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Archive | June, 2013
June 28, 2013

Packed And Ready

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The stuff, the stuff, two months with just this stuff.

The stuff, the stuff, two months with just this stuff.

Many people have asked me, what will I be bringing with me. Seeing that I need everything to fit on my bike and not be ridiculously heavy, I’ve had to be scrupulous.

Here it is, the things I’ll be taking with me:

First off: The Bike

Last week, I had my bike taken apart, boxed up and shipped off. Yesterday, I got a call from Simon’s Cycles in downtown Vancouver telling me my bike was ready and waiting for me. It was sitting in Vancouver, relaxing knowing full well, I was on my way.

My Trek 1.2 road bike will be my travelling companion for the next 52 days. I’m hoping that if I treat it well, it will treat me well. Just in case, I have thrown in some fix-up gear:

  • Three tubes
  • Tire thread
  • Hand pump
  • Tire levers
  • Patch kit
  • Multi-tool
  • Chain Lube
  • Aerobars

I’m hoping that should be able to get me out of any precarious situation on the side of a deserted Northern Ontario road.

Of course, I am also packing my helmet, three waterbottles, bike shoes and bike lock. Not to mention, body glide so I have nipples at the end of this adventure and some chamois butter that makes sitting on a bike for 50 straight days almost enjoyable.

Second Course: The Clothes

I’ve tried to pack as minimally as possible while still being prepared for all possible weather conditions.

For biking I’ve brought two bike jerseys, two pairs of bike shorts, socks, tights, warm weather arm bands, cool weather arm bands, UV skull cap, vest and a jacket.

While off the bike, I have four quick-dry t-shirts, a quick-dry long sleeve, two pairs of shorts, one light hooded sweatshirt, underwear, flip flops and a pair of Merrell minimalist running shoes.

Not too much, but I figure my stench on the bike will keep the wild animals away.

Third Helping: Camping Gear

The plan is to camp most nights. I’ll hopefully find campsites along the way, but I may need to set up camp wherever I am. Luckily, Laura and I do some backcountry hiking and so lots of the gear is small and lightweight and meant to be carried easily.

The tent is a small one/two person tent. It’s not a tent you’d want to share with just anyone. With it, I’ve got a single lightweight Thermarest and a mummy sleeping bag. The trio of items sits perfectly on top of the pannier rack. I’ve also got a small pillowcase (throwing clothes in it makes a perfect pillow) and a small chamois towel.

For breakfasts and dinners, I have a single-burner camp stove with fuel, a small pot, collapsible bowl and utensils. Easy to cook and clean and throw back in to my panniers.

While off the bike I have thrown in a head lamp which will help navigate the camp terrain.

Fourth Heap: Odds and Ends

The last of it doesn’t fit nicely into a category. I’m bringing toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shower gel, deodorant, chapstick, moisturizer). I’ve thrown in some initial food, waffles, Honey Stinger chews, some eCaps and salt tablets.

And of course, the most obvious item, sunscreen. It’s in the ginger genetic code to remember the “value pack” of 60 SPF.

I’m also bringing my Blackberry Q10, where I’ll be staying in touch and writing this blog, and a Kobo e-reader because I try not to go anywhere without my books. Seeing that these are the electronics, I’ll also be bringing three charging cords.

All of this equipment fits neatly into four MEC panniers (two rear panniers and two front panniers). I’ve got rain covers for all of them, just in case.

That’s it. That’s the stuff that is packed up and ready to fly to Vancouver with me tomorrow morning. I can’t wait.

I’m all geared up.

June 11, 2013

What’s Next?

What’s Next?

When I was 12 years old, after having read about John Goddard in Chicken Soup for the Soul, I sat down and wrote a list of 50 Things To Do Before I Die.

In my twelve years of infinite wisdom, I wrote all manner of things. I wrote meet Oprah, visit Australia, and own a pet monkey. Some things stand out as foolish imaginings and some have found themselves festering in the back of my mind.

The idea of biking across Canada has been scrawled in my twelve-year old penmanship on that tattered piece of lined paper for twenty years. As other things have been completed and achieved, that one lies untested.

Until this year.

On July 1st, I start the adventure that stretches out for 7,200 kilometres.

Starting in Vancouver, British Columbia, I ride until my final destination of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

I hope to document my trip here. I’ll blog as often as possible and with as much insight as I can muster.

By all means, ask questions, provide comments, let me know if there are things I can’t miss.


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