Monday, July 13, 2009

How Are You Going To Carry Stuff?

My pal Mark Vande Kamp wrote me saying "I'll be interested to see how you work out all your gear toting. There doesn't seem to be as much room on that frame, but maybe it's just the contrast with the bigger wheels." Mark is right, the 15 inch frame is pretty compact. The photos here show my first cut at a full back-country ready kit. If money were no object and I was less of a DIY guy, I'd probably have Epic Designs or Carousel Design Works custom make me some bags. But a big part of the fun of tackling something like the Tour Divide is trying stuff out ahead of time to see what works. And I had some coroplast and zip-ties lying around...

The big red blob up front is a waterproof compression stuff-sack containing my tarp, bivy, sleeping bag, Thermarest and Primaloft jacket. It's held to the bars with a couple of straps that also hold a small bag that'll hold small snacks, sun-block, bug repellent, water purification tablets and things like that.

The grey bag in the bike's main triangle is just big enough to hold a tube, patch kit, small tools and chain lube.

The rear coroplast bag will hold food (I can pack an astounding number of Peanut M&Ms in there!), spare clothes, maps, My SPOT transmitter (I gotta get one of those) and whatever else I figure I'll need to get me from Banff to Antelope Wells. I'll also have a small hydration pack on my back.

Tomorrow, I'll be busy marking course for the Seattle Century so it won't be until my next virtual weekend (Monday and Tuesday July 20th and 21st) that I'll get the bike out for a full mountain camping trip. Stay tuned for more reports from the field.

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA
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