So this is officially my first blog entry for our trip. Needless to say I’m getting really anxious and excited to take off in December. Between traveling to NY for the holidays and trying to enjoy the time I have left at home our departure date seems to be creeping up faster each day.
Thanks to the graciousness of Dan and Glenn at the Old Spokes Home I was able to get an order for some more of the equipment I’m going to need for the tour, including the Surly Nice Racks I ordered. I had some time to put them on last week and I have to say so far I’m pretty happy with them. Installation of the front rack was a bit tedious as Surly includes enough hardware to start a store. You’d be hard pressed to find a bike you couldn’t mount the Surly racks onto with the included hardware. This didn’t necessarily benefit me since I have a SurlyLong Haul Trucker. Most of the time I was installing the rack I was thinking, “Sure would be nice if they had just made this for the Trucker”. So it took quite a bit of time to piece it all together but all said and done the racks have a really sturdy mounting system that should keep them strong throughout the trip. Not to mention they complement my Long Haul Trucker pretty nicely.
With the racks on I was finally able to setup my Ortlieb panniers. While I haven’t really done much touring and what I have done was with my BOB Trailer I have to say the Ortlieb panniers are damn impressive. I was even able to do a little bit of customizing to turn them into makeshift backpacks which should come in handy.
Now that I have my racks and panniers all setup I’m beginning to work on my packing system. Anyone who has done any long-distance touring or in my experience, backpacking, knows that how you pack and organize your gear makes a huge difference in how you enjoy your time. From day to day ease of access to safety and comfort of the weight distribution getting your packing system down is pretty key to an enjoyable trip. I also need to determine exactly what gear is necessary and what things I can leave back home. So as you can see from the picture I’m beginning to pile all my gear together and decide on the most efficient way to pack it onto the bike. I hope that by this weekend I’ll have it somewhat figured out and I’ll be able to get out for a ride and see how it feels.
PS Don’t forget to check out my fundraising page for Adaptive Sports Partners