I’m ready to ride a loaded bike for the first time. I am carrying the tent in the rear rack, plus two panniers full of clothes, and the handlebar bag also full of stuff.

I will be carrying more than this during the actual tour, but this was a good enough load for a test ride.

Bike with panniers and rear rack

Yes, riding a bike which is carrying a load is quite different.

Bike with panniers and tent in the rear rack

I found it more difficult to get in and out. The rear panniers and the tent on the rear rack forced me to stretch the leg further and keep it in the air longer. I need to work on my stretching exercises to enhance amplitude and range of motion.

Bike with load

Because it is so much heavier now, it is more difficult to raise it from the floor to position it in the direction you want to go, something that I did without even thinking before. I realize that before stopping I need to plan where I will be going so I already leave the bike prepared to take off.

Test ride

Also, when you are standing holding the bike you have to make it sure you keep it straight and balanced otherwise it will go down to the floor fast. Trust me on this one!






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