My Gear

So, what am I bringing on this trip? Excellent question. As someone new to bicycle touring, that half (more than half?) of the trip has certainly been more difficult to prepare for than the camping part. After signing up for the trip, the first thing I knew I was going to have to do was get a new bike. I’ve always ridden hybrids, commuter bikes, and fairly low-end mountain bikes. After shopping around a bit and trying to fenagle a deal on a 2005 model, I settled on a Cannondale R700. I’d go into its components and all that, but to be honest, I don’t know all that much about them and honestly, I don’t care all that much about them. It’s light, it’s pretty comfortable, and it’s a step up from my last bike. The specifics of exactly how it differs are kind of lost on me.

The bike:
My bike

I hadn’t realized it, but one of my next door neighbours informed me that my bike’s colour matches my sunglasses. I’m twice as stylish as I thought I was!

You know, I would go into specifics like the kind of shoes and pedals and helmet and seat that I have…but does it really matter? Not “does anyone care?” but seriously, does it matter? I figure if they work and they do the job, that ought to be enough…and the fact that the names are on the tip of my tongue just dying to jump off…that says something, doesn’t it? Gah…

After some consultation with people who have done the trip before (special thanks to Lynn McLellan and Dave Laird who have been particularly helpful), I’ve settled on the gear that I’m bringing. I’m really interested to see what I think of that list midway through the trip, and after the trip - what was useful, what was useless, what I should have brought, and what I had to pick up. The basic list:

Bike/Bike Related:

  • 2 water bottles
  • clip-on seat bag
  • trunk bag
  • rear rack
  • hydration pack
  • bike pump
  • 5 extra tubes
  • 2 extra tires
  • tire levers
  • patch kit
  • basic tools
  • lube
  • chain cleaner + degreaser

“Cycling Apparel”:

  • 4 short-sleeved cycling jerseys (+1 to be picked up in Vancouver)
  • 1 long-sleeved cycling jersey
  • 6 pairs of cycling shorts
  • cycling gloves
  • full-fingered cycling gloves
  • arm warmers
  • leg warmers
  • rain jacket + hood
  • waterproof booties
  • 1 basic MEC cycling jacket
  • 3 prs. “cycling” socks

Camping Stuff:

  • tent (graciously lent to me - thanks Phil!)
  • sleeping bag
  • self-inflating sleeping mat
  • pillow
  • hammer
  • headlamp
  • plate, bowl, mug, cutlery
  • synthetic, quick drying towel
  • camp chair

Tech:

  • laptop
  • digital camera

Other:

  • Munchkin (and the hope that someone out there loves it as much as I do)

Apparel of the Non-Biking Kind:

I haven’t actually decided what I’m bringing yet. I’m thinking a couple pairs of shorts, a couple pairs of pants, a couple shirts…you get the idea.