Friday, July 17, 2009

Equipment For A Long Distance Bicycle Ride Around The World

Equipmment For Around The World Trip Is Being Assembled
The last week has been a blur of details and choices, exchanges and re-thinking on what to bring on a long-distance bicycle trip. Luckily for me there are online journals with dozens of equipment lists so I can see what others have done.

Teva Not-Quite-Sandals.
I have tried on numerous types and brands of tennis shoe in the past week, bought three, returned three. Three strikes and
you are out, right?
These Teva shoes are very light, have ventilation holes, and I have been wearing them all week and forget they are on me. Originally I bought them just to relax around camp. I tried regular sandals but my daughter Lexi convinced me that other campers should not be subjected to the horrible sight of my bare feet right at dinner time. Sadly, she is correct.
(As for the holes in the Tevas Rob Sweetgall has walked around the USA twice and always slits his Rockport tennis along the side to air them out in the heat, even in the winter.)
I am considering wearing these shoes while biking. (Bike tech-geeks gasping everywhere, I hear you!) I may wear them with an arch insert and good light wool socks to wick moisture away. What do you think, orthopedic gurus and Lance Armstong wannabes?

REI Hiking Boots
A pretty penny they were, though only mid-range, but they feel great on my feet. I figure to do some hiking and even though they are heavy I hope I can tote them along. We shall see. I'm hoping to walk a bit in the United Kingdom, the Swiss Alps, and to trek in Nepal, so good boots are a requirement.
The folks at REI are excellent and full of knowledge, though when Bob the Boot Expert looks you in the eye and asks what kind of sock you are wearing, as "the sock is as important as the boot", it can be intimidating. Especially when you have on Wal-Mart cotton cheapies.
Thanks for the great help Bob!

Portable Tripod
This little cheapo is one foot tall, one pound, and only $13 at Wal-Mart. It will be great for getting all those touristy shots (Alan at the Eiffel Tower, Alan at the Taj Mahal, etc.) without having to trust someone not to bound away with your camera.
This way they can bound away with your camera and tripod!

A Simple Way to Make a Cup of Coffee
This handy-dandy little tool makes one cup at a time. Fill with grounds, snap shut, swirl in hot water, drink. For years I have made a pot, drank a cup, went to work and came home to pour out the other five cups of old coffee!
Like meeting the girl of your dreams, where have you been all of my life!

Trying To Be Prepared
That's right, hypodermics. When you see a bunch of these you either have come across a man with a habit, a diabetic, or a world traveler. Imagine having to get a shot overseas and watching the nurse RE-USE the needle after each patient. Preventative medicine at it's simplest.
Now, just try not to wake up in a hospital and wonder what was done!

Ortleib Panniers
To think I have lusted over luggage. These Ortleib panniers are the saddlebags to be strapped to the side of the bicycle. Laid out on the living room floor and examined caerefully they seem precious small. There is a saying that on a long trip by foot or bike you should lay out all of your gear and all of your money. Now remove half of the gear and double the size of the money pile! Having small luggage encourages this process.
Online ratings and travel bloggers have said these Ortleib panniers are the only ones truly waterproof. After deciding to purchase them Mark, a friend of a friend wrote to advise them also. Thanks Mark, that solidified my decision.

MSR Stove and Mess Kit
This I have but am still considering if I should take it or return it. I envision a hot meal in the evening, if not every night perhaps quite often. Or will the extra pounds languish in my pannier. I may find myself living on purchased food, dinner invitations, simple to prepare stuff.
What do you think? I'm as likely as not to make a sandwich at home, but that is after a day when I have not pedaled 40 miles.

Wow! Four little LED lights can be really bright. Bright enough to dig through panniers for that pesky stove to package up to send home! Bright enough to temporarily blind and constantly annoy Lexi from across the room!

Ah my daughter Lexi, she left tonight for Miami and Disney World! Have fun my girl. We are planning to meet in New York City soon enough to see 'The Little Mermaid' on Broadway and some of the museums and sights in the Big Apple. But that's another post...

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beth July 21, 2009 at 9:30 PM  

Alan - when you get to NYC, you've gotta ride the west side bike path from Harlem down to the Trade Center site, and through Battery Park. It's a beautiful path - lots of smooth pavement and fantastic views of the Hudson and piers. You could continue from Battery Park to City Hall and over the Brooklyn Bridge (that's a MUST!) and then back to the city via the Manhattan Bridge, which will spit you out into Chinatown. From there you could go up the East Side, the United Nations, cross town to Central Park. The variety is endless. When will you be in NY?

Alan July 21, 2009 at 9:53 PM  

Beth, now that is the kind of great and detailed advice I like to get, and the beauty of the Internet summed up in a comment.
I will definitely take the ride you have suggested. I saw pix and knew the Brooklyn Bridge was a must!
As to when, here is the strange thing. I had been promising Lex 'The Little Mermaid' on B'way. It ends Aug. 30. I pedal slower than that, lol. So no matter where I am I will take a bus to NYC on Aug 28, minus the bike (Olive Oily?) to see the show and stay a couple of night. Then i shall ride back and continue the bike trip.

beth July 29, 2009 at 10:03 PM  

Alan, I think I'll be home that week. Perhaps me and my beau could do a bike ride with you. We also have a place up in the Catskills and will be up there for Labor Day weekend with assorted guests. You're welcome to visit. There's a nice bike ride into Woodstock from there. Stay in touch!

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