The car was due it's mot test today and I managed to muddle up the dates and couldn't get a lift to work from any of my colleagues. I could have caught the bus, especially as I had a few things I needed to take with me, but the LHT was designed for this sort of thing. I wasn't particularly looking forward to the cycle but out came the panniers and the trucker was loaded up. I very occasionally commute by bike but it is an exposed route to work and if the weather is inclement I quite simply don't enjoy it. The route is 12 miles with a decent hill right in the middle.
I've seen it written that a Surly Long Haul Trucker often seems to handle even better than normal when it is carrying a load. I can now confirm this. It was only when I stopped to take this pic at 7 miles into the journey that I thought about the panniers. I just hadn't felt any change to the bike and had pretty much forgotten the two big Altura Dryline bags hanging off the back of the bike.
By the time I arrived at work I was fair enjoying the cycle. It was bitterly cold but the sun was peeking through at times and the birds in the hedgerows were singing their wee feathers off. I was worried about puncturing on one stretch where a hedge had been cut and the road was covered in trimmings and thorns but the Schwalbe tyres managed fine.
I can easily carry the kit for a couple of nights camping in those panniers. The gearing manages the hills with a load, the tyres a super tough. A little bar bag would be handy for my camera and alike. Hmmm..
I had set off this morning thinking of the commute as a bit of a drudge but came home this evening with all sorts of mini tour plans. Good stuff!