Last week I rode my bike from Clatsop Spit (northwest of Astoria, Oregon) to the California state line south of Brookings. I rode my bike some 392 miles in 7 days. I shot 54 photographs, had 1 flat tire, ate 12 packets of instant oatmeal, and drank an estimated 6 gallons of water. In later installments of Axoplasm -- after I have my pictures from the trip developed -- I’ll go into greater detail. Until then, I offer my packing list, made 2 days before the trip.
2000 Bianchi Volpe
Blackburn front pannier rack
Topeak Ultimate rear rack
SKS plastic/aluminum fenders
Cat Eye Enduro 2 computer
2 blinky red tail lights
This is a fabulous bike, I can’t complain much at all. It has more than 1500 miles
on it, so the problems that developed -- namely cable stretch around the smallest
gears that made it difficult to find a good cruising gear, and bad seals on the headset and
front hub -- are pretty forgiveable.
It’s lowest gears are too aggressive for me; on rides with more punishing ascents
than those on Highway 101, I have often wished for a lower granny gear. But on
this trip, it was never a problem; the lowest gear was sufficiently powerful.
I didn’t need the tail lights at all, and used the headlamp only as a flashlight in camp.
REI keystone panniers (4) -- 2 sizes
small handlebar/map bag
I’m sure there are worse panniers, although probably none cheaper. They held all my stuff and never fell off, so I guess they did the job.
Topeak road morph pump
needle nose pliers
small vice grip
Topeak alien xs multitool + chain tool
pedal wrench/hub spanner
The pump, tire levers, and 2 hex keys on the multitool were the only tools that saw
any use. This was my third-largest area of wasted weight. Although if I’d actually
needed the needle-nose pliers, I’d have been glad for them.
The Road Morph pump is fantastic, maybe my favorite piece of bike equipment. It has a short hose and a footpad that allows you to stand the pump upright, so you throw your weight into it like a floor pump. Genius.
spare inner tube
glueless tire patch kit
brake pads (2)
tri-flow chain lube
Again, if nothing goes wrong, this is wasted weight. But I certainly wouldn’t do without spare spokes or brake pads. I had 1 flat tire, and the glueless patches were useless -- the glue didn’t stick. I’d never used glueless patches and don’t think I will again. In Newport, I bought 2 gluey patch kits.
mountain bike shorts
padded bike underwear (3 pr)
wool bike socks (3 pr)
short-sleeve polyester t-shirt
long-sleeve polyester midweight shirts (2)
short-finger padded gloves
full-finger insulated gloves
Diadora Geko SPD shoes
This was probably the right combination of clothes to bring. I never used the
rain pants, even when it rained. Rain pants are really sweat retainers; they’re
only useful when it’s really cold and really wet.
The Zoic jacket is the best, most versatile piece of clothing I’ve ever owned. Not only is it waterproof and a good shape for riding, it’s black, so it hides dirt and doesn’t look too goofy.
Ridge Rest sleep pad
North Face down sleeping bag
Sierra Designs Sphinx 2 tent
Primus Multi-fuel stove
2 liter aluminum pot & lid
lexan spoon & fork
insulated coffee mug
I wasted way too much weight here. The tent is far too heavy for a solo rider. It’s big enough for two, and weighs almost 6 pounds. The stove is too heavy as well, but very useful. A 2-liter pot is twice the size a solo rider needs -- so weighs twice as much as necessary, and takes twice as long to heat. I never used the lexan fork. In Newport, I purchased an 8x10 foot plastic tarp, to line my already-too-heavy tent.
Minimalist first-aid kit
Swiss Army knife
cheap digital watch
cable & lock
spare contact lenses
I wasted some weight here. The razor, deodorant, and spare eyeglasses were unnecessary, although I’m sure people in convenience stores were glad for the deodorant. I also purchased a book (Barry Lopez’ Arctic Dreams) in Bandon, which added a little weight as well.