Our Everyday Adventures

We are not adventurers by choice but by fate – Van Gogh

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Making it Happen – Ireland Bike Tour 2012

Post by: Jake
3/4/12

Last May I wrote an article titled “How to Have an Adventure – 10 Tips on Planning Your Next Getaway”. It’s more or less a collection of common sense advice on how to “make it happen”.  There always seems to be countless excuses that delay our big goals and bucket list adventures; and that list was wrote to help eliminate a few of the big ones like, “We can’t afford it” and “We just don’t have the time”.  As I was writing the article last year I became inspired to start planning something big.  I figured we too had the same list of excuses, mainly money and time; but I should be able to follow the list of tips and plan something epic.  And so it began!

When we started planning the next big adventure Veronica and I were in the heat of training for a triathlon, and were really enjoying the road biking component of the trainings.  So, why not do a cycle tour adventure?  It slows down your traveling pace, removes the windshield, and really puts you right into the local culture.  How better to instantly be thrown into the local scene then with a flat tire, bent rim or broken chain?

So, we decided to do a cycle tour, but where to go?  Immediately I started dreaming about cycling across the Alps, through Austria and Switzerland, and down into the valleys of Germany.  How romantic right?  Until I started thinking about getting WAY off the beaten path and asking locals for directions, or for a lift to a local bike shop to buy some spare parts.  The language barrier may become an issue, and while we had plenty of time to wait before we could begin our new adventure, I wasn’t about to sit down and learn German.   So, my gaze started shifting west, to the little island countries of the United Kingdom and Ireland.  Gently sloped terrain, beautiful sea coasts, tightly packed towns and villages, and best of all: everyone speaks English!  Initially we planned on touring through part of Ireland, then taking a ferry and touring through parts of Scotland, but now we are simply planning on seeing more of Ireland.

So with the adventure and destination set, money saved up, and time off from work secured, the only thing left to do was purchase airline tickets.  Last Tuesday, we bit the bullet and pulled the trigger on purchasing tickets.  Apparently, through doing some research, we learned that if you have a choice, the best time to fly is on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, (to avoid weekend, and some commuter Monday/Friday travelers) and if you can, purchase your tickets on a Tuesday afternoon.  It’s not totally fool proof, but for some reason, “on the average” that’s when flights are cheapest each week.

Well, that’s it.  We’re headed to Ireland over the last week of June and first week of July this summer.  We’ll be spending roughly 17 days touring through a large chunk of Ireland.  While there’s still loads of planning left to do and gear to secure before we leave; we hope you’ll stick around and vicariously adventure with us!  Over the next few months, we’ll post several updates on how the plans are progressing; and if you have any suggestions or ideas, as always we’re all ears!!!

 

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Detour D2R Handlebar Bike Bag Review

Post by: Jake
3/4/12

A few weeks ago Veronica and I got ahold of one of Detours newest bike bags.  They just launched a new series of bags called the D2R bags, and we got to test out the handlebar bag.  Not too flashy, and stripped of all the unnecessary features that add useless extra weight, the D2R bag line from Detour are all function and are built to last.

For our upcoming bike-tour trip to Ireland this summer I searched high and low for a handlebar bag that could serve multiple functions, carry the necessities in an easy access location, and something that could quickly detach for security reasons while the bike is parked. On top of the lid there is a removable foldover clear plastic map case; an absolute necessity for a bike touring trip through a rainy country you’re not familiar with.  Dual waterbottle holders, a couple slim book pockets inside, and 320 cubic inches of internal storage round out the bags storage features; while a speed disconnect handlebar attachment and a removable shoulder strap make this bag ideal for commuting to work or touring.

This bag will absolutely be our little black box on our upcoming touring trip. It’ll hold our cameras, extra water bottles, our passports, important contact numbers, extra money, and most importantly, our maps.  It’ll come off the bike every time we stop, and the shoulder strap will come out.  We’re not too concerned about someone stealing our stinky clothes located in our panniers, but everything else will be in our Detour D2R handlebar bag.  Whether you bike tour or are a daily commuter, at $65, the functionality of this bag will quickly make it one of the most valuable pieces of luggage on your bike.

 

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