What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out?
I tried hard to think of some moral tale to tell here, but it seems that any wisdom I might claim to have shown this year was of the common-sense variety rather than anything remotely approaching white-bearded sageness.
It gets more bathetic, too: this year’s wisest move was the purchase of bicycle luggage transport solutions. Ugh!
The story starts with our decision to go off on a bike tour of France this summer. We knew we’d be camping so would need to transport a tent, sleeping bags, cooking equipment and the like, plus our clothes and other necessary bits and pieces (maps, camera and some basic food supplies) for a couple of weeks. Huge rucksacks would be too uncomfortable and would make us top-heavy, and we needed a non-cumbersome alternative.
There is a long story between this and the equipment we finally ended up with, but I will save that for another occasion (perhaps). Suffice it to say, for now, that we ended up buying a so-called Monoporter trailer (light, foldable and one-wheeled, so smooth-running as a result) and two panniers.
Thus we were able to pack and carry all the equipment we needed for our 500+km bike trek, and it all remained dry as a bone and completely intact. Although it obviously added considerable weight to the bikes, the design of both purchases meant that you barely felt the extra kilos / bulk most of the time. We still had rucksacks, but it made a huge difference to be able to put the heavier items elsewhere.
We’ve used the trailer in particular on numerous other occasions since the holiday, for transporting shopping, tools, climbing equipment and, most recently – drumroll – a Christmas tree. All sorts of expeditions that would previously either have been abandoned as impossible or crazy, or postponed until a car was available, have been made possible.