|Alps Comfort Air Pad|
|Eureka Scenic Pass 2XT tent|
Along with the new larger duffle, I have a new way to attach the panniers. They hook and clamp onto steel rods that are connected over the duffle by two web straps. The bottom of the panniers hook onto the bike frame. Lastly, its all held down with four bungee cords. I was out for my first shake down ride on Memorial Day and everything worked well. I stopped for gasoline and had to go through the process of taking all the luggage off so I could get to the gas tank. It's a hassle. This year it is more of a hassle than last.
The duffle is bulkier. The panniers are not directly attached to the duffle. The bungee cords are longer and stronger. Taking it all off is relatively easy. It's getting it all back together appropriately in a reasonable amount of time that will take practice. Initially, I placed the duffle too far forward. This pushes me forward on the seat and is completely unacceptable. I had to readjust the bags. That's what shake down runs are for.
Another new addition to my packing is a medium sized duffle placed between my legs in the step-through section of the scooter. It will contain, on the bottom, a 1.25 gallon gas can, tools, rain gear, iPad, possibly the camera gear, and incidentals. No running out of gas this year or fumbling for rain protection. The trade off is lifting my leg up and over the duffle/seat instead of simply sliding through.
When I have everything packed in their respective bags I will weigh it all. The bike has a carrying capacity of 330 pounds. I weigh 150 so that leaves a maximum of 180 pounds to carry. I doubt my gear will approach 75 pounds.
I am going back to the mechanic's shop for an inspection and some welding. A connecting bit on the muffler broke loose and causes a rattle. It's not serious or essential, but eliminating rattles is always a good thing.
I'm at the point where I need to take a deep breath and take the first step. The Coulee is calling.