I've mentioned that Emma and I used the BBBR as a full dress rehearsal. I've got two back panniers with a top pannier that zips across the top and from the back looks something like an elephant's behind. Under my saddle, I've got Team Parry's first aid kit and on my handle bars I've got my bar box with waterproof and lots of Minitools that I have no idea how to use but look impressive. I've got a couple of spare inner tubes, Allen keys, black tape, rehydration tablets, iPad, iPhone and room for sweets and nuts. Add full water bottles, pump, filled baguettes, a selection of regional fromages and saucisson and it's not far off the weight of a Challenger 2 tank.
So, we've had talks about weight and how to reduce it. The heaviest single item in the panniers are shoes. I've got a pair of suede pumps that look like they are made of canvas but are not. They also look very light but as I found out, they are not.
So, a couple of weeks ago I saw some very light shoes on special offer on Sportpursuit. They are very light indeed and fold up to a little roll, perfect in fact for the weight conscious, if not fashion conscious, touring cyclist...they only come in red...bright red. Still, red is cool on a middle aged man who wears Lycra, so I bought them.
Weeks went by and no red shoes. Every day I asked everyone in the office if they had come, only to be disappointed. Now everyone at H4H HQ knows that I've ordered red shoes. Finally, they arrived and they are wonderful...Of course I'd say that wouldn't I?
They may be rather red but they are very light, each one weighing in at around 200 grams. So, I might look really, really silly sitting in some delightful village square of an evening, but I will at least be wearing light shoes.
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