It's hard to describe what the race is going to be like. I can talk about it and try to make you (and me) understand it, but until you've actually been in it, its no use. Here's the best way to convey what it all about. It's an article that Outdoor magazine ran a few years ago when the race was only starting at the American border, (whereas now its starting in Banff). It talks about the trials and tribulations first hand from riders who had participated in it that year.
I guess its finally time to let you in on what exactly I will be riding into Antelope Wells, NM. Its a Rocky Mountain Hammer Race Reynolds 753 frame riding machine (cause I love steel!).
Heres the Bike Rocky Mountain Hammer Race Reynolds 753 Steel with Rock Shox Mavic rims, Schwalbe smart sam alpencross tires Race Face Cranks race face Bar with Ergon Grips race face Stem and Seatpost XT drive train/shifters Sram brakes brooks saddle shimano peddles/shoes
As for other gear, well its still in the evolving stage, trying to get down to the "bear" minimum. But here's a general list for you to get an idea of what it will take for me to cross the great divide 30 times and still be in one piece. On The Bike Carousel Design Works seatbag, handlebar bag, and map case Tarptent Contrail Golite Adrenaline sleeping bag Thermarest Prolite 3 short pad Cat Eye Enduro computer Princton Tec EOS bike lamp Water bottle cages and bottles maps cue sheets
In The Backpack Osprey Talon 22 backpack hydration bag water treatment pills small first aid kit 1 pair of shorts 1 jersey pair of woolie boolie socks Golite rain jacket/pants neoprene booties lightweight longsleeve and longjohns arm and leg warmers warm gloves, fingerless gloves bike hat, beenie, bandana oakley sunglasses bike multi tool, leatherman, chain tool, zip ties, duct tape tubes, patch kit, chain lube, tire levers, pump sunscreen, toilet paper, toothbrush, tooth paste, Dr. Bronner's Soap, Bag Balm small notebook, pen credit card, calling card, money, ID Camera, mp3, SPOT extra batteries food, water
As you can see its minimum, but still not minimizing safety. I'm sure in the next month or so the list will change, hopefully get a little lighter, hopefully making the hills a little easier.
Today I'm pushing for a quick 100 km while the weather is perfect. Next week, is a big 200 km with the Montreal Randonneurs! Let the sunshine in!
Also as a side note, I will be having a vernissage/sale with 10 new illustrated portraits on Thursday, May 21. Its a great way for me to raise some money for my trip and see all my friends before I leave in June. So come out and show your support and have some great drinks at Vinyl while you're at it. Details and times coming soon!