Shakedowns are for fun. Figure out some options on some quick overnights and you won't have to make mistakes where they actually matter.
There is an upcoming trip in the planning stages (lots of hemming and hawing right now, on the emails) and it will require more in the way of food- and especially water- than I, at least, am used to. So a quick jaunt through the redwoods via roads and trails is not only fun, but if we're not careful we might learn a thing or 2.
I have already learned I do not love the inflatable sleeping pads on account of they are fragile. I do not love the bulk of the foam, but it can't pop. There is a lot to like about that. The above (I had to borrow a lilac bandana and a groundcloth) is what I had to stuff in/on my bike. I will not wear a pack unless I have no other choice.
Who's got what on riding your bike in some clothes that work by virtue of their materials, and not of their ad campaigns? People who know, know.
I know that T_dd loves to have his ish all tight- the Freedom System is all about modularity? I get confused. There are many buzz words being thrown around on that one, but my take away is that there's a lot of buckling down. That is somewhat at odds with my own approach, which is more organic in nature. In fact, it takes it's cues from nature and I don't even decide on it so much as have it revealed to me.
I believe I will try a different shifter arrangement. The bar-ends suffer when laying the bike down. I will also try another bar. And the rough tape hurt my delicate hands this time around.
Rubber bands are not structural, but they are useful. Neither of our set-ups rattled or failed in their containership. I will allow that I blew it on planning for the beer carrying capacity. I had to use my fall back- the humble giveaway mussette. This was a victory of sorts, in that I had thought to bring the damned thing, but also a loss because I then had to cycle a further ~35miles having it shift and sway, etc.
More of a victory, because I was not unhappy about any of it. Even though I popped a can inadvertently while laying the bag down too hastily after hopping a gate. What else to do but shotgun? And, a reminder that beers are liable to pop if jostled too much. Worth keeping in focus. See? Gentle lessons.
T packed burritos for lunch, and for dinner, and for breakfast, and for lunch again. I feel that this was neither here nor there in terms of learning about longer trips to remote areas.
The roads in the Santa Cruz mountains are ridiculously nice riding.
We made a slight detour to visit Mr. Hun_er. It was fun to drink beers and ride bikes with these 2 clowns while stocking away valuable tips regarding equipment choices, etc. Really and for real. The real world experience these guys bring to their craft is worth all times' worth of your internet searches. If you need a bike (of whatever sort) check out Hunter Cycles and Black Cat Bicycles.
Day ends when the sun goes down...
Recall T_dd breaking his hip in a rotten car/bike crashup. A factor of this upcoming tour is to usher him back into the ranks of healthy hipped bicycle riders. Of course, in light of this, I was unable to ever allow him to ride away (frankly, obligated by the unspoken laws of friendship and bicycle camaraderie to turn the screws on occasion), and so I spent much of the day at a faster pace than my usual. I began to suspect that there was not a whole lot of ushering to be done.
I did not regret my choice of flat pedals,
especially when we rode back up and dropped our bags for a day's worth of unburdened riding. It is a fool who will not listen, and as I am not a great fool, I benefited from the flat pedal pointers given to me during the extensive singletrack portion of that day. I shifted my foot off the pedal and aimed for the inside ("more inside") and I'll be damned! Switchbacks were so much easier/faster/funner. After all this time...
T_dd got a flat, and we both were reminded that it is important to bring a spare tube(s) and a patch kit, and a pump, etc. I had hurriedly shifted my tool kit from one bike to another, and had the wrong tube size.
We also saw a ladybug swarm. It's been several years since I laid eyes on one.