
  9. Oh, and guess we should buy some bike helmets too! Not all our days will involve so much rails to trails/being out of traffic.
  10. Finally, bug spray…we didn’t bring any on the shakedown trip and it was missed. We are in Florida after all.

** A few people have asked us about our sleep pads, since our Fort DeSoto trip blog. The pads we use are Big Agnes – Insulated Air Core Ultra Sleeping Pad, Regular.
Join us next time on this blog, where we will share with you the improvements made, since that first shakedown overnight trip.

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