What/how I packed.

The bike I used was an old lugged-construction road racing bike (early 80s Miele), to which I’d added a triple-chainring crankset (Campagnolo Veloce 52/42/26; the granny ring was taken from a different crankset), larger range freewheel (7 speed, 13-28), reversible clipless/platform pedals, fenders (though I stripped off the rear fender pretty early on), a suspension-designed rear rack (to add distange between the pedals and panniers, since the roadie has a short rear triangle), and low-rider front racks.

For attaching stuff to the bike, I had 25L of storage in a pair of (Ortlieb) roll-top panniers on the front rack, another 40L of storage in a pair of (Ortlieb) flap-top panniers on the rear rack, a 10.5L dry-sack (Outdoor Research Helium) clipped to the front of the rear rack, and tied down to the side and rear of the rack with velcro tie-down straps. I also had the pockets in the back of my jersey, and in my rainjacket for a little extra storage. (When I wasn’t wearing the jacket, it was neatly folded up and secured between the back rack and the dry-sack). Finally, there was a small saddlebag, with a(n Alien II) multi-tool clipped to the side, and a few items mounted onto the frame itself.

Of the stuff attached to the bike, the handlebars held a headlight mount (holding my headlight, which also doubled as a flashlight when camping at night), my wristwatch (which I never really wear on my wrist anyhow), a cycle computer (which I picked up in Princeton after discovering that I couldn’t really count on distance signage beside the road to tell me how far I’d gotten), and most of the working parts of the air horn that Graydon and Frances gave me back in BC (to help me scare off aggressive animals better than any other sounding device that I may have gotten instead). The rest of the airhorn consisted of the air bottle (which was strapped to the seat tube), and the hose connecting the bits (which I ran along the top tube).

The down tube sported my main water bottle (a 1L Sigg), and my air pump (a cleverly designed little machine by Cannondale IIRC, which had a handle that flipped to a T at one end, a flap that flipped down at the other, and the valve head attached to a hose that ran up a recess in the body, basically making it a floor pump that folded up to roughly the same size/shape as a large-ish hand pump; if only it had a pressure gauge, it would have been the perfect pump).

The pressure gauge for the air pump (after I finally bought one in Winnipeg) lived in the saddlebag, along with a pair of Presta/Schraeder valve adaptors (as neat as my pump was, it still couldn’t compare to just using a compressor–except when you consider that many compressors top out before the minimum rated pressure on a lot of road bike tires), one of my spare inner tubes, my tire levers, an inner tube patch kit, and my swiss army knife (Victorinox Climber).

The front panniers having (inadvertently) switched sides around mid-Manitoba when I was adjusting how they sat on the rack, I’ll describe their contents in the initial configuration (which had the logic of putting the bear spray on the traffic side of the bike, where I normally dismount anyhow, and the food on the other side, where any aggressive animals may be coming from).

The right front pannier generally held food to be eaten while riding, i.e. granola bars or other breakfast-foods, apples, candy (aka bulk calories), and buns, deli meat, (and sometimes cheese) for sandwiches. It also contained a spare 1L water bottle, a first aid kit, and the TVP for my dinners.

The left front pannier held miscellaneous objects that may be needed while riding, namely sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm, a polar fleece jacket, bear spreay, waterproof over-shoes, my smog mask, road atlases, spare batteries for the lights (and their battery charger), camera charging/upload hardware, and a pair of spare 1L water bottles (the water loading was a great way to balance out the front panniers).

The left rear pannier held stuff I figured I may need access to overnight, whether camping or not, and included my bottle of ocean water (which didn’t fit the category for the bag, but fit the available space quite nicely), my soap, thermarest (see ocean water), notebook (spiral-bound, with two mechanical pencils clipped into the spiral), clothing and towel (in the stuff-sack that my sleeping bag came in), rope (50′ of 1/4″ twisted nylon; see ocean water and thermarest), toiletries bag, and bike lock.

Packed clothing was 6 pair of underwear, 2 pair of full-length cycling pants, one heavy (kinda fleecy) long-sleeved cycling jersey, one light long-sleeved cycling jersey, one short-sleeved cycling jersey, 3 pair of socks, a t-shirt, and a pair of slacks (these clothes having been packed to be worn on rest days). There was also another (laundry) bag in the clothing bag to help keep the bag sorted into clothes needing washing, and those not needing washing.

The right rear pannier was the bag that only needed to be opened to camp for the night, or if the bike had a significant breakdown. It contained a roll of black duct tape, 50′ of 16ga galvanized steel wire, some spare spokes, spare chainlinks, spare machine screws and nuts, spare brake and shifter cables, half a dozen spare inner tubes, a spare tire (one of the really light ones that can fold flat), spare lights (already loaded with batteries), spare brake pads, and spare mounts for the lights (in the breakdown category). It also contained my tent (Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1), my dinner bag, a pot (the 2.5L pot from the MEC High Camp set) in which I stored the my stove burner (one of the Coleman types that screws onto a standard propane cylinder), dish towel, fork, spoon, and pot handle. Also in the pannier was the propane cylinder for the stove, and the stove base).

The food bag ordinarily contained up to 3 onions, up to 500g of pasta (typically short noodles like penne, fusilli, or macaroni, in the bag they were sold in), up to 3 dinner rolls, some garlic, a shaker of salt, a large-ish spice shaker filled with a mix of basil and oregano, a smaller shaker filled with hot chilli pepper flakes, a 1L wide-mouthed Nalgene bottle containing up to 1 (28oz) can worth of crushed tomatoes, and a 500ml “water” bottle full of vegetable oil.

(Note that all food objects were confined to two bags which could be hung over a tree branch — using the rope — while camping so as not to attract bears, and that neither of these bags contained the bear spray, in case a bear came around anyway)

Finally, my dry-sack contained my sleeping bag (a MEC Oasis, because its temperature rating varied between 0C and 10C depending on which side was up, and I (correctly) anticipated being on snowy mountaintops in early spring, and in the hot, humid Ottawa and St. Lawrence valleys in mid-summer), and my rainjacket was loaded with a pair of rainpants and my wallet and spare cellphone batteries in the inside pocket, as well as fleece liner-gloves, and waterproof shell-gloves in the outside pockets. In my jersey pockets, I kept the camera (right pocket), a handkerchief (middle pocket), and the cellphone and a piece of paper, torn from my notebook with addresses and phone numbers for upcoming libraries, warmshowers hosts, public pools, and other such useful information (left pocket). When bug season came around, I also kept bug spray in my jersey (left pocket).

Comments are closed.

Free Blog Themes and Free Blog Templates
Free Blog Themes and Free Blog Templates