I said in a post just before Easter that I was going to avoid buying lots of equipment for the trip over the holidays…. errr, failed miserably on that score. I have just bought, sorry, invested in (sounds less fickle) some panniers – the Ortlieb ones I mentioned, in blue to match the bike (see the artist’s impression!) from Cycle Sports UK. I actually got to handle some of the bags this morning in one of the cycling shops in Oxford and felt happier in investing as a result (there are parallels here with the shoe situation – I’m not one of those “oh sod it, buy on the Internet and send back if there is a problem” kind of people!). They were surprisingly light and tough; nothing complicated about them, just a secure, waterproof bag. At this rate I will be in a position to escape for a few days at some point next week to test everything; now there’s an idea….