What's in a Name? - Achtung Baby: Bavaria with a GPS & Some Great Canadian Gear (Tour 13) - 2014 🇩🇪 🇦🇹 🇨🇭 - CycleBlaze

January 23, 2014

What's in a Name?

THIS was really supposed to be about a cycle trip to New Deer, Scotland, to visit where Alexander Irvine and Jane Cheyne left to move to Canada around 1800. But, this is not about that, so watch out, this will be different: Achtung Baby!

Air Canada has agreed to carry me and my bike from Timmins, Ontario, to Toronto, Ontario, and then to Zurich, Switzerland, before crossing the Bodensee to tootle around Bavaria and making my way to Munich and such. Of course, the agreement was based on payment on my part.

Back to my first touring bike. Emotionally attached I am! The only difference now is that I have installed a Brooks B17 saddle. After decades of touring with bad saddles, I am finally comfy on a Brooks.
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For the first 'real' tour that I have my GPS, I am looking forward to playing with it as I roll up and down the hills and valleys. I am used to map and compass and will also have them in case the GPS is too nerdy... but we'll see. I'll at least use it for distances and speeds.

My first tour with this little gadget. To this point we have done some geocaching with it and it seems pretty cool. I am hoping to use it to guide me along some smaller back roads.
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For the most part, my bags are from Arkel.

I ended up finding these online. They are no longer made by Arkel, though I am told they are similar to their GT18 that they now make in either pannier or pannier/backpack format. My EXR do not have backpack straps, but they are rugged, nice-looking and stick to the rack like glue. In short, I love them.
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I bought my first Arkels about ten years ago, and have since amassed a pair of older EXR-38 (bombproof and amazing), a pair of XM-45, a pair of T-42, the large handlebar bag, and for our kids, the Bug backpack/pannier combo which are great. My latest purchases - still in the Canada Post system - are the Tailrider trunk bag and the bike Carry Bag. My trunk bag from 1992 is still in fine shape, but I have liked the look of the Arkel Tailrider since I first saw it years ago. I made an executive decision: the kids can have my old trunk bag and I can have the new one. Yippee!

My latest purchase from Arkel and for this trip: The Arkel Tailrider. Just yesterday I strapped it onto my rear rack to see how easily it went on. There are four straps that loop down around the rack's top rails and hold it very securely. What I did not try was how easily it went on with panniers in place, but I cannot see how it will be any different.
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So there you have it - to make a long story longer, so to speak. The reasoning behind my silly title now makes a lot more sense, doesn't it?!

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