As we have now officially survived one month on the road here is a snapshot of what we have learnt as first time bike tourers to date.
We made it to Germany! There wasn’t a border or pass but the street signs and architecture changed almost immediately. The bike paths changed too with a little more off roading.
Our devices for our trip: Samsung galaxy s tab 8.4 (one of two) & Sony Experia Z3 Compact (Mine, Suyin has a IPhone 4s) We already owned two fantastic tablets and smart phones so we wanted to avoid spending extra money on a dedicated GPS unit or a trip computer (a.k.a nav man for a bike). Smart devices have so many apps and options now, so we decided to try our luck with free apps and location services built into these. So how do we navigate?
We took a quick weekend camping trip to test out the bikes with the gear. It was to be a easy ride using mostly bike paths from Wolli Creek to Sutherland (approx. 20km). From there we would take the train to Kiama, and then a small local train to Berry. Camping at the Berry Showgrounds for the night we would then ride out for a day trip to Seven Mile Beach (approx. 12km). Despite getting prepared the night before it still took quite a while to get going. Unusual scraping noises had to be investigated, panniers to be rearranged, and finding bike paths took a bit of time. Also getting used to how heavy the bikes were with all the gear, there were a couple of little hills near Sutherland that I was pushing the bike up!
Having not ridden or owned bikes since Cleave and I were both about 14, we decided the best way to get familiar with these brand new purchases would be to take a couple of courses. Check online for your city’s free bike courses, most city councils support cycling initiatives, and help riders feel safe in city traffic. A quick search led us to Sydney Cycleways Basic Bike Care Course, held at the Sydney Park Cycling Centre in Sydney Park.