cycling africa

Sunburnt Equipment

While I haven’t had any sunburn so far my equipment suffered some recently. One of the tension belts I use to hold the bags on my bike had a number of burn holes in it. Also the bag I use to hold my tent, sleeping mat and stuff like that has a small hole as well. Luckily it’s only a small one but that’s of course worse than the cheap strap as the bag is supposed to be watertight.

It took me a while to figure out was actually happened, I first thought it might have happened when I passed one of the numerous road repair sites with their hot tarmac. But there was no tarmac residue so I finally understood that the PET water bottles I had strapped on there had acted as a lens and that must have burnt the holes. D’oh! I wonder why that never happened on my trip in India…

So I’ll have to fix that but first of all I wanted to prevent that from happening again (I had simply wrapped the bottles in my rain jacket for the last few days). The obvious quick fix would be taping the bottle but i did not want to waste my good tape on that as the bottles you get here are very thin and would not last long. Also the tape I have here is black and the last thing I want to happen is that to act as a solar collector further heating up my drinking water.

burn holes in tension belt The holes burnt in one of my tension belts when the water bottle acted as a lens.

bottle condom So I got some cheap towels, sewed two of them together and then made the whole thing into a sack like shape that fits over a big bottle. I figured with that material I’d get the additional capability to do some cooling by sprinkling the cloth with water so the evaporation of that moisture would cool down the bottle and its content a bit. I’ll see whether what works in the next few days…

Meanwhile I’m cycling east along the Danube through Wallachia. That’s kind of uneventful but people are super nice here and everything feels very relaxed.

landscape with danube You don’t get to see the river very often. The road is a few kms away from the Danube most of the time. Here it is in the background.

horse in front of lake bistret A horse in front of lake bistret

I’ll write more about that once I have a few more pictures to illustrate.