Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bikepacking set up shake down ride

I've had an assortment bikepacking gear for quite some time now. I had planned and planned, but never actually pulled the trigger on a trip. So on Saturday night, my insomnia got me thinking about bikes and bikepacking, specifically on the new (to me) pugs. Why not? I knew I wouldn't put an overnighter together with Monday being a school day, but I've mapped out the route and loaded up the pugs to see how the set up works... the pugs is heavy when not loaded, and when you add camping gear it is an absolute tank! My primary goal was to figure out the route from my house over to river road, which is a slow curvy road that will take me from the outskits of town all the way to FM 306 and on to Canyon Lake a super secret overnight camping location. Total mileage from my front door to the lake super secret camping location is ~25 miles, then there's ~9 miles of trail to off-road on, and ~25 miles home. The idea behind this is to do what Grant Peterson coined an s24o which is a bikepacking adventure right out your back door. The idea behind it, is you don't have to spend weeks or months planning it. It doesn't have to be an epic adventure, it is a less than 24 hour overnight trip just to get away from it all, right in your back yard. Awesome! So since I'm not much of a roadie and I've never tried to lash my gear on my bike before, this was just a trial run. If the weather cooperates I plan on heading out on Friday for my first real S240! The blue thing is a cheap-o foam pad that will be what I sleep on. At some point I'll replace this with a nice Neo-Air, since my 1994 Therma rest weighs 4lbs and has about 10 patches from over a decade of abuse. Rolled inside is my Golite Utopia 1 and poles.
The rear pack is a Carousel Design Works medium seat bag. That has a extra shorts, extra synthetic SS shirt, synthetic LS shirt, extra socks, camp pillow, sleeping bag. I could fit more stuff in there, and I'll get more picky about these items as I get more of these trips under my belt.
Not pictured, is my Osprey Raptor 18 hydro pack. While not my favorite pack in the world, it does have a lot of storage compartments and is a clever design... I do miss my wingnut desperately and will pick up a new Hyper 3.0 when funds are available for such things, but for now the Osprey is what I have. This contains 3L of water, a handful of cliff bars, some cliff blocks, some fruit snacks (thank you E), spare Surly Toob, tools, swiss army knife, led flashlight. These items will move around and will evolve as I get more experience doing these trips. One of the benefits of doing a short trip, and in my case, a shake down ride. Is that you get to see what works and what doesn't work so well. So what didn't work so well in this case is that the camp pad when cinched up tight is it interfered with the operation of the brake levers. It wasn't enough to be dangerous, just annoying. At some point I could purchase a bar bag from Eric Parsons or convince my wife to sew me one :D yeah, right. I'll probably also invest in one of his frame bags for longer journeys when I'll need more things like cook kit, more water, etc. The bags are expensive, but Eric makes great stuff and they are all hand made by Eric in Alaska.
Another fab/mod was making a new GPS mount out of an old reflector bracket. The one that I bought from Garmin lasted exactly one crash. I did learn my lesson from that crash and added a lanyard to keep from the GPS being launched if/when I have the next crash.
So with any luck, next week I'll be posting up pix from my first s24o on the pugs

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