Posted by: twistsoffeet | April 27, 2011

My Bicycle Trailer


I received my bicycle trailer today!!

I was not expecting it until Thursday, so I was shocked to see it at my front door when I arrived home today.

This is a huge milestone for me.  It makes it seem much more real. I wasted no time assembling the trailer and then I had to pack it. I did not get the trailer I wanted, but I just could not afford the extra $210.00 for the one that I really wanted.

This one is not quite as large, so I had to pack creatively, making sure everything is balanced and protected. This trailer is not really waterproof, so I put much of my food inside of a North Face Base Camp Duffel and put it inside the trailer. My computer and some of my camera gear is also inside the trailer, where the metal frame can provide some protection. Most of my clothing, as well as my tripod and basic toiletries are in another Base Camp duffel that is strapped on top of the trailer.

I am still waiting for my sleeping bag and my rear cargo rack to be delivered by Thursday of this week.

My tent and sleeping bag will be attached to my rack, on the sides of my rear wheels.  Since I am unable to afford a real trunk bag, I am using a mid-sized gym bag that I will cover with an REI Duck backpack cover.

I can not afford a proper handlebar bag, although none of the bags I looked at were as large as I want, so I have decided to improvise. I took my metal-framed shopping basket from my other bag and am buying a heavy-weight canvas material that I’ll sew into a cover, providing complete wrap-around protection. I am going to oil the canvas to make it at least highly water resistant.  I took an old, rigid plastic-lined insulated lunch box/container and put my camera and its padded case inside of this container and put into the basket.

There is plenty of additional room in the basket for another water bottle, some food, my phone, the road atlas, and some other odds and ends.

To be completely honest, if I was just touring and was planning on returning here, I would do this differently. But then, this is a first for me, so I am trying some things that probably will not be used in the future.  But for this trip, they are appropriate.

This is all a learning experience. For right now, I feel good about my decisions on what to carry and what to carry it in. It certainly is not minimalist by my standards, but both my mother and sister would pack more than this if they were going on a one week vacation down here in Florida, so I don’t feel too bad about going a bit overboard.

Also, as I travel and consume my food supply, my load will become lighter and more compact. By the time I hit the mountains of Wyoming, my load will be at least 30 lbs lighter. When I hit my first huge test of Wolf Creek Pass, my load will be 40 lbs lighter.

Looking at this from another perspective, it will also be good training to start with a heavy load. I will build some more muscle, hopefully, by having to pull this weight and am hoping it will also help to build some aerobic and cardiovascular endurance; and that will certainly help in the mountains.

Four weeks from today, at this time of day,  I will have already put in my first day of riding on this tour.

I am totally psyched to begin and get that first day under my belt.

But even though I have four weeks to go before I can leave, I am so excited to have my trailer.  I know that after packing my trailer, this is real and I can do it.  I have no hesitation, no doubts, or lack of confidence.

This is all fun and exciting… and I am loving it.

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