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Preparing for my first cycle tour

Starting to load up by AndrewGills
Starting to load up, a photo by AndrewGills on Flickr.

I have a confession: I’ve never actually been cycle touring with panniers. Yes, I’ve done one bikepacking trip in 2013 and I did a fully supported 1,600km (1,000 mile) tour in 2002. But I’ve never loaded panniers with camping equipment for an overnight trip.

That will all change on Saturday when I head up to Coochin Creek for my first loaded cycle tour. I’ve selected an easy 120-140km (74-86 mile) return route with an overnight camp at a national park campsite.

This morning I threw my sleeping bag and cooking equipment into an old Blackburn pannier bag. I added it to my bike for my commute (the other pannier contains my work clothes and lunch). I barely even noticed it was here. So tomorrow and Friday I’ll add the rest of my camping equipment so that I have some practice before the weekend.

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