I am planning a cycling holiday that will not look a lot different than my daily routine other than I will be exploring different routes 3,000 km from home. And, I will be alone most of the time.
Today, I booked a flight to Toronto to spend the month of September at the family cottage in rural Ontario. I’ll pack the Roberts and cycle most days on quiet, rolling, rural roads in cottage country.
This is where road cycling began for me some 40 years ago. I am planning to cycle most days. There are several 40-50 km routes past local lakes, corn fields, grazing lands and enquiring cattle and horses. And, there are several 75-100 km rides that I am considering, rides I have not experienced previously. There is also a local cycling club that have group rides every Sunday afternoon that I am looking forward to as well.
I am doing this trip on my own. I have some personal business to attend to and family to visit but mostly, this is a cycling trip. A training camp. I hope to lose a few pounds, get more powerful and faster in preparation for a century ride in October.
I have decided to take the Roberts. It is a more comfortable ride than the carbon Garneau for longer rides with its steel frame and wider profile tires. And yet, with the Ultegra Compact crankset and wheels, it makes an excellent training machine.
I was planning to purchase a soft case travel bag but remembered I have an old hard case in the shop that, given a little tender loving care, will more than do the job. The case is a hand-me-down and we have never used it. It needs work and new padding but is compact, rolls easily and will save me $500. More on the case later as I refurbish it for the trip.
I have made similar trips to the cottage previously but never for such an extended period of time. And, this is the first time the Roberts will be back in Ontario since 1981. I have taken either the Garneau or the Kuwahara before.
I am looking forward to a lot of cycling, completing several chores on the property, farm fresh vegetables for dinner, bone chilling swims in the lake and, a lot of reading. I will have no TV and, no internet (at least not at the cottage). Just CBC radio for companionship.
I travel with my bike a fair amount. Not sure what state the foam is in your hard case, but I purchased several sheets of medium and high density foam used for cushions from a upholstery shop to replace the foam in my Thule hard case. Also, painters tape (the green or blue 3m low adhesive) comes in handy when packing your bike. I use it to secure the bars and other bits to the frame, supplementing the velcro straps that are supplied. Throw the roll in the case for the return voyage. For tools, I found a small canvas tool roll (Princess Auto) that takes all my necessary tools I need for assembling and adjustments at my destination. Remember,those small CO2 cylinders are forbidden on planes and don’t forget your pump ! Good luck and enjoy !