Sunday, February 19, 2012

Practice Loading

This is my bike, and all the bulky camping stuff is loaded

This morning I went to Canadian Tire for some research and shopping.  I intended to buy the 65 litre Outbound Expedition bag, but on seeing it in real life, I changed my mind and bought the 90 litre bag for $70.  I was glad I did, because when I returned home to stuff the mattresses in the bag, I found that they just fit.  When strapped to the back seat of the bike, the cargo bag equals the total width of my saddlebags, and I just barely have room to sit without being pushed too far forward.  So the bag is just exactly the right size.

With the Expedition bag securely attached, containing two mattresses and two sleeping bags, I still needed a place to attach the tent bag and hopefully one more bag of miscellaneous stuff in a dry bag. I think they can be attached securely to the top.

While I was at Canadian Tire, I noticed some items that could be worth trying.  There was a Broadstone 25" wide self inflating foam pad, which is double thickness for comfort. (3 inches).  While I was there, I took the opportunity to make sure it fit in the Expedition bag.  And another worthwhile purchase might be the Roots Outdoors Eastern Pines rectangular sleeping bag for Mary Ann.  She does not have a good sleeping bag, and complains that all the bags are too short for her anyway.  This bag is supposed to fit people up to 6'4", but does not compress very small, from what I saw in the store.  And as she also complains of the cold, this bag is rated down to -10c.  At $69.99 it may be a bargain, if it works anywhere near what it boasts  (i.e keeps a 5'10" woman warm down to +15c this summer).

I also bought a couple of straps and two new 40" bungie cords.  The straps are useful for holding a rolled mattress, tent or sleeping bag tight.  The have a special buckle that allows you to tighten it up once you have put it around the roll.  Once you work out the best technique for tightening these belts, it makes for very tight roll


  1. In your previous entry you wrote, '... the high seat of the BMW GS plus loaded rear seat mean it is very hard to sling a leg over.

    Wow! That's some pile of gear. How much luck are you having 'slinging a leg over' that set-up? ;-)

    On a more serious note ... are you doing all that shopping at the Tire to stock up on Sandy McTire 'money' before it goes out of circulation?

  2. The trick is to kick your right leg directly over the seat, and not try swinging over the top of the pack. My seat is 26". The BMW GS seat is 34". I can still get my leg over the Vulcan seat, but for the BMW GS, I would need a short step ladder. I think it's much easier to swing a leg over an empty passenger seat than to kick a foot over the driver's seat.

    I am not a fan of Canadian Tire money despite rumours that it is accepted at par in the Caribbean. I keep it anyway, but yesterday I only got 40 cents on a total purchase of over $100. On the other hand, if Canadian Tire obsoletes it, the value might actually increase.