Next Full Moon

Sunday, May 3rd Full Flower Moon

11 December 2014

I don't like ______, oh no. I love it.

Oh yeah.

1940s monster movie night scene

That one guy (the one who showed) and I slept outside on our local celebration of the full moon. It was cool, except that so and so crashed  and banged his shoulder on the Earth. If it's not obvious: riding with no lights and crashing are potential best friends. To quote Professor Griff, "consider yourselves...warned." We were pretty far in the bag at that point, as well as pretty far into the local trail system, so the logical course of action was to crack another beer and see how it went. His shoulder felt better after (imagine!) so on we rolled, concentrating on trucking right.


Morning arrived, as it will, and the shoulder pain with it. Being resourceful fellows, we rode out of the woods and over to the donut shop for extraction. On the way, we passed several of the local PRO hobos, and it was amusing to witness their reactions to our amateur/heavily-funded camping via bicycle steez. We were definitely noticed, and in a manner that smacked of peer review. Overall, I felt accepted; judgments were mild. We are all alive in this moment, and if some of us woke up in the woods as a matter of choice and others of us emerged from our tents behind the Staples in Cside(!) as a matter of circumstance, well there are parallels.

At home, after my foray into the local scene, I repacked my gear for the coming safari. That is to say, I filled a backpack with food for 2 nights/3 days of climbing up steeps in Henry Coe.


The overnight gear remained in place. I have referenced before the terrible unfairness of having to pack "everything" for just an overnight; how it is all too much. Weather conditions being the same, the only extras for multi-day trips are (more) food, water filter*, and perhaps more repairs stuff (ex. a spare tyre (not kidding))?!? I can't shake this irrational sense that the load on the bike should reflect the length of time out on tour. It's a problem with which I wrassle. So, and then the front end was all rackless (as you know) and all bagful. I have made adjustments to the lashing-on of the sleeping pad and the drooping/buzzing is eliminated, but I remain unimpressed. That seatbag is all Kelly Kettle (Never carry fuel again! But don't kid yourself- get the large model. You're already carrying the bulk, might as well go all in. TRUST me on this one thing) and flip flops. Yeah buddy, it's December. California...knows how to party.

All strapped up at the watering hole.

For off-road touring, I have been pushing the 29+, front and rear Surly Krampus, with3" Knards on 50mm Rabbit Holes. It's a solid set up for actual trail riding whilst loaded. This bike offers a lot of cushion in general, taking the edge off. The big float allowed me to wheelie drop the flow-stopping gap on Pacheco Creek Trail (so nice...) which  certainly would have remained a stifler for me on standard wheels, and allowed for some easy planing across washes floored with baby heads. I have considered the various merits of the Krampus vs. The ECR, and my kung fu is best practiced aboard a rally matchine.  Surly does offer a Krampus fork with more braze-ons, so my magic 8 ball says "signs point to yes" when asked if this is in my future...I can have my rack and you can eat it, too.

_odd's rig. 

My partner has his own "system". This go round, he front-loaded. Loss of traction while climbing was one result. We laugh at ourselves for doing this stuff with fair regularity and yet shifting our set-ups around so much. You'd think we would get good at this. Someday. Someday my set-up will be perfect.

Black Cat Bicycles custom front rack is pretty dialed, though...

One thing _odd has down pat is his snacks. I am so jealous when he pulls out the mango chutney?!? But then I forget all about it, and when packing my own foods I blow it. There is (usually- ask me about the powder sandwiches) enough, but it lacks pizzazz. My planning thus far has always been by meal. So I have a breakfasts bag, a lunches bag, and a dinners bag. Snacks are in they own bag, which is easily accessed. I was super hungry this trip. Noticeably. Maybe it was the cold, but I'm a change up my food prep. I think I'll pack by day. Seems like I will be more mindful looking at the day's worth of food rather than a big mash-up of breakfasts and another of lunches, etc. We will see.

Pssst. There is a whiskey stash at Drunkards' Knee (or Boozers' Roost, if you prefer).

Bring tools, do trail work.

I even have it written on my notebook, but do I remember it? Sometimes. So far, never for Coe, as I'm always flipping out about how to pack the seemingly mountainous pile of crap I end up with in order to just be able to swing being out there at all.

Well, Yes and Finally! _odd brought a pull saw. It's not much, but it does a lot. More than that, it creates a mindset such that stopping to deal with snags/blow-downs/etc becomes "what you do." We put in some pretty OK work. The trails we rode are the better for us having been there.

My new/current totem? A long-ass detour to a large bald eagle.

*the Platypus in-line filter is a neat tool. It is SO much nicer to fill a bag and trill rather than hunch waterside and madly flail away with a pump filter. Really. The "dirty" reservoir has it's outtake valve set about 20mm up from the bottom so particulate will settle below, and not clog the filter. Smart. Plus, you can forgo carrying extra bladders and use the "dirty" and "clean" required for filtering as your storage. Though I prefer the durability of a cordura sided MSR bladder, it is a feature worth noting.

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