Preparing for a long distance bike trip

I'm preparing a set of articles regarding packing, equipment, my bike, and other things. It's still a work in progress and develops over time.

The Surly Disc Trucker.
Quite easy.

There are people who do a lot of research when looking for bikes, considering this, considering that. I'm not like that. I do usually have a picture in my head of what I want. And it's basically impossible to convince me of anything else. Similarly with my bike. I did have already two bikes. A Canyon road bike and a beautiful city bike, custom made for me by Santucci Cycles. Both were not made for the tour, so I needed a new one.

Some time ago I lived in San Francisco. There I encountered for the first time Surly bikes. Steel frame, and slightly old-fashioned looking. Back then I thought about getting one, now was the time!

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Brooks Panniers and handlebar bags, and some more.

Once I got my Surly Disc Trucker, it was time to think about the bags that I would take on my bike trip. The first instinct were Ortlieb bicycle panniers, but it came differently. I got all major panniers from Brooks England, which proved to be a great choice. Durable, almost all of them are fully waterproof and great looking.

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Packing clothes.
For a long bike touring trip.

What clothes to take on a long-distance bike tour is quite an essential question. And a personal one as well. Many people might be optimizing for weight, but for me, it was important that I would feel good in my clothes at any given point. Weight and volume were not my main decision factors, some things that I packed the majority of people might think that I'm a bit crazy. But especially these items were the most valuable and I do not regret that I biked them around.

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My new tent.
A Terra Nova Laser.

Just when I arrived in Scotland, I realized that my tent was no longer really waterproof. Going up to the Scottish North Coast and to the Orkney and Shetland Islands, I decided that I would want a tent that is rock solid in terms of being waterproof. Frankly, I didn't do too much research, but rather quickly decided on the Terra Nova Laser for one person. I liked the look and color and wanted a tent that was super light. Not necessarily only for this trip, but for hiking adventures as well. Seemed like a good choice. And it was!

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My first tent.
A Sierra Designs Flashlight.

I started my trip with a tent, that I already had. A super great Sierra Designs tent. I got it some years back at an REI in San Francisco. It is no longer available in this version, but if you can get your hands on one, I would totally recommend it. Back then I wanted a tent, that looked like a tent. Neutral colors, familiar shape, no craziness. And that is exactly what I got.

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Mood: happy :)