I know it’s only Tuesday and I don’t leave for my pilgrimage until Sunday but I’m not going to be riding the Trucker between now and then, and it’s all ready to go so I thought I might as well pack her up for the train trip to Osaka. You’re not allowed to take bikes on the train here unless you put them into a bag. Clearly for touring, the last thing I want to do is put my bike in one of those fancy but bulky and often surprisingly heavy, padded bags that you use for transporting bikes by aeroplane because then I’d have to lug the thing all the way my tour with me* and the last thing I want is any extra weight. Luckily for me and my touring weight (and space), bike shops sell a kind of bag called a rinko which is made of lightweight material and does the job of protecting the rest of the world from the bike’s filth while it’s on the train. And the Trucker is indeed filthy. I’ve had to wash my hands three times since packing it up. The rinko rolls up small enough to fit into a bottle cage which would be handy if I wanted to take my road bike on a train and ride back with just one water bottle.
*Actually, I wouldn’t because I’m staying with my friend Richard in Osaka and I could leave it with him but I don’t have one of those bags anyway.
To get my road bike into the rinko bag, I just need to take the wheels off and strap them to the side of the bike but the Trucker is a bigger bike and also has mudguards and a rear rack so to get all that to fit, I need to take off the fork and handlebars.
I got my hands quite filthy on the chain and had to take a rag to it. I was a bit worried about taking the forks off because that would leave nothing holding the headset bearings in place. In the end I decided to wrap them in plastic bags and electricians’ tape and then add a bit of grease to the bearings when I put the bike back together in Osaka.
Next I strapped the wheels, mudguards and rear rack to the bike.
That’s the bike all taken care of then. I’ve got two pannier bags and a handlebar bag to fill and I’ll be good to go. Now I can just go back to thinking about how many pairs of underpants I need to take with me.