As we are spending a year bike touring, we will have flown with our bikes as baggage six times, which means we would have set them up and broken them down twelve times as follows:
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.
There was definitely a list of requirements when choosing which bike to buy. It had to be within the cheaper touring end but still suited to long distance travel. It also needed to be able to blend into the urban landscape so we could use them for quick commuting at home.
The idea of travelling long-term started as a ‘what if?’ daydream but became louder and louder in our heads. We wanted to travel for six months to a year at least, the biggest debates being money, stuff and time. We had an apartment full of 7 years of our lives being entwined, from the modular couch we agonised over at a furniture super centre, to the TV we had debated size vs. living room space, to the photos loving printed and stuck on the walls. Would we be able to give up our possessions? The constant debate on how much we would need for the trip, and how much we would need for re-entry was at the forefront. The budget affected which countries we wanted to visit, and how long we could travel for.