It looks a lot but broken down – not really, and with clever packing, everything packs down really tight. Presently this is ‘A work in progress’. I have to keep my carrying weight to within 30kg. I reckon that when I leave Jeffrey’s Bay, I will be well under that.
Bike – Kona bike constructed for the BikeAfrica 3 project.
I found this bike most suited my style of cycling travel. In short commonly known as the ‘GoFoGo – Rpt’ style. ‘Get On, Fall Off, Get On – Repeat’!
The bike has a front brake and internal three-speed rear hub with coaster-brake.
Gears – Shimano Nexus twist grip. I have had the ratio of these changed so that I have two uphill/level road gears and one downhill. I do not need to peddle downhill. And as this is a ‘slow solo wobble through Africa’, speed is not the issue. I presently average around 11-15 kmh. Anything faster and the wobbles flatten out – not in keeping with the ride.
Front brake – Shimano
Note – The carrying weight ratio is 60% rear and 40% front – excluding me. With a maximum of 30 Kg, this means 12kg front spread between the two front panniers and barbag; and 18kg rear, spread between the two rear panniers and rackbag.
Panniers Front – Ortlieb Classic (40lt. 20lt each)
Panniers Rear – Ortlieb City ( 25lt. 12.5lt each). Due to the low carrying capacity of the front rack, I have limited myself to 5kg each side.
Rack top bag – General old baggage bag I have had for years.
Barbag – Arkel (7.5lt)
Racks Front – Tubus Tara Lowrider (15kg)
Note – Racks Rear. I could not find a rear rack which would fit the construction of my bike. Rod Abbot of Rod’s Engineering in Underberg built mine for me.
Handle bars – I searched the whole of Durban, Pietermaritzburg and the Internet for the bars I wanted. Touring bars. I eventually found what I wanted in a small shop on the Berea. Second hand. They had been swopped for a different style the day before. I could not believe my luck – meant to be.
Saddle – Brookes ‘17s’ leather, from my lovely wife, for my lovely bum. Well somebody’s got to be positive!
Rear view mirror – A gift from friends of mine in Underberg. Bought in Holland. But with my wobbling style of riding and the condition of some of the roads I have been riding on, add the driving of some of our taxis etc, I will be upgrading this to a larger mirror.
Old car horn – in place of bell.
Cateye Velo 9 – speedo-milometer. Also tells me how many calories I have supposedly used!
Light back-pack for walking trips and shopping.
Walking stick – for walking, belting unruly kids and animals and supporting a fully laden bike during drink breaks
Small Adjustable wrench
Small pliers/wire cutter – back up to multi-tool
6 spare spokes,
Spare brake pads
spare valve caps,
2 spare tubes
WD40 lubrication oil
A plastic bag full of odd screws, nuts, bolts and pieces of wire.
5 metres heavy nylon string.
2 metres of double-sided valcro
Travelling with two tents is over the top – but I enjoy my comforts and this is a slow wobble anyway.
Main tent – Wild Country Duolite Tourer – 2 man tent. With front porch into which my bike fits. For longer stays, offers more protection and comfort from the elements.
Bivvy tent – MSR Hubba – 1 person. Bivvy tent for overnight roadside stops.
Sleeping bag: First Ascent Icebreaker. Down
Sleeping bag inner – hot summer nights
Mattress – Thermarest Zlite
Pillow – First Ascent Self-inflating. Which it seems to have fun in doing at the most inconvenient times. Like when packed away and travelling.
Bathroom – Tooth brush, toothpaste, razor, soap, small nail brush, small hair brush, nail clippers, quick drying towel.
A chemist friend of mine put together my aid kit and I have added a few other items. Use-by dates are numerous.
Various plasters and bandages.
Thermometer , Scissors, Bandage clips, Eye patch, tweazers, cotton swobs,
Histoador cream – Antihistamine cream
Soflax tablets – Laxative
Paracetamol & Codiene Tablets – Strong pain
Loperamide Tablets – diarrhoea
Cyclizine tablets – Vomiting & nausea
Hyapasmol tablets – Abdominal pain, cramps
Clarinse tablets – Antihystamine
Ibufran tablets – Anti-inflamatory, pain
Amoxycillin tablets – Chest infections, upper respiratory infections, lung and dental
Mefloquine tablets – anti-malaria
Ciploxx 500 tablets – All urinary tract, bladder, severe stomach and bone infections
Prednisone tablet – Severe bites
Contisone cream – severe bites
Bactroban cream – antibiotic
Genpain tablets – painkillers
Cooker – MSR Dragonfly multi-fuel stove. (runs on – white gas, kerosene, unleaded fuel, diesel, and jet fuel. Just hit the afterburner for instant tea.)
MSR fuel bottle – 0.600ml fuel bottle
Pots – Kovea Solo 2
500ml hot water flask
Plastic Tupperware container
Spoon and sharp kitchen knife
10 litre collapsible bucket
Water purifier – This I will pick up in cape Town
Nutcracker Orange Helmet. (Brilliant)
3 tee-shirts (short sleeve)
1 tee-shirt (long sleeve)
2 long sleeve fleeces
1 fleece zip up jacket
1 waterproof jacket
1 peaked cap
3 x pairs reading glasses
2 Speedo boxer style costumes. These I wear as costumes or shorts.
1 pair shorts
1 pair lightweight longs (legs can be unzipped to wear as shorts)
2 pairs long warm leggings (these were given to me in Matatiele. Second hand and proving to be the best so far. Might get a couple more pairs).
3 pairs underpants
2 pairs short warm socks
1 pair flip flops
1 pair enclosed shoes
Kitengi – (Shawl) – great for keeping sun, wind and rain off; as a towel or a sarong and for carrying things.
Writing, Reading and paperwork
Note – All my paperwork is also stored on Dropbox – for future access and printing if needed. Jacqui, my wife has access to this.
Passport; I.D.; driver’s licence; proof of residence; police clearance; personal references & introductions; relevant inoculation certificates; marriage certificate; birth certificate; alive certificate; bank credit cards; emergency information; Freelance writer’s I.D.; Business cards.
Photo copies of relevant paperwork.
‘The Right to Write’ by Julia Cameron (Inspiration)
There will be other books. Ongoing novels etc. But not hectic due to the weight issue
Roadmaps and travel information relevant to the countries, areas I will be traveling
Diary – as I finish a diary I will be posting them onto my Jacqui in England.
Pencils and pens
Magnifying glass – for some maps and very small instructions that come with more and more electronics these days.
Praktica Sport binoculars 10 x 25 (Tested and proven in Tanzania for game spotting and checking distant road sign posts).
Note – My computer arrangement suits me at the moment. But will not be practical in the long run. My main computer weighs in at over 2kg. So I will be changing that and the Galaxy for a lighter, smaller computer.
Computers. Seeing how Galaxy worked if practical. Sizewise is ideal, battery life good – but cannot do half the work I need to do I always knew that the HP would be too heavy. But I need the photo editing programme.
Galaxy connection kit
Computer HP 15inch
Olympus Dictaphone (5 folders x 24hrs = 120 hours storage)
Camera – Nikon Coolpix 18x wide Optical Zoom. 12.1 mega-pixels.
AA and AAA batteries for Radio, dicta-phone, torches, and rear bike light
Nokia Cell phone
Portable (very small) MP3 speakers
All adaptors and plugs for the above.
Portable shortwave radio (FM, MW, LW, 9 Short waves bands)