Review N°1 – Ortlieb Panniers

We used Ortlieb for both our front and rear panniers and in general we were happy with them. It was very easy and quick to both attach and detach them from the bikes. They also were very good when it came to being waterproof, as long as we closed them properly our stuff never got wet. In terms of size, they had plenty of space in them to fit all of our things. The only issues we had with them were the plastic attachments on the back that connects the bag to your bike. The plastic is quite fragile and a lot of the screws that connect these parts came loose. Also, the screws are a special type which we could not tighten ourselves, so we had to go to a bike shop which had to fix it with different screws. Overall, we were very happy apart from these problems.

1= Bad/poor      2= OK         3= Satisfying      4= Good         5= Very good

Design                         R           5                    M           5

Practicality                 R           4                    M           4

Durability                   R           5                    M           4

Overall rating           R          4.5                  M           4.5          =4.5

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Lots of beautiful travells

After having travelled to Portugal we went to Central America for three month. We where travelling with our backpacks from Guatemala thourgh Honduras, and Nicaragua to Costa Rica. This was a great experience. To read more about our adventure through central america you can find our “text” on our website on the page Central America Trip But next time we would go by bike 😉

As promised our gear reviews series are in progress, and soon we will be posting them. We hope that you find usefull tips. Like us and keep posted 🙂

200 years bicycle

The year 2017 is the anniversary year for the bike.

Due to the hardship in 1816 in Europe Karl Drais got inventive and invented the “Laufmaschine”. The eruption of the volcano Tambora in Indonesia changed the weather so badly in Europe that bad harvests and thus famine where the result. On the 12th of June 1817 he presented his invention by driving through Mannheim. He laid the ground stone for a new era of mobility. From that point on it wasn’t just the horse with which humans could move faster than themselves, it was also the bike. We believe after having had such a great experience on our bike tour that the bike is a great invention to be celebrated!

After having travelled to Portugal we went to Central America for three month. We where travelling with our backpacks from Guatemala thourgh Honduras, and Nicaragua to Costa Rica. This was a great experience. But next time we would go by bike 😉 Soon you can find a review of our journey through Central America on the blog.

As promised our gear reviews series are in progress, and shortly we will be posting them. We hope that you find usefull tips. Like us and keep posted 🙂

Logroño and Burgos

Leaving Pamplona behind we still had quiet a bit of up and down hill to do. The temerature was also really hot. As we were travelling the same way as the Compostello de Santiago we passed by a wine fountain where pilgrams could drink wine for free so they can continue strong. This fountain in Irache has been there for about 100 years, the wine was delicious so we decided to fill up some empty bottles that we had 😉

We continued on going up and down some very steep hills and riding along some very rocky and bumpy roads. We made it to Logroño and decided to spend the night camping there, it was about 20km before our scheduled stop but it was already quite late.

The next morning we left early as we had 97km to do and a lot more hills to conquer. We left nice and early but the heat at lunch time made us take a long siesta under a tree. That afternoon a few rain spells surprised us.

Close to the end of the day we arrived at the top of the highest hill/mountain. The route to the camping we chose earlier was going off the main road and onto a pebel road downhill in a different direction to where we needed to go the next day. So we shortly decided to just continue the route to burgos which was for about 30km, but although it was late it was all downhill, so it was very quick and a lot of fun. We ended up doing 116km to Burgos in the end.

Bugros is a very pretty town with loads of tree allyways. It used to be the capital of Sapin a long time ago. I ended up getting the flu on our break day in Burgos so we had to use up our second joker day for me to rest, it was the first time we had two break days in a row.

Montbeliard

Yesterday started with one chocolate croissant, as the hostel didn’t have anything more whole grain to offer. We left 15min later than expected.
With loads of uphill as we where driving against the canals stream and wind in our faces I was strugling to find the pace. Also the backside was in great need of some seat cream.
We had mostly cloudy weather but towards the evening the sun came out, perfect for our first night camping. We got the tent up quickly but took an hour to get the stove working but once we got it going the food didn’t take long to cook. The risoto, beef steaks and salad were delicious. The camping site is really nice and quiet and has everything we needed and only cost 7 euros for the night. Next stop Besancon.

Rearview mirror

From our training trip we realised that it would be very useful to have a rearview mirror. When travelling together with another person you can check the mirror to see if they are still behind you rather than turning your head. Recently I was driving ahead of Matt and he slipped and fell of off his bike. I only realised a few hundred meters down the road that Matt wasn’t behind me, luckily he fell into deep grass and he wasn´t hurt.

But also when driving on busy roads a rearview mirror can be very useful and help you to be aware of cars or lorries coming fast from behind. Especially when tuning off the road a rear view mirror can be very helpful as you don’t have to turn around when looking back to see if you can go off the road. When riding recently I looked back to turn off a road and all of a sudden I realised that I was nearly driving into the curb, so they should also help to prevent accidents.img_1471-1

Second Training Day – St. Gallen

 

Since we got our bikes we have been travelling as much as possible with them, just around town and to work etc. but yesterday we had our second big training day, it was slightly longer than our trip around the Zürich lake and we had a bit more weight on our bikes. We drove around 75 km so just about 10 km more than our first training day. This time we set up our tent and slept over night in St. Gallen, it was a great opportunity to test out all of our camping gear which we are really happy with. We had another day of amazing weather, beautiful locations and amazing sights of Switzerland, although it was very windy which made it more difficult. I felt that the first training day was very hard for me however Matt thinks that the second day was harder for him.

Preparation

We have both been very busy recently and that is why we haven’t posted anything for a while. We have been spending a lot of time looking at our packing list and buying all of the necessary equipment, and now we have almost got everything we need, just a few small things missing. We decided over the weekend to pack our bikes with everything to see how it fits, we had to make some adjustments to make it all fit on perfectly and now everything fits well and we are very happy and excited to begin!

Rafaelas new bike!

Yesterday evening I finally went to pick up my new bike, it is a Toutterrain Silkroad, which is specialised for bicycle touring. With this bike you can go online and choose which features you want, so you can really personalise it. The frame is made of CrMo- Steel and the carriers (frame around the wheel to mount panniers) is made of stainless steel, I have those both around the front and back wheels. My bike has disc brakes and derailleur gears with 30 gears as well as  handlebar locking, so when you have a heavy load the handle doesn’t swing to the side which causes the bike to fall. My favourite part of the bike is the “Dynamo” which will power my light when I’m riding and also has a USB input in the middle of the handlebar, so when Matt has low battery on his phone I can charge him for charging it. 😉

So far I am really happy with it! 🙂

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