Tour prep ride

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Alan Weiss

My wife and I are planning a tour this summer for our 25th wedding anniversary. We're loading up our
BikeE E2 tandem and riding around Lake Champlain in Vermont and New York We're also planning to ride up to Montreal as part of the trip
along the Route Verte We thought we'd do credit-card
touring, stopping in hotels or B&Bs along the way.

Still, we'll need to carry some gear on the bike. The bike is rather new--we bought it in August,
just before BikeE went out of business--and we hadn't tried to carry anything on it yet. Today it
was above freezing for the first time in a long time here in NJ, so I loaded up three panniers and a
BikeE bag with all my clothes [1] and some books and tools and other stuff (about 45 lbs total),
attached them to the bike
[2], and we took off on a hilly 25-mile ride. The wind was strong and gusty today, so slogging up
some 1-mile hills at 3 mph was a good test of my ability to handle the bike in adverse
conditions. The result: the bike seems to handle EXACTLY the same with or without all the cargo.
I wasn't the least unsteady. The only problem was once when rolling the bike by hand from a
parking spot, the heavy bags caused me to nearly tip it over when I wasn't paying enough
attention. Fortunately my wife caught the bike.

I'm very pleased with the results of this test. We averaged about 10 mph up and down hills. We had
no difficulty whatsoever handling the bike and cargo. I can hardly wait for vacation to start!

Alan Weiss NJ Gold Rush, E2 tandem, and Leitra rider

[3] I put in several score T-shirts (two full dresser drawers) and several pairs of pants. I wear
T-shirts nearly every day. It's nice having a research job!

[4] How to attach all these to the bike? I put a BikeE underseat pannier rack backwards on the rear
of the bike, the forward part attached to the rear of the rear seat, the rear part attached to a
BikeE accessory mount almost all the way towards the back of the frame. This held two large
Ortlieb panniers. A medium-sized Ortlieb went on the back of the captain's seat, the top of the
pannier clipped to the seat frame, the bottom clipped to the seat fabric. The BikeE bag hangs
off the stoker seat. Lots more weight on back than on front, but that's where the suspension is,
and it didn't seem to affect the handling.
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