PCS Tour Preparation
Well, a lot of preparation has gone into this trip. I’ve been obsessing over what I’m taking, what it all weighs, how I’m packing it in the panniers, how it handles when it all loaded on the bike, etc., etc., etc.
Suffice it to say I’ve spent a lot of time messing with this stuff. I was not happy with my initial test rides on the Surly with the full touring load. I got a notable shimmy on speeds above 15 mph. This prompted more messing around and testing various load and pannier positions. I even removed the Nitto racks and put on Tubus racks and still had shimmy.
The conventional wisdom is that you should place more of the load on the front than on the rear to eliminate shimmy. But the whole problem of shimmy on bicycles is actually poorly understood, and pretty much what works for some folks doesn’t for others. The jury is still out on my rig. I hope I have it minimized by shedding some weight and getting the weight about equally distributed between the front and rear racks.
My final configuration looks like this. I’m sure I’ll make more changes along the way.
With time running out I’ve had to tell myself (and Saree keeps telling me) to just pack the bike and leave it alone. So, it’s packed. The panniers are all stuffed in a rolling duffel for the trip to Portland.
I’ll get on a plane to Portland on noon Tuesday, May 3, 2016. I plan on spending a couple days getting things sorted in Portland (actually Forest Grove, where I’m staying with our good friends, the Sweeney’s), and then hit the road on Friday, May 5.
I plan to periodically update the blog to let the 2 or 3 folks who might be interested how I’m doing.