My sturdy bike had carried me 8700 miles when we arrived in Venice, Florida. We wheeled into a bicycle store with a maintenance problem.
The bike mechanic moved my bike on to a stand. He looked alarmed. “Wow!” he said,” this bike is loaded way too heavily. It can’t handle this weight. I’m serious. It will break.”
I’m glad he did not lift Malkolm or Ken’s bike. Mine is the lightest, by far. We weighed our bags once. Mine weighed a reasonable 54 pounds. Malkolm’s weighed an unreasonable 88 pounds. Ken’s topped it off at 95 pounds.
You may wonder what the heck we are carrying. The picture shows some of our gear on the picnic table. It looks like a lot. In fact, we are being careful. We need clothes for warm, cold and wet weather. We have tents and sleeping bags. We have one stove, 2 pots, a frying pan and 4 bowls. We make sacrifices. Our towels, for instance, are hand towels, not bath towels. We drink our coffee black because we don’t carry cream.
Because of our conservation project, and my cautious nature, we do have more stuff than most bike tourers.. We have a computer and a SLR camera with two heavy lenses. We have an enormous first aid kit (opened twice).
We are not always careful. For awhile we took along the seventh Harry Potter book. It weighs 2.9 pounds. Ken may choose to buy a six pack of beer instead of two cans. We may carry a large bottle of wine, because we are bargain hunters and it costs the same as a small one. Some of you will think we have rocks in our heads, others will think we are sensible.
Ken is apt to say “Yeah, our loads are ridiculously heavy” in an offhand manner. In fact, he is right.