Gear tests

Superb weather over the weekend meant the jobs around the house would have to wait (again).

Besides, I needed to test the touring rig properly before heading north next month for my C2C.

I had a bit of a back spasm late last week so I thought I would take it easy and head to Hayfield campsite. This is not a long ride, 20-25 miles depending on the detours, and there is plenty of scope for finding quiet routes away from weekend motorists thundering over the South Pennine passes.


I loaded up the panniers correctly (this time) with some pretty textbook weight distribution between front and back.

On the scales, it all went at just shy of 16kg, including two bidons of water. I know I can shave some more weight off this if needed and still be very comfortable camping out.

The Club Tour felt great, even under all those bags. I’ve just fitted a new Dura Ace shifter on the drop bars and the indexing was working beautifully on the rear mech (another feather in my bicycle repair man cap).

Some great cycling was followed by a night on an excellent site.

This was the first outing using the VauDe Hogan XT and it is a perfect tent for cycle camping. I had to drop the front wheel off the bike and lower the saddle, but she (yes, the Club Tour is now a ‘she’) fit in the porch perfectly.

To keep the bike upright, I used a couple of featherweight Titanium pegs to secure the front against the ground.

Sunday morning I felt strong and so took a longer way home. I guess the next test has to be grinning and bearing it in the rain… better get some mudguards before then.


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