Surely, we looked like dumbbells to anyone who has noticed the 15 lb dumbbell and kitchen towel strapped on our back racks. We have started riding with a 15 lb dumbbell on our back rack to get used to riding with weight, and because we’re curious to see if our current road bikes can take it *before* we attempt to go across country on them.
While we have read accounts of folks touring on their road bikes, it doesn’t strike us as the best idea. On the other hand, it sure would be WONDERFUL for our budget if we do deem it possible. It hasn’t been too bad riding with the 15lb weight, so today we ramped it up a bit by throwing water bottles in the panniers (saddlebags).
Those extra pounds sure made a difference. Our bikes no longer steered very well and felt less stable overall. I also hit a few potholes too hard and had a couple scary wobbly swerves, but we managed to stay upright on our bikes. Aaron is an old hand at wheelies – me, not so much. If we don’t decide on front racks soon, I’m pretty certain there’s a failed but spectacular Evel Knievel wheelie in my future.
And based on this somewhat scary experiment, I’m pretty sure that there are touring bikes in our near future, as well. Even if properly balancing the weight on our bikes from front to back improves handling, there’s something about trusting your equipment. As Aaron pointed out, we don’t actually believe new forks and gearing is going to help us ride confidently into the grass or down a curb, as it proves necessary.
Time to start looking at touring bikes!