Wednesday, August 08, 2007

This actually is post 500

It's a bit of a scary number when I think about it ... think about all of the productive things I could have been doing in all of the time I've spent typing on my blog.

Unfortunately, I don't really have anything interesting to write for post No. 500. After more than a week of pain-free riding, I have the Yukon loop on my mind again. I am still trying to work out my days out of the office to determine whether I can leave Aug. 15 or Aug. 22, but either way, it is coming up a lot closer than I am probably ready for.

One thing a blog is really good for is organizing thoughts. I have been putting together a gear list for the bike tour, and am trying to go as light as possible with the gear I have available. I am planning for temperatures ranging from 40-70 degrees, at least one rainstorm long enough to soak me to the bone, possible snow at the passes, and only two legitimate food stops in 360 miles. I am not planning to put anything on my back - at all - but rather stuff everything into a trunk bag, a frame bag, and a handlebar bag. Here's what I have in mind. I'd love to hear some input: Things I've forgotten ... things I should leave behind.

Black Diamond winter bivy sack
Synthetic 30-degree sleeping bag
Thermarest 3/4 sleeping pad
One headlight
One helmet light
Extra batteries
Red blinky
Patch kit, tube, tire levers, lube
Small first aid kit
Lightweight socks
Bike gloves
Neoprene socks
Neoprene gloves
Lycra tights
Long-sleeve shirt
Extra shirt
Water-resistant pants
PVC jacket
Aleve, Claritin and Alka Selzer
Iodine tablets
1 day of food
24-ounce water bottle equipped with water filter
Two regular 24-ounce water bottles

... Suggestions?


  1. Happy 500! Here is hoping you have at least 500 more. It may seem like the time blogging could be used for more productive things, but you are in fact, providing an invaluable service. We who read "Up in Alaska" have a better understanding of the region, appreciate it's beauty and grandeur but most of all, love your entertaining stories and adventures! Don't stop wasting time typing!!
    Good luck with your next journey; can't wait to hear the story. The only thing I would add to the list is an iPod and a good book.

  2. I think warmer stuff - 40-70 degree days with snow? I think it's going to get colder...and more food!

  3. Congratulations, Jill. Nice 500 thus far and looking for many more. (Can't comment on your cold-weather list -- just don't know enough to do so -- but I'm looking forward to see how others view it and how you develop it further.)

  4. Waterproof lighter or matches. A must have emergency tool. And a small first aid kit; needle and thread, duct tape, gauze, whatevs. Hope you're bringing a camera to document it all for your constituency.

  5. Baby wipes
    Duct tape
    Zip ties
    Swiss Army knife
    Peanut M&Ms
    Notebook and a pen

  6. Down to 40 degrees, I'd want some helmet-compatible thing to keep my head and ears warm. I have a stretchy blue thing that I've had forever which works great, but consider bringing at least an ear band.

    Be safe.

    Oh, and a big ditto on Kent's suggestion for duct tape and zip ties - if you can't fix something with those it can't be fixed!

  7. (my spotty internet connection means some people got to my recommendations before i could post! damn!)

    My recommendations, not from a biker perspective, but a southeast/safety perspective:
    -wool hat
    -puffy synthetic jacket/vest
    -extra food (powerbars, etc.)
    -small/partial roll of duct tape
    -gatorade powder, maybe?
    -instant chem handwarmers
    -yellow lenses for your sunglasses if you can get them (think fog, rain?)

    I'm just thinking that in case something happens, you want to stay warm enough while you fix your bike/wait for the next vehicle... The only time I drove those roads was in the fall and the traffic was a bit thin...

    can't wait to hear the stories...

    -d., currently on chatham strait

  8. Jill -- Congrats on good old #500! I for one am thrilled to have found your blog -- it's a daily "must read" and I'm never disappointed. I envy your writing abilities and sit couch-potatolike in awe of your cycling adventures. PLEASE keep writing and posting your photos until #500 turns into at least #5000.

    Thanks, as always...

  9. PVC jacket.. heavy?
    Might want to consider a si nylon tarp instead of the winter bivy.

    ya- duct tape - just wrap a bunch around your pump handle

    I'd consider a thin thin fleece / thick long sleeve.

    Ipod loaded with everything from angry metal to enya...

  10. I carry a couple of pairs of surgical gloves. They are great when you have a messy job to do and nowhere to clean up afterwards. And they weigh nothing.

  11. Benadryl or something similar if you would happen to have an allergic reaction. Had a hornet sting a couple of years ago, had a reaction to the sting, I was very glad I had benadryl along. More food !

  12. Jill: Make sure your patch kit includes something that will work as a boot for a slashed tire casing. Six inches of duct tape, an old Kevlar race number, that sort of thing. Of course you could always just use an energy bar wrapper, assuming you're hungry at the time. I assume the multi-tool includes a chain tool?

  13. Paper back book?

    are yeah cooking?

    zip ties and duct tape are good if you have to MacGyver somthing... I'm not a fan of bivys I like cheap blue poly tarps.... you can always use it sa a biv if needed just roll up into it like a human burrtio =)

  14. Pack at least 10k of colories a bunch of diffrent stuff as well... first long ride like this you won't quite have a handle on your food...

    m&m, jerkey,chease, dried fruit, oatmeal, little debbies, pringles


  15. I have just realized that you have forgotten to include your bike in the check list (that´s the kind of things that you never should forget).
    Hope you enjoy your travel.

  16. Thank you everyone for the great suggestions!

    I can't believe I left a lighter and duct tape off the list ... only the most important survival tools known to modern man.

    Angel, I thought the bike went without saying. As does toilet paper :-)

    I am thinking one more upper layer will be more than worth the weight. I'm also taking a thin skull-cap for my head.

    For ood I am probably going to go with what I always use during longer rides ... power bars, fruit snacks, nuts and cranberries, jerky. 10,000 calories is a bit much for a two-day road ride. I was thinking between 3,000 and 5,000. Possible emergency food stops will be frequent enough, and I am planning on stopping along the way. I'm not quite ready to carry *everything*

    No cooking. Waste of time in my case. I've done enough longer backpack trips and bike tours to know that I don't care enough about warm food to bother.

    I'm taking to bivy to test out how I feel sleeping in a bivy. That's the whole point. If I can't sleep, I'll ride :-)

    No need for a book either. I'm planning on riding this route as quickly and efficiently as possible... Time-trialing, for what it's worth. It's going to be a death march. I can't believe I'm leaving in a week.

  17. RE: Benadryl from anonymous above. I always carry Benadryl with me, but only the child's dosage. That way, I suppress the allergic reaction, without actually becoming drowsy or lethargic.

    I agree on the stove bit. I tell people I don't cyclo-tour with a stove and they give me a sideways look like I'm breaking Tradition. Bah, why mess with the whole thing, esp. since I'm not a coffee drinker?

    Good luck on your trek and carry on with the blog. I'm a faithful reader!

  18. I'd carry a small pack of Glucose tabs. They're great id=f you hit a hard bonk and need some blood sugar FAST! You can get them at the pharmacy in the diabetic supplies.

    They're very light and compact and very effective!

  19. Of course you must carry at least a dozen condoms.


Feedback is always appreciated!