Monday, July 14, 2008

fat man on a bicycle

I've been riding fully loaded, testing-out the panniers, looking for weaknesses. Andy mentioned that any gear strapped-down is bound to fall-off, couldn't agree more after 4 days of rides. I slapped 35lbs of random stuff (a dictionary, clothes, a hammer, you know, whatever was laying about in my garage) into the panniers for testing, plus the panniers weigh 5lbs. the weight feels fine on climbs if you like pedaling at 3mph in the grannie gear while getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and dive-bombed by horse flies, but on loose logging roads and technical singletrack it's pain - a little taste of what it must feel like to be a fat man on a bicycle. pain.

My goal is to sort through my gear and get the weight down to under 30 (including the panniers, food, and water) before the trip. I'm more than a bit jealous w/Glenn and Tim's special ultra-light panniers made from sail cloth. My Arkel panniers are tough to rationalize, but they sure are sweet! they pop on and off in seconds, have fully waterproof interior sacks, full side zips, side pocket for camelback, top pocket for tools, outer shell for wet smelly stuff to dry... but they weigh 5lbs!

I realized I don't need a front rack, but am thinking about slapping it on in case we need to haul a case of beer or a pizza from a town into the backcountry... maybe i'm just being silly, but it seems like a damn good reason!

Got a HUGE hook-up from Brad Beveridge yesterday, his Fox 29'er fork w/the proper offset for my bike - an $800 borrow. I owe big brad in a big way. The nerves and tendons in my hands are gonna be thanking Brad for yrs to come for not having to do the CO Trail rigid! Years ago, it was Brad who introduced me to Andy, Justin, and Daren, opening-up the north shore ride scene to me - those guys taught me how to ride a bicycle - and are still doing me huge favors today.


At 7/17/2008 6:59 PM, Anonymous Buck said...

Hey Jeff! send Buck your e-mail..



At 7/18/2008 5:16 PM, Blogger wraith said...

You need the front rack! One handed with a case of beer is just silly. Looks like your gonna need to add some air pressure to that rear tire... she must manual sweet.

At 7/19/2008 10:41 AM, Blogger Andy said...

whoa, looks like those panniers will handle all my gear too. thanks in advance ;p


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