Friday, October 24, 2014

Hangload baggage system now on sale in shops in Berlin

We wrote about Hangload at the end of March. This is a baggage rack that lets cyclists carry rucksacks, boxes or shopping bags safely at the rear of the bike. One of these coupled with a normal pannier would be a good way to carry baggage gear when cycle touring if you were going to do some walking as well. 

The company has now started to manufacture these. They can be ordered online from the company or picked up from various shops in Berlin:

  • Bagjack handmade in berlin (Ten Twenty Berlin): Torstraße 39, 10119 Berlin, Germany -Opening times: 2:00 – 20:00 
  • Radmutter: Petersburger Straße 93 10247 Berlin, Germany - Opening times: Mo: 11:00 - 17:00, Tu: 10:00 - 20:00, We: 10:00 - 20:00, Th: 11:00 - 17:00, Fr: 10:00 - 19:00, und Sa: 11:00 - 15:00.
  • Radhaus Kreuzberg: Yorckstraße 77 10965 Berlin, Germany - Opening times: Mo.-Fr.: 10:00-13:00 und 14:00-19:00 & Sa.: 10:00-16:00. 
  • fahrradstation:
  • Charlottenburg: Goethestraße 46, 10625 Berlin, Germany - Opening times: 10:00 – 19:30.
  • Kreuzberg: Bergmannstraße 9, 10961 Berlin, Germany - Opening times: 10:00 – 19:00.
  • Prenzlauer Berg: Kollwitzstraße 77, 10435 Berlin, Germany - Opening times: 10:00 - 19:30.
  • Mitte: Auguststraße 29a, 10119 Berlin, Germany - Opening times: 10.00 - 19.30.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Mannheim Altrhein ferry

As you cycle along the Rhine Cycle Route north of Mannheim you need to cross one of the former loops of the Rhine, now cut off by the Tulla straightening in the 19th century. For five or six months of the year you can take the hourly ferry from the Friesenheimer Insel towards Sandhofen. This chain ferry will be modified this winter with solar panels with a Diesel motor back up to power the electric motor driving the chain. The ferry runs from April to September. Cost is 50 Cents for a cyclist and rider.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cycling the Oxford Canal Towpath Sustrans Route 5

SUSTRANS signpost by the junction of the Oxford Canal and Dukes Cut.
We went canal boating in England recently. It was 50 years since Judith left her alma mater and she decided to take part in an alumni weekend. Rather than travel there and stop in a hotel or B&B over the weekend we decided to take a houseboat along the Oxford Canal. We moored at Kidlington just north of Oxford and Judith cycled into the city on a Brompton. She found that even within the urban area that the towpath was not easy to follow on 16" wheels. A day or two later while heading north we noticed a pair of mountain bikers following the towpath. They too had difficulty and got off to walk on several occasions. It is a pity that SUSTRANS cannot improve the towpath. It is not its responsibility unfortunately and the Canal and Rivers Trust (CRT) the charity responsible for English waterways is probably more interested in keeping the locks and bridges along the canal well maintained. It could be argued that as one of the CRT's missions is to offer leisure activities on the canals and rivers that better cycling facilities should be made available.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Klickfix Variorack

One of the most useful items one can use on a utilitarian bike is a basket. Fling a rucksack in it or a shopping bag and you can cycle off. There is a minor disadvantage that what is easily popped in can be easily taken out. Maybe one should fasten the bag in with a lock or a bungee net. Having found the Klickfix Variorack I suspect this would be better. It looks cooler as well, not so house wifely, not that this worries me one way or the other. I was looking for a bar bag to carry an iPad when I came across the Variorack. It is a multifunctional rack for transportation of bags, laptop cases and backpacks on the bike, 21x32x17cm, 450g weight. It fits into a KLICKfix handlebar adaptor. Obviously you can remove it dead quick in seconds when it is not needed. It can be positioned in 2 different heights on the adapter front or back, though I would be tempted to put at the front so I can keep my eye on the bag when the rack is loaded. It might be an idea as well to have the Variorack attached to the bike with a lockable adaptor. The rack comes with a strap and I suspect if her indoors needs a hint what to buy me for Christmas, I might well be tempted to suggest a Variorack.

I decided not to buy a iPad bar bag. When we are touring I can pop the iPad in a Ziplock style plastic bag to keep it dry and stuff it down between clothes in the panniers to protect it against vibration. We have four bar bags of the simple variety already and that's enough.

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