I didn't really build up the Hunqapillar to put on the wall of my bedroom and look at it. I know I had a lot of advice and encouragement, but it's prime directive is loaded touring, being pretty and running around the woods like a 29er are ancillary functions. The past couple of days I tested him in his natural habitat, the road.
I get a lot of flack from some of the touring pros on the internet for loading my bike this way, but I have found that the simplicity of the Blackburn lowriders on the front end distributes the weight better and makes the bike more manageable when it's loaded. I use the front bags (I know the common French word is panniers, but I am writing in English) for the tent, cooking equipment, stove, fuel and lantern. Then all the light weight stuff, clothing and sleeping bag go in or on the saddlebag and rear rack. It makes the bike track more easily without any inclination to "wheelie" and loose traction on corners. I'm also a lot less likely to break spokes on the rear wheel.
I have been told, again by "experts" that this bike was meant for rear loading and would be awkward this way. The "experts" (regardless of their critique of the minute detail of the geometry) are wrong. This bike handles a load beautifully. It is much more pleasurable to ride loaded than the Surly LHT. Even with the load on the front, I rode it no handed for 100 yards on level hard packed limestone without a problem, and cornering is much more nimble than the LHT. Somebody I heard compared the loaded LHT to a bus, well if that's true, the Hunq is like a Bentley Sedan after it's loaded.
Although it was somewhat tedious to ride all afternoon against a 15mph headwind, I had an enjoyable afternoon riding without any traffic to worry about
I've lived in enough apartments that I didn't let that bother me. The reward was the view over the river.
I rode the remaining mile into downtown South Haven
Downtown South Haven is pretty sleepy right now, the season is not in full swing and there's not many people to see, but it is a beautiful area with views and access to Lake Michigan
Well this was a quick "shakedown" trip so after a good night's sleep and breakfast I rode back on the same route, downwind this time and made better time without incident. Being the first loaded overnight I have done in a few years, I was having some serious leaden legs on the last few miles, but I am confident that the four day trip I have planned for next weekend will be fine. After two days in the saddle, and a good night's sleep, I awoke without stiffness or soreness in any of the shoulder, back or arm areas I would expect. The Hunq is truly a no morning backache bike.
This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.
Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.