October 2012: Second bicycle – parts of the coast are only accessible by following the road so it has worked well so far, and light to push, carry and climb with- superb for those ‘end of the day’ return cycle journeys which can easily be 25 miles or so above the walked distance that took every ounce of energy you had.
July 2012: Second bicycle on the way, a 2009 Medium Yeti arc-x courtesy of Matthew Szarko, a Canadian lecturer in medicine living in London. Through trial and error I discovered that for a day’s ‘push’ its so much easier to have a lighter machine altogether. I’ll be able to go farther and faster than before, particularly carrying the bike for any distance and lifting over stiles – the Kokopelli was getting on for 75+ lbs with ‘light’ camping gear, racks and tent. Fine for a few days camping over rough terrain when far from access points to roads, but a bit tough to navigate gate stiles with.
Bike rules are simple: Push on paths, ride on roads & carry where can’t do either of the first two.
Had some help for this project from a true inspiration- Dana Farrell who in 2010 rode the length of Africa in four months across some of the most challenging terrain on the planet to raise awareness for melanoma research. She’s offered advice on what sort of bicycle would best suit the geography, and from my point of view best suit as a camera platform, which is vital in keeping the gps camera steady. Two wheels seemed the most practical solution over this varied terrain, unfortunately unlike ‘500 mile walkies‘ this companion does not self-propel.
Read her blog here http://7500milesformelanoma.wordpress.com/
I finally settled on a 2002 Yeti Kokopelli, with a new Ti Brooks saddle – just because. Light and easy to push and can be carried if necessary, it will also take a pannier system and racks for equipment and gets me back to support vehicle at end of day’s walk.