19 03 2012

A big thank- you to Carradice for providing us with some fantastic looking panniers and handlebar bags. They have kindly supplied us with these free of charge to support us with our round the world bike ride.

They are a lovely firm based in Nelson, Lancashire;

“In the early 1930’s Wilf Carradice first made a saddlebag for himself and discovered it was far better than anything else available. Friends soon asked for copies. By the end of the 30’s Carradice were making tents, rucksacks, sleeping bags and jackets too. Throughout the 40’s and 50’s our bags were the choice of every hard riding tourist or clubman. By the 70’s Wilf was wanting to retire and to pass the firm’s experience and reputation onto someone who would continue to produce bags to the same exacting standards. Fortunately Neville Chadwick, a keen cyclist saw the potential for quality made cycle bags and took the company on. Demand again began to outstrip the production facilities and two moves to larger premises followed.”

I met with David (son of Neville) who now runs Carradice. He was very nice and talked me through the different options, in the end I chose the CarraDry over the SuperC. The SuperC have some great reviews particularly from someone who cycled through Africa with them, but with the memory of wet sleeping bags clouding my judgement I went for the CarraDry, less durable but more waterproof. Time will tell if I made the right choice. Although David did get some extra protection pinned on to the base of ours there and then in the workshop.

David also told me about a guy they had previously helped with bags for worldwide bike trips: Ian Hibell. “In 1963, determined to see more of the world, he left Brixham, Devon, to explore some of the most wild and inaccessible places on Earth. He has pushed, dragged or carried his bike from the fringes of the Antarctica to the jungles of the Amazon, from the Artic to the remoter islands of Indonesia.Naturally there are many extraordinary stories to tell, so many people and places, so many miles. Chased by an elephant, sniffed by a lion, jailed, shot at. More friendly confrontations have led to hospitality by such as an Eskimo princess, a Dyak headman in Borneo, African chiefs and missionaries. 

What a legend! And I don’t use that word lightly, a real inspiration.

As soon as I can join Rose on the bike again we will get away for some more training rides and start testing this lovely looking kit. We will post a review of CarraDry in the equipment section.