Yes, we are planning a cycle trip through Europe and Africa for two years! This means a lot of preparations and thinking about where to go and what to pack. Cycling and living in a tent means that you need lots of gear: tent, sleeping bag and mat, stove, pots, dishes, cloth, repair kit, camera, charger… and tons of small stuff. On top of that, we also want to go rock climbing, which means even more gear: rope, harness, quick draws, trad gear, climbing shoes, helmet…
When we started planning this trip, we were not sure if it is even possible to fit all this gear into a few cycling panniers. As good old physicists, we had to test this with an experimental trip. The goal was to pack everything up and cycle from Heidelberg to the Pfalz, which is about 100 km in one day, climb for two days and cycle back on the fourth day. We limited our gear to only four panniers and packing everything up was no problem. Cycling on the other hand with so much gear is rather tough, especially uphill. But nature was helping us – with a strong back wind we made it to the Pfalz without too much trouble.
We stayed at the Bärenbrunner Hof which is surrounded by rocks. This meant that we just had to walk a few meters before we could start climbing the next day. On the second day we went climbing and we could feel our legs a bit, but regardless we did some nice routes including the classic ‘Jubiläumsriss’. Why do people like crack climbing? On the second day, we went hiking in the ‘Dahner Felsenland’, visited some castles and enjoyed the beautiful weather.
Cycling back on the fourth day was rather though, as the wind did not change and now we faced a bad head wind. We took our time with lots of coffee breaks (yes, we even had an Italian espresso machine with us!) and made it back to Heidelberg in one piece.
– It is possible to cycle long distances with climbing gear!
– Avoid mountains wherever possible as the bike is heavy
More pictures can be found here.