It is quite possible to spend thousands on a nice bicycle, but that is not always an option. How much equipment do you need to have a bicycling adventure? Not a lot, I claim.
As I planned to cycle from the UK to Bratislava before rafting into Romania and continuing into Asia, I had one big problem: I had no bicycle.
Then I found an old man in a village near my parents house and he sold me a couple of bicycles for £30 a piece.
While having a bicycle is great, I then needed a way to store all my belongings. Rather than purchasing expensive panniers, I went to a big department store and bought two cool boxes for each bicycle, costing just £30 a piece, then drilled some holes and slotted in some metal rod. This gave me a place to store everything and balanced nicely on top of the rear wheel rack.
I then bought a waterproof handlebar bag and put it on the front to store my cameras and passport. After sticking a few pretty National Geographic photos onto the cool boxes, my bicycle was complete. It cost a total £81, including the handlebar bag.
I have now tested it fully loaded and you know what? It works!
This bicycle is now my home. Bring on the continent.