Canada. Will I ever be ready...

HelenD123

Guru
Location
York
As some of you know, I'm heading off on a major tour in a few weeks, starting with crossing Canada east to west. I leave on 19 May so you'd think I'd be ready by now wouldn't you...

It was all on track. I was going to take my Airnimal Joey Explore. Took it for its first service last weekend and they were going to fit the front rack, the one recommended by the manufacturer. Would it fit? NO! The Joey has 24" wheels so the angle of the fork is different to normal and doesn't have eyelets so it's difficult finding a suitable rack. Starting to panic now, I decided to see if my LBS could make a different rack fit. NO!:thumbsup: I'm going away for 6 months so can't just go with just a rear rack as I need space for extra food and water on occasion.

While the Airnimal was at the LBS I decided commute on the Galaxy and see how I got on. (I'd stopped using it as I really wasn't getting on with the drops.) I didn't feel completely in control (not helped by having all the weight hanging off one side) but it felt faster and less effort somehow. When I got the news from the LBS about their failure I dug out the front racks I'd been given for the Galaxy and eventually got the bike loaded up front and rear and headed out for a test ride. I was desperate and had to try something. What a revelation! I've only ever ridden it with rear panniers, but with both sets it felt really sure- footed, so much so that I was whizzing down hills I'm usually braking nervously on. I'd rather have a more upright position and was aching slightly but it looks like the Galaxy has saved the day (and the trip!):biggrin:.
 

ComedyPilot

Secret Lemonade Drinker
Good luck with the trip Helen, I am in the Netherlands when you go, so might not get to say tara.

I've just done a fully loaded, all 4 panniers, ride up over Huggate to Pocklington and back via Nunburnholme. Bit cold and headwindy on the return, but otherwise like you, sure footed and FAST on the downhills.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Shame about the Airnimal, the whole point of a bike like that is to be good for taking by plane etc. They couldn't bodge something with P-clips?

But glad you are feeling better about the Galaxy. That is a bike that deserves to go off on an expedition. I'm still mithering over the bars on mine, I just need to find the perfect set up... And it's been somewhat eclipsed by the trike...

Anyway, good news. So, what else is left to do?:thumbsup:
 
OP
HelenD123

HelenD123

Guru
Location
York
I went out towards South Dalton and stumbled on a biker festival! I think I got the ultimate complement. Female biker "that's one lovely bike that it" as I passed.

I'm amazed how different the bike felt with four panniers. I guess it was doing the job it was designed for. You can't imagine my relief after stressing about this all week. Still, it's a shame I'll lose the flexibility of the folding Airnimal.
 
OP
HelenD123

HelenD123

Guru
Location
York
Arch said:
Shame about the Airnimal, the whole point of a bike like that is to be good for taking by plane etc. They couldn't bodge something with P-clips?

Anyway, good news. So, what else is left to do?:thumbsup:
Apparently the forks are too fat and the didn't have big enough P-clips:wacko:. I did buy some Tubus fork adapter things but they couldn't get them to fit either as they were too small.

Now the bike is sorted there's not too much else to do. I think I've got everything I need. I just need to get the house packed up. I've got 10 days between finishing work and flying out so hopefully should have enough time to get everything sorted.

I must get my Crazyguyonabike journal started though so I can give people the address.
 

ComedyPilot

Secret Lemonade Drinker
Helen, my forks were too 'fat' for the U bolts on my Blackburn front rack. I work in an engineering company, so I just got some more made to fit, and rubber coated them with heatshrink. Worked a treat.
 
OP
HelenD123

HelenD123

Guru
Location
York
ComedyPilot said:
Do you want to have a look at what I did with my pannier, and see if it's something you can do with the Airnimal?

Shame to not use the bike you'd set your heart on?
What a dilemma! Thanks ever so much for the offer. I'm sort of coming round to the idea of taking the Galaxy. It's what it's designed for after all. Maybe I should take the Airnimal out tomorrow to compare. I do prefer its more upright position.
 

ComedyPilot

Secret Lemonade Drinker
Even better, give me 2 ticks and I'll photo the parts I had made and show you how I got them to fit.

[runs outside with box-brownie]
 

ComedyPilot

Secret Lemonade Drinker
The front fork was too 'fat' for the supplied U bolts that came with the rack. I got a lad at work to turn some threads on either end of some mild steel bar, then another bloke heated it up with a gas torch and bent it round a bar (the same diameter as my fork) to get the U shape. I then cut and linished it to length, covered it in heatshrink (to stop vibration), and raided the nyloc nuts and washers bin for all required fastenings. The black rubber coated strap pressed against the fork came with the rack, but is easlily manufactured out of thin metal strip and more heatshrink.
 

Cathryn

Legendary Member
I'm quite chuffed for you about the Galaxy, I was sad when you didn't like it, as they're such fab bikes. Think about replacing the brake blocks...Richard wore out the ones his Galaxy came with in two weeks of touring!!

I've never tried front panniers...rather like the idea of it now.
 
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