Friday, August 13, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Things They Carried- Obi Wan

Pannier #1
-clothes bag:
-spandex long underwear
-arm warmers (I wore these almost every day)
-2 pair bike shorts/bib (medium quality gotten cheap from Ebay. perfectly adequate for my needs).
-cycling jersey (pockets are nice but you are guaranteed to look somewhat foolish in a jersey. Just my opinion).
-synthetic running shirt
-cotton button down (for camp)
-synthetic Royal Robin brand shorts (for camp)
-cheap stocking cap (essential for the mountain region and the Olympic peninsula)
-bike gloves (really reduce ware on your wrists and hands. I noticed a big difference between when I wore them and when I didn't).
-full-hand gloves (made with both leather and synthetic fabric. Used to keep my hands functional on rainy days. Makes a world of difference)
- 1 pair wool socks (for camp, warmth, and anything else you can think of)
-North Face Gor-Tex wind/waterproof pants (not waterproof, don't buy gor-tex for rain gear. These pants were useful against hordes of mosquitos and for looking stupid in... not essential).
-O2 cycling rain jacket (way more waterproof than the pants. It was thoroughly shredded by the end of the trip but it did it's job. A good purchase. David had one too).
-Sunglasses with rear-view mirror and different lenses (all were lost by the end of the trip, still useful though).
-Steri-pen water filter (we only needed it once so I sent it home halfway through the trip)
-Toiletries bag:
-travel toothbrush
-tooth paste
-mole skin (not often used but definitely comforting to have in case a blister ever gets unbearable).
-vaseline (for lubin' up)
-sun screen
-nail clippers
-Zip pocket:
-cell phone charger and electronic hook ups
Pannier #2
-Mountain Hardware 15 degree 800 Fill Down sleeping bag (I upgraded to this bag after the first week in the Olympics suffering through cold nights in a 45 degree bag. It was awesome to know that, no matter how bad the weather got, I would be warm at night. This bag was very light but took up a lot of space. I'd recommend a bag like it for people who need some extra insulation at night).
-Thermarest pad
-Cards (never used)
-That's it. Like I said, the bag took up a lot of room. My panniers also were pretty uneven in weight which led to a few minor issues for my back rack. Just switching the panniers back and forth every couple of days will keep the rack from wearing out too fast on one side.

Back Rack
-Sea to Summit Waterproof bag (exceptionally waterproof, a great buy):
-Mountain Hardware Lightpath 2 tent and rain fly (a 3ish pound 2 person tent that I found was very adequate. Only problem was not a lot of room to sit up in and things could get real crowded with two people in it. Honestly for tent selection I would highly recommend the Six Moons design Lunar 2 Duo that Dan carried. That thing rocked.
-Tent stakes
-Spare tubes
-Tent Poles
-Keen close-toed sandals (these things were awesome to just slip on when I got out of my bike shoes. They were strapped to my back rack the whole ride and would get wet but would still be fine to wear. Great durable shoes. Still like new after all they have been through).

Front Sack
-Noxzema (Dan has already praised this wonderful little cream. None of us would have unscarred rears today if it weren't for Noxzema. Get some. Nuf said).
-Tea bags
-Tri-tool (good and handy for quick fixes but not nearly enough to fix the numerous bike issues we had. Make sure you or somebody in your group has some sufficient tools. Thanks to Goody for being that guy).
-Patch kits for tubes
-miscellaneous stuff (front sacks are nice to throw trash in while you are riding. I recommend getting one. You can buy a handlebar bag if you don't have aerobars or you can buy a saddle bag and it hooks onto aerobars real nicely. Works great. Will and I both used that trick).

Hope this inventory is helpful for anybody planning a tour. Good luck with your planning and remember that you can always send stuff back. Happy riding!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

White Hill

I thought I would share the beautiful bike I have been riding since I arrived in Potsdam. This is my Dad's Pinarello Maxim(1994?). Its a masterpiece. Its like driving a classic Ferrari after touring all summer with a weighed down truck. I have had loads of fun flying around the roads of St. Lawerence County. For my last day in town I did a 50 mile time trial on the notorious white hill loop. Its a steady climb for the first 15 miles, then 20 miles in the forest until you bomb down the last 15. I really wanted to see what I could do so I checked the time before I left and started riding hard. I hoped that I might be able to average 20 miles per hour, two and a half hour ride. I maintained a solid effort on the climb keeping in mind to save enough to hammer back later. I remembered all the moments this summer where I wanted to give up, wanted to slow down, and pushed through. The mind will tell you to stop long before you have to. I knew that I needed to keep the effort up early. After the climb I tried to recover and still hold a solid pace through the forest. I was cramping and my muscles were crying out. Just as I was slacking I sighted a young black bear crossing the road. This unexpected wildlife experience gave me a mental boost and I started pushing just that extra bit harder. As I was flying over the rollers on the raquette river road it started pouring. But the rain just cooled me down and gave me something to fight against. When I got back to route 56 I knew I had to give it all I had. I got in a high gear and tried to let my body do work. It was intermittently pouring and my back was killing me. I flew through Colton and Hannawa Falls and as I climbed the last couple rises going into Potsdam I knew I had gauged my effort well as I was starting to fall apart just a little. I was excited to see my ride time and while I tried to enjoy my last ride in Potsdam this summer, I knew I needed to keep the push in case the clock was close. As I pulled into my driveway I checked the time and smiled with delight. Two hours and twenty nine minutes. What a way to cap off a great stay in Potsdam.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Things They Carried-Dan

With the hope that our blog can become a useful resource for those who would like to embark on similar adventures, I present to you all the stuff that I carried on my bike and body

The essentials: Sierra Designs Arrow Rock 15 Degree 600 Fill Bag - Long with stuff sack, Thermarest Neoair Sleeping Pad-Long, Six Moon Designs-Lunar Duo 2 person tent with stakes and poles (I recommend all of these products)

Bodywear: longsleeve cycling jersey, short sleeve cycling jersey, dri fit running top, rain jacket, 2 cycling bibs, compression shorts, running shorts, quick dri pocketed shorts, 2 pair of dri-fit socks (not really used), bandanna, helmet, cycling shoes, and Teva Protons (amazing). Earlier in the trip I had a pair of wool socks, waterproof pants and two more tops, which were essential in the cold and rain but not for the hot summer days.
Other: Two rear panniers, bungee chords (essential), toiletry bag (toothbrush, contact stuff, etc), Orange Container with herbs and spices, tape (electrical is very useful), Noxema (more about that later), spare tubes, plastic bags of all shapes and sizes, zip ties, the stick muscle massager, frisbee, ukulele and case, map, books, writing pad, post cards and squirt gun
Noxema! so essential. We all used it as a chamois cream and for sunburn relief. Can't say enough about Noxema.

The front sack: body lube, chain lube, tennis ball (for rubbing out sore spots especially your butt), golf ball (for rolling out sore feet), allergy meds, headlamp, front light for bike, back light for bike, antibiotic cream, lip balm (so essential), a knife, 10 speed chain master link, patch kit, spoke wrench, tire levers, sunglasses