before a bikepacking trip

First we decide where we would like to go which is not always where we end up!

Examining the bikes before a bikepacking trip

We examine the bikes, checking for damaged cables and brake hoses in good time otherwise you could find yourself in a bit of a pickle, like what happened to me. I had a kink in both brake hoses because they were getting compressed with the harness. Of course I left the checking to the last minute and tried all sorts of make-do-and-mend tricks with bits of tubing as suggested by some of the great forumites on bearbones bikepacking.

But it seemed the best idea was to replace the hoses, which is all well and good if you have the parts and the know how. As I have neither, I called my Local Bike Shop (LBS) – Velocity Bikes (now South Down Bike) and they pulled out all the stops to have me trip ready with a few days to spare. Toby and Dave asked me to bring the bike over with handlebar harness attached so they could find the best arrangement and made a lovely job of it. They even came in a few quid under quote. Thanks guys.

Old arrangement – cables compressed


New hoses fitted


I dismantle the rear chain ring and degrease and clean it along with the chain. Then Dan does things like checking the bearings. ‘It won’t take long.’ He says. That’s when I start making puffy sounds. It’s the mess I can’t cope with.

Things I do before a bikepacking tripCleaning hub bearings seems like a small job…

20141207_172906until you see the big picture. So I make tea and make shapes with my chain.
Bike chain Christmas tree

20141207_172752Then I go and clean up and treat myself to a porridge facial, dye my eyelashes (so I don’t have to carry mascara). Just in case you don’t know, we’re off to Morocco where the women don’t let the grass grow, so I’ve dealt with my lady garden in the appropriate manner.

20140905_194950We check on the allotment (just to be sure it’s still there)

20141101_135832and the boat.

2014-12-07 001 2014-12-07 061And there’s the wedding cake (err erm Christmas cake) to feed. Honestly, I’ve no idea where Dan found this recipe. It needs more maintenance than the bike and boat combined – weekly dose of Cognac, or maybe that’s just an excuse to get the decanter out. I’ll be eating it as soon as we get back from this trip or maybe I could sneak a wee slice before we go.

20141122_202221All this before any packing begins. Phew!

Meraid Griffin

Freelance writer, adventurer and public speaker. Descibed in the Sunday Times as a 'modest explorer'. Nothing modest about me.

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