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Gear

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Gear for the first leg

Wise words, for travelers and non-travelers alike

Minus food, a pair of walking/hiking shoes, sleeping bag, a few odds and ends, the gear carrying bags, and, obviously, the bike itself, this is roughly everything that will board the plane with me Wednesday afternoon.

Armed with a scale accurate to 5 grams, I’ve done my best to pick apart this list and narrow it down to what, in my mind, constitutes the essentials. A few things may be redundant, unnecessary even. So as the miles add up and my legs begin to tire it’ll be back to the drawing board–in an effort to travel as richly as possible.

From left to right, top to bottom:

Waterproof ditty sacks (3), 18-liter daypack, rain jacket, rain pants, bike shorts, nylon hiking pants, board shorts, underwear, wool tights, lightweight wool socks, puffy jacket, hooded fleece, arm warmers, short-sleeve tech shirt

Netbook w/ 2 external hard drives & cords, electronics stuff sack, iPod & earbuds, headlamp, SPOT Tracker, tail & head lights, watch, cell phone, camera bag, Cliffshots & electrolyte tablets, heavy wool socks, Buff, knit hat, fingered gloves, riding gloves, sunglasses, helmet, riding hat

Mtb shoes, flips, bike lock, shoe covers, nylon string, compass, first aid kit, zippered stuff sack, Steripen water purifier, contacts w/ case and solution, eyeglasses, Chamois Butter, bug hat, sunscreen, Climb On, toiletry kit, bandana, pack towel, maps, 6-liter hydration bladder, water bottle, 2.5-liter CamelBak, 2.5-liter Platypus

Tent, ground pad & ground cover, pump, tire gauge, spare tires (2), tire levers, patch kit, electrical tape, spare spokes (3) & nipples, chain tool, spoke tool, spare brake pads, chain lube, sewing kit, spare brake & shifter cables, spare parts/tool kit bag (w/ bolts, wrenches, etc.), zip ties, Leatherman w/ bit kit & driver, shop rag, hose clamps (2), book (James Y El Melocoton Gigante), pen & pad, wallet, cook pot and cozy, stove

Out of the Cave

A bike that fits! In more ways than one.

Gearing Up!

March is here and while the temperatures fall back into the 50s I’m quickly reminded of how little time I have until I head north to Alaska. Last June the trip start was one year out, at Thanksgiving six months. Measuring time in half year increments doesn’t always arouse immediacy. With only three months to go, loose ends hang, deadlines loom and anxiety builds!

It’s time to kick it into gear.

Here’s a glimpse of my recent tinkering(s?):

Ready for Liftoff!

Scott Felter, master creator at The Porcelain Rocket, went beyond the call of capitalism to help me design my custom framepack, along with a handlebar pack and bag and a top tube pack.

Here's a close-up of the handlebar pack separated from the bag, which attaches directly to the handlebar. The design is super functional: with a dual-entry dry bag style closure, the bag will hold a tent, thermarest and whatever else will stuff to the width of the bars; the pack is modular, it connects with velcro attachment points as well as buckles that keep the entire load secure; the pack sits on top and is accessible while riding and will hold most of my electronics.

Framepacks are great for stowing heavier objects like tools, cookware and water, allowing me to keep my center of gravity low and between the wheels while keeping weight off the rear rack and tire. A handy addition, the top tube pack promises to keep snacks at the ready and provide a cozy nest for the iPod.

I can’t thank Scott enough for the patience in hammering out the minute details and exchanging countless emails in an effort to get me a framepack that will serve me well. If you’re interested in his work check him out at: theporcelainrocket.wordpress.com

With one piece of the puzzle in place, I still have plenty to work on over the next three months. Gearing up for a long trip can be an adventure in itself. This is one adventure I’d like to keep in the¬†Type 1 Fun¬†range–as best I can.

Rohloff build soon to come...

So far, so good!