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


JoeDell said...

Are you sticking with no front suspension ?

Kent Peterson said...


I rode a rigid fork on the '05 GDR with my 26" wheeled Monocog with no issues, so why in the world would I complicate the 29er with one?


Anonymous said...

Are you going to add some fenders?

RANTWICK said...

That seems a tiny amount of stuff for such a race... is that it, or are panniers in the works?

Anonymous said...

What a pretty green bike!

Kent Peterson said...

Anonymous, the rear bag provides some coverage against the rain and mud and I may add a small coroplast strip along the downtube up front. But conventional fenders clog with mud, so no, I won't have them.

Rantwick, no panniers are in the works. Look at the winning bike set-ups from previous years. Every gram has to earn it's keep, panniers don't make the cut.


Bob M said...

Hi Kent,

A few comments:

1) Right on! You can't blow a suspension that isn't there (and you save weight!)
2) Looks like you could fit an inverted triangle bag on the top side of the top tube against the seatpost if you wanted more snack access.
3) You're right again - I know from much backpacking experience that 16 oz = 1 pound and it is SOOOO tempting to add just one (or 2 or 3.....) more 3.2 ounce luxury.

You should be very well dialed in by next June at the rate you're going. Have fun!


RANTWICK said...

Holy Cow. I knew the race was hard core, but man! That is serious business.

Anonymous said...

I like how far in advance you're working all this out.

On Jill Homer's ride report she rode for a while with a guy who had some sort of rigid looking box above the rear wheel (I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't know) pictures at:

I do worry about the ability of the rear fender-like stays as currently configured to stand up to the stresses they'll be faced with.

A comment re: your earlier statement that the Redline Conquests seem pretty nice; I cracked three in normal commuting service before I went to steel. I guess that's how it goes sometimes.

JAT in Seattle

Michael R pdx said...

Two water bottles and a "small hydration pack."

What's your rate of water intake and how far apart are water sources? (Especially water sources in southern Colorado and New Mexico.)

Michael R pdx said...

@Girl on a Green Bike

All bikes are green no matter what skin color they have.

jeff said...

Don't your legs rub on the box behind your saddle? That would drive me nuts.

Can you give details on your tarp, sleeping bag, and bivy? I'm amazed that it all fits in that red bag.

Kent Peterson said...

No leg rub with the rear bag, it's narrow at the front. I detailed the contents of the red bag in an old post, search for "Closer To Fine."

The max water I carried in '05 was 7 liters.

The rear rack will probably get beefier stays

Bob said...

What tools will you take for Tour Divide?