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Pannier Testing On A Warm Morning
Articles - Editor's Column
Sunday, 31 July 2016 17:24

Waking early for a Sunday I decided that today was the day to test the pannier system on my Bandit.  I've been out before with the panniers on but without weight just to get used to the width as they are much wider than the ones on my old touring bike.

Adding a 5kg water bottle and a few tools to each side had the desired effect especially whilst trying out the centre stand with a full tank of petrol too.

Setting off from home I headed out into the Jalon valley towards Parcent before turning up Col de Rates, this is a lovely run especially before the rest of the world wakes up.  After stopping for a photo or two on the climb I went on and over the top taking in the glorious views.  Riding down through Tarbena and the hairpins towards Bolula I was very aware of the lack of cyclists that plague the mountain roads especially in the winter.  It's nice to have a little piece from them in the summer (although I cycle too).

At Bolula there is a temp gauge which was showing 30 degrees and it was only 08:30, I could already tell it was going to be a hot ride.  The panniers had mostly been forgotten about, just adding a little inertia to the right left right kinks of the road, the width was another thing on the narrow lanes with cars approaching straddling the white lines.

After a brief foray into Benidorm to try to visit one of my favourite cafes for breakfast I had to change plans as the road designation had changed and you can no longer ride there.  A shame but parking was always a bit of an issue anyway.

On to Altea seafront instead there was no parking outside any of the cafes that were open, but most of them were still shut, having a late start after a very late night before no doubt.  There is a small chiringuito just on the out skirts called Sigarro, right on the waters edge, which on arrival was just setting up for the day and as luck would have it there was a Bandit shaped parking space right opposite.

One café con leche and a bacon and tomato bocadillo later and the world feels like a better place, I hadn't realised how hungry I was.  The view from here is superb and I could relax for a good few hours taking it in whilst drinking a cold beer or two, not on the bike though.

From Altea I went along the N332 towards Calpe before climbing back up to Benissa and home. The Calpe bends are superb on a bike just watch out for the speed cameras.

The panniers were great, mostly unnoticed, no movement, no problems and provided a good excuse to take the bike out.

Click HERE to view the route on google maps.


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