Today I went on my first training ride with the bike semi loaded. I'm still waiting for the panniers to be delivered, so I just loaded up the frame bag. The plan was to keep a nice steady speed and try and keep my HR under 80% max.
Although it was cold today, it wasn't raining which is always a bonus. The roads were still wet but thanks to the full guards my arse stayed nice and dry. Another bonus.
Stopped off at the Blacksmiths Coffee Shop in Belsay on the way home for lunch and a brew and got talking to a bloke who did Lejog last year. He said I was daft for starting in John O'Groats as there is more chance of a headwind from N to S ! He also said the A9 near Inverness was canny bad ! Nice bloke though.
Fitted with a Tubus Airy pannier rack and full SKS Bummel mudguards. Both items were bought from Bike-Discount.Com. If you haven't used them yet, try them out. Great service and canny cheap. Fitting both the mudguards and the rack was proving difficult so I sought help from Dave at Cycle Repair Shed, a mobile bike mechanic based in Gosforth. Did a very tidy job. Use him, I certainly will again.
Thinking about weight distribution I'm going to use two small front panniers on the rear rack and a frame bag to help keep the weight centralised over the BB. After a little research I went for a custom made one by Alpkit. The quality is fantastic and made in the UK.
Also ordered this week were a pair of Ortlieb Sport Packer Plus panniers. After weeks of research I finally decided on these mainly because of the low weight and great reviews.
Sitting on the lap top researching kit and route planning has taken a good month - that's the easy part. I'm happy I've got my kit now so I can do my training on a loaded bike. It's amazing reading other peoples blogs about training on unloaded bikes and then they wonder why they struggle doing the Jogle on a loaded bike.
Let the training commence - Winter Miles = Summer Smiles (thanks Rich for that gem)