Preparing for the trip. - The cat named Chevy won't stop this tour, and neither can COVID - CycleBlaze

Preparing for the trip.

A COVID advantage is not working and having plenty of time to bicycle. I have over 2,000 miles in this spring. Now that we aren't riding the Coronado Trail, I'm not as concerned about climbing. I've taken my mind off of steep grades. We have plenty of normal climbing around here. Training, I'm good on. Wind, I'm good on. Ugh. Hot weather - nope, no hot weather training . . .

My mode of operation for years was to start carrying weight on the bike at spring break and gradually add more weight as spring progressed. Last year I did not follow that plan and I haven't this year either. I'm a little concerned about weight. Specifically, water weight. We will be traveling through some very hot country. I don't do heat well in general, and want to be sure and stay hydrated. My first defense will be to start early, before it gets too hot. Secondly, I need to carry plenty of liquids.

I've been having the same last minute gear thoughts we all go through. Do I really need cold weather gear? If it rains in Arizona, it will probably feel good! What if it rains at 8,000 feet, outside of Alpine, AZ? That could be cold. At this moment, I'm planning on the rain coat and over mitts, but I think I will leave the thick tights and socks home.

I have a 32 oz. Hydro Flask that I would like to leave because it is so heavy, but I think the ice water will be worth the weight on the hot, hot days.

My weight goal for a few years now has been ten pounds of gear. That will easily fit in two small panniers if packed correctly. Last year on the second trip, I took an underseat rack/panniers to distribute the weight more easily. Jim Fitch said he was sure I added five pounds with that setup, no matter how light the panniers. I can't tell you how many times I considered the extra weight on a long climb . . . I'm still considering it now. No matter how much thinking I do, I believe this year I need the extra capacity for water on the long days. I've explored other methods of carrying water. I'm going with the extra panniers.

Even Jacinto was scared of the big climb through Morenci Mine. He was even considering leaving the coffee percolator home. That is serious! Now that we have routed into New Mexico, Jacinto's morning coffee ritual is safe. I asked him how many pounds of food he's willing to carry for me. At this moment, he's not allowing for any of my items. For years I've used Spiz meal replacement during the day. I feel I ride and recover better drinking it. But it's bulky and heavy to carry a sufficient supply for a long tour. The past two years I've substituted Hammer Perpetuum tablets. They are terrible to stick in my teeth, but they help me with serious exertion. This year I'd like to go back to Spiz, but only if Jacinto will carry it! I would feel more guilty if he weren't such a strong rider.

I tried using a cotton bandana to keep the sun off. Could I look any dorkier? I'm not sure the bandana helped. It was 88 degrees here today, our warmest day this spring. I'm not exactly acclimated for hot Arizona temperatures. While climbing, it seemed to me that I was hotter with the bandana. Catching the breeze while going downhill was great, as usual.
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The past two days I have bicycled in the heat of the day to prepare for Tucson. That means 73 degrees and 76 degrees. Tucson? It was 105 there today . . .
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I rode up the black path to the right. My rear tire was slipping in the loose gravel. My intention was to ride the gray gravel section on the left, but the gravel was far too thick to ride. I had to walk the rest of the way to the top. In my mind, this was similar in steepness to our intended overnight at the bunkhouse, down the dirt road. I am sleeping much better at night now that we have changed our plans.
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Jacinto is holding a container of coffee (he also has a percolator!), and three pounds of pistachios. This year he's touring with four panniers. Jacinto says that they are very empty and do I have anything he could fill the bags up with!
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Guess which foot Jacinto puts down at stops? That is a lot of stopping!
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Keith AdamsIs Jacinto a motorcyclist? (Or was he in the past?) An astute observer once noted that I, too, and a right-foot-down person and guessed that I had ridden a motorcycle in my past. She was right. Seems moto riders tend to put their right foot down because they need their left foot (toes) to operate the gearshift lever when getting started again.
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4 months ago
Kelly IniguezTo Keith AdamsKeith,

That's interesting. We've always thought that which foot you use is related to your dominant hand. I'm left handed and use my left foot. Jacinto is right handed. Hmmm.
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4 months ago
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