Monday, February 11, 2008

Getting down to the wire...

Well there are only a couple of days left until we start on our trip. Tonight I loaded all my bags up, checked the weight distribution, and made sure nothing was going to fall off, or be otherwise unwieldy, while riding.

Front panniers are right at 7 pounds each. I still have to add some food to the left one, but it won't add that much more weight. My front rack is rated at 40 pounds, so I have plenty of wiggle room left.

Rear bags are around 32 pounds. That's including my sleeping bag, pad, clothing, and extras. Really I didn't bring as much stuff as I thought I would. I guess I've gotten better at thinning things down that I don't need.

Add that to a bike with a fighting trim of 34 pounds (including fenders, Deep V rims, 700x40 touring quality tires, and front and rear racks) and I've got a curbside weight of around 80 pounds. It gets heavy when you start touring. I'm so glad I've got a triple with a mountain bike cassette on the back.

If only the Cross Check could support a Pletscher kick stand... or any kickstand for that matter.

A couple of things I am bringing that are really worth mentioning:

Solio makes an incredible universal charger. Not only does it have a portable LiIon battery that will charge your device on the go, but it also has the ability to recharge with solar panels. I can charge my camera, phone, iPod, and just about anything else I can plug into a USB cable to charge.

Very cool device, well worth the money.

Another item that has found its way into my kit is an alcohol stove.

A cool item that I made for pretty much nothing. Just a few discarded cans, a few hours painstakingly poking pinholes in the top, and a few frustrated moments joining the two together. The final result is an incredible stove that only weighs a few grams, and fits into my 2 quart pot (along with windscreen, potstand, and fuel) that cost less than 5 dollars to make (and that price includes the windscreen, potstand, and fuel as well).

It boils water in the same amount of time that my "ultralight" camping stove does for 1/10th the weight. Plus I don't have to carry fuel cartridges with me.

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