This brings us to the last section of our merry overview: how the fuck am I going to do it.
Pick a direction, I know. Pedal, I know. But there are many questions still to ask. Mostly: what to bring, and what to ride.
I will be exploring each of these issues in detail, from the largest (Can I get away with using my road bike, or will I need to buy a touring rig?) to the smallest (how many pairs of bike shorts? what kind of tent? What kind of food best to buy from markets in the midwest? my Crank Brothers Multi19 bike tool, or upgrade to the indexing Pica+?). Since I will undoubtedly have to purchase some gear – clothing, camping, the like – I want to make sure I buy the right things. The lightest, but most durable. The cheapest, but not to fail me for at least 115 days if need be.
Here’s a rough packing list I’ve put together. I don’t doubt I’ll be writing a single post about each item here.
Items I own already are in bold – even if there’s doubt that what I own will be appropriate.
4 pair. bike socks
2 pair heavy wool socks
pair PJ pants
4 bike shorts – own 2
3 jerseys (1 wool, 1 cotton, 1 synthetic) – look into various desirabilities of each
plastic rain pants
BIKE & TOOLS
racks and/or panniers and/or ???
2 patch kits
2 spare tires
rain cover for saddle
water bottles + holders (?)
spare spokes (all 3 sizes) – really necessary?
cables (1 brake, 1 derailleur) – really enough?
spare brake pads
spare SPD cleats + cleat screws
spare set cleat
Adventure Cycling maps – see if can be circumvented digitally/bought used
various rubber bands
a few zip-loc bags
a few heavy-duty trash bags
PERSONAL & EMERGENCY CARE
smalll first aid kit
food bars (the greener the betrar)
nuts (salted): peanuts, edamame, pumpkin seeds, Others
“fitness bread” or the like
I also have a CamelBak, which holds 110oz of water & has a comical amount of storage space. Which is necessary for me, since I can drink that much water in two hours – no water bottles, I expect, will satisfy.
…not counting food, water, or the bike itself, I expect that I shall be able to whittle this all down to about twenty pounds total weight. Perhaps less.
My bike weighs in at 16 pounds 12 ounces. With an Old Man Mountain rear rack, that’d bring it to about 19 pounds. It might be nice to try to bring the total weight (of items stored on the frame) at less than this.