How many spares are appropriate to take on a seven hundred and fifty kilometer journey? A tool kit and inner tubes is an obvious must. Some spare pedals? One French couple covered all these bases on their beginner road journey from Melbourne to Adelaide. After eighteen months off the saddle they decided to embark upon their road bike adventure. Of course the spares they purchased for their bikes were not the only possessions they had in tow, this slight couple also had fifteen kilos each in rear trailers to transport on this trip through the Australian countryside.
A two-day adventure, a strenuous forty hours of cycling how many broken pedals? Countless blowouts? On a pair of Studds commuter road bikes - none! Call it luck of the prepared or, as I prefer, a fantastic pair of road bikes. After a journey of sweat, but no blood or tears they made it to Adelaide unscathed. And successfully managed to re-sell these perfect road bikes for the price they brought them at.
But being prepared for the worst is always the safest way to live so here are a few recommended must carry's when considering embarking on your beginners adventure across Australia:
Safety is key and even when using a bike for recreational purposes this should be your first purchase. As a teenager this was the equivalent of social suicide, as an adult this is a life preserving piece of equipment.
These usually include a pump, a spare tube and a tire lever. Any avid cyclist will be carrying one of these, if it is their main mode of transportation. Even the everyday commuter, no one wants to be caught out with a flat.
Whenever out of sight or reach you should be securing your bike. Nothing ruins a trip quicker than a stolen bike, and after spending money on your road bike this is one of the worst-case scenarios, and will cut your trip short. We recommend a U lock aka D lock ahead of chains or cables.
Spares will come in handy as no one wants to get caught on a quiet stretch between destinations with no possibility of rescue in sight. Admittedly the pedals on budget commuter bikes are basic plastic ones and it pays to upgrade to an alloy set if embarking on a long journey or take a spare set. A chain splitter and a few links is also an essential part of your tool kit.
Always consider your climate when investing in clothing for journeys. When planning an Australian adventure, breathable clothing and a jumper if you’re caught in Melbourne during winter! Plastic-soled shoes and a good pair of gloves are two items to consider which will certainly make your journey more pleasant.
And always remember to enjoy yourselves!
by Katie Seacole (17 Apr 2015)