Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tired, Loaded, & Ready To Go

DHS 92/100

I finally installed the front rack on my bicycle and added the below picture to my TransAm Bike Ride web page  showing the bike with the panniers, rack pack, & handlebar bag mounted and ready to go. (Click on it to enlarge it)

Of course, it snowed about 8 inches earlier in the week so it will still be awhile before i can actually get the bike out on the road and see how it handles with them, but i'm not expecting any issues.

As i have explained on the TransAm web page, my tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and bike cover will go in the rack pack, sitting sideways across the top of the two rear panniers. Food and cooking stuff will go in front panniers. Everything else will go in the back panniers. The hydration pack will sit on the rack under the rack pack and between the rear panniers. The Solio solar charger will be attached to a handle on top of the rack pack and just sit there in the sun all day to collect what sunlight it can. At least these are my plans now. I'll load them some day and then weigh them, changing the distribution as needed to adjust the weight.

I bought a pair of new Continental Touring Plus tires for the bike a few days ago but won't install them until just before leaving in late April. I'll train on the tires already on the bike and then change over to the new ones in time to ride about 100 miles just to break them in before leaving. When i make the change i'll roll up and carry one of these old tires as a spare. I bought these particular Continental tires because their PR blurb says they are "extremely puncture proof." That sounds like a good thing to me. A very good thing. What are the odds of me riding the entire 4,300 miles and having zero flats??

I'm still boiling water with my camp stove to get a feel for how many times i can boil 2-3 cups of water on one propane canister. I need two cups for one dinner entree, a cup and a half in the morning for oatmeal, and a cup and a half in the morning for tea. Once i know this, i can go to REI and buy what i need for the 11 weeks i'll be on the road. Right now i'm thinking that 2 canisters per week will be more than enough but we'll see by the end of the weekend.

Excitement continues to build.........


David Hanley said...

This is very cool.. Are you going to be photojournaling somehow?

Lao Bendan said...

Yes, if i can. I'm taking two 4G cards for my camera so i can take a lot of pictures and hope to upload those to my TransAm web site from public libraries along the way.

I'm also taking a USB drive with all the applications i need to do that from; Notepad++ to edit the web pages, GIMP to edit the pictures, and FileZilla to FTP both up to the web site.

In theory, these apps should make me self-sufficient at any public library, no matter what they have installed on their computers.

I haven't tried it yet at the Lockport library, but that test is coming. I'll post something on the blog after i test it and it proves successful.