Despite preparing for an around the world cycling trip starting in 2015, I still had a reasonable amount of gear left to buy for bicycle touring in east Anglia. The reason for this, is that I was originally going to buy a piece of gear a month leading up to my departure for my RTW trip in the spring of 2015. Doing this pedal around East Anglia in just a couple of weeks though, meant that I had to bring my timetable forwards.
Gear Still Needed for Bicycle Touring in East Anglia
First on the list was a tent. I had originally toyed with the idea of buying a Hilleberg Akto which has a great reputation among some bicycle tourers. The one main snag to this is the price. At nearly 500 pounds, its a bit of a wallet stretcher! After some thought, I decided to go for the Vango Banshee 200 instead. Finding one on offer via the internet at just 75 pounds, it has many of the qualities of the Akto but without breaking the bank. Whilst the Akto may be superior, the Vango Banshee has a good reputation as a solid piece of kit as well. At a sixth of the price, I could afford to replace it every year or two if needed, and still be quids in!
The next thing to buy was a sleeping bag. I always find sleeping bags tricky to choose, as I tend to use them throughout a wide range of climates. What may be suitable in Scandinavia will be far too warm for the Far East, for example. On this occasion I have settled for a three season sleeping bag. It will certainly be needed for my bicycle touring trip in East Anglia, and also for the first month's of my around the world cycling adventure. At 40 pounds, I will soon get my monies worth, and if I have to replace it with a lighter, two season version later, I won't be too upset.
A camping stove was also needed. (Read how to choose a camping stove for bicycle touring here). I decided upon an MSR stove, and having used one before, I know they are reliable. This time, I have chosen the Whisperlite Universal. Like my old model, it runs on fuels such as petrol and diesel. This model also takes gas canisters which I found appealing. Resealable canisters will be far more convenient on my bicycle tour of East Anglia than petrol. At a cost of 100 pounds exactly, the stove is another bargain.
The last major piece of cycling kit I have bought is the Garmin Touring Edge GPS. I've never used one before, and only used a GPS driving a car twice! The blurb says it has been designed with bicycle touring in mind, but the proof will be in the pudding! (What does that phrase even mean?). This trip around East Anglia will give it a good test run, and like most of the other new gear, you can expect a few reviews over the coming weeks.
So, that just leaves me to sort out a cycling route around East Anglia. Once I have done this, I will let you all know, and then it will be just a matter of hitting the road. Can't wait!