Saturday, July 25, 2015

Prologue (Days -1, 0)

This was a shakeout trip in order to test the bike, the gear, and of course my endurance carrying it. My buddy Lucas came along for the ride (I found out later he had already biked 30 miles that morning with his Dad, he's that type of guy). Within two miles I had a flat tire - a very bad omen considering I want to pedal 3000+. After a few curses and 10 minutes patching the inner tube, we were off again with no other issues. We headed north up the western side of Cayuga Lake into Trumansburg, then west into Schuyler County. We stayed overnight on the lawn of a host I found on WarmShowers. John, his wife Liz, and their son Michael are all great people, very hospitable and friendly.

I leave in 10 days

Beautiful Kayuta Lake, our view upon waking up at John's house

Our host John

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Load

2 pairs of padded bike shorts. They're a bit large, hopefully that doesn't lead to horrible chafing that I've read about
2 pearl izumi bike jerseys
2 pairs of loose athletic shorts (covers awkward bike shorts so that I may walk around town comfortably)
2 pairs breathable wool socks
2 pairs underwear for sleeping, walking around. I will likely replace these during trip
2 t-shirts for walking around, also form a nice little pillow for sleeping. Also may replace these.
1 windbreaker/raincoat/poncho
1 pair of biking gloves
1 breathable cap

Eureka Solitaire bivy tent w/rainfly
Compactable sleeping bag.
*Note: most nights I will try to stay with a host. This will probably be easier while in the east coast and midwest.

Toothbrush, toothpaste
Small shaving kit
Comb (this was the hardest decision while packing)
Soap, deodorant

Utility knife
Bike multi-tool w/allen keys
2 spare bike tubes
Patch kit w/double patches and extra glue
Helmet (obvi)
Small presta valve bike pump
Tire pressure gauge
phonecharging cables
solar charger
a few books of my choosing *2016 edit: WHY would you bring heavy books???
portable camp stove
mess kit

*Note: I will likely buy food every few days at supermarkets. I'm finding there is little room left in the panniers for bulk food.

The Bike

The Bike

  • Mercier Galaxy SC2 aluminum frame + fork (purchased on Amazon 3 years ago)
  • 700cc rims, Continental Gatorskin tires w/kevlar bead - my cousin has a pair of these and apparently hasn't gotten a flat with them yet.
  • Shimano Sora groupset, dual-pivot caliper brakes
  • Saddle: Brooks B17 imperial (in brown, clashes horribly w/silver frame and blue handlebar tape. Doesn't matter, I don't think bike touring has to be particularly pretty)
  • Low-rider front rack and rear rack
  • Panniers: Rear - Banjo Bros. saddlebag panniers (25 bucks on craiglist, what a steal!)                                 Front - 2 Nashbar individual panniers
  • Small side mirror 
  • Cellphone holder that attaches to handlebars
  • Small USB-rechargeable front light, red blinky in back
  • New pedals w/toe clips
  • 2 water bottle holders

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


I'm all set for the trip. Until now I was refraining from posting because in all honesty, I wasn't sure if I would actually follow through with my plan. Let's see how it goes!

Here is the fully-loaded bike. The only difference now is the seat - I just installed a Brooks leather "saddle". Hopefully I can break it in with a lot of riding beforehand.