Having spent 3 months doing something a little bit different to my usual routine has been hard work 🙂 but also deeply rewarding.
In the real world I have written a few Post Implementation Reviews (P.I.R) in my time and I would feel lost and exposed if didn’t close this little project down with some closing reflection, thought and learning’s. At least if I did decide to go around the world on my bicycle I will be able to glean a few hints from this blog rather than my decaying memory.
I do not expect any style points for my bullet point approach. I have achieved what I set out to achieve and this exercise now feels a bit on the laborious side.
Kit Changes to Consider
- A Brookes Saddle
- For anything lengthy to consider a specialist bike with a kick stand and multiple handle bar positions, more than one water bottle.
- A 2 man tent that fits all bags inside
- Full length Zip on Sleeping Bag
- Reduce the amount of medicine carried
- 2 pairs of Gloves. One for very cold weather
- Switch the top dry back for the Ortileb Racapac System
- A light headscarf to wear under the helmet.
- An I phone (or similar) would be useful as one unit for IPod, Information Storage, GPS locator and Telephone (via Skype also)
Particularly Good Kit
- MSR Pocket Rocket (But would use multiple fuel system such as Whisperlite for longer or more remote trip)
- Samsung N110 Netbook has been strong. Battery Life superb
- Ortileb Carrying Bags
- Cats Eye bike computer
- Alturna Rain Jacket. (Present on Route)
- Shimano Trekking SPD (Clip out 3 directions for more leg movement). Getting these was a stroke of luck since my original firm bottom mountain bike shoes were stolen.
Items that would be Very Useful but No Solution
- A multiple power source adaptor.
The Remaining Dilemma
- The question of tyres still remains. I used mountain bike tread for the whole trip which meant the benefit of zero punctures and ability to ride more difficult routes. The downside is leg pain and slower speed.
The Top 5 Cycling Moments:
- Arriving on the ferry at 7.00am at the Hoek of Holland and standing on the silent quayside watching boats about to start my adventure
- Seeing the TV tower of Alexplatz Berlin in the distance as I approach the city. This was the point when I realized that getting to Istanbul was going to be a breeze.
- Cycling into Vukovar Croatia was a sobering but very impactful
- The day of horrendous Czech Republic weather
- One Epic Day out of Dresden and hitting 1000 mile mark.
Top Things Learned:
- Don’t ever cut corners on sleeping comfort. I chose the smallest tent in the world, a 3/4 sleeping mat, and making a pillow from clothes and a stuff sack. It is better to carry heavier equipment for a good camping comfort.
- Learn More about Bicycle and maintenance prior to any trip.
- About Blogging and some of the tools available.
- A reinforced belief that people everywhere are generally ‘good’ and not ‘evil’
- History, Economics, Culture, languages and Politics of a host of new.
Objectives Vs Plan
- The Plan was pretty clear. I did it all. My only real disappointment being not camping as much as I would have liked. This was mainly prevented by some really tough weather and not the right equipment to deal with it
One Word to Describe
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