The Ever-Loving List - I Hate You Because I Love You - CycleBlaze

The Ever-Loving List

Still no kitchen sink

Such a sexy beast
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Everyone has their own list of what they find essential on a tour , so I won't bore you with my complete manifest. Suffice it to say that I've made some changes to the bike - most notably the uber-comfortable Jones H-Loop handlebar - and added a few small things while removing others. Fully loaded including three full water bottles, she tips the scales at a hair under 80 pounds.

One addition I'm planning to have some fun with is my new Campark action camera, a $50 alternative to the much more expensive GoPro rigs so many people use. Mounted on my handlebar, I can control it using my IPhone, and I want to shoot some video of the long, sweeping downhills and maybe do a little Facebook Live as I go along.

I also need bigger front bags for these longer trips, so I'm ordering the Arkel Kargo fronts to go with the rears I already have. They're not Ortliebs, they're not waterproof without their rain covers, they don't have a gazillion pockets and removable sacks and a special holder for my tent poles, but for my style of touring I just can't justify spending over $600 for four panniers. If I undertake a trek the length of South America or ride from France to China I'll reconsider, but that would likely entail a whole new bike and everything.

In fact, looking at this picture tells me I have way too much going on. I'll never be one of those ultrlight travelers with their 2-ounce bivy sacks and 3-ounce hammocks and single bottles of water and no additional clothing, but do I really need eight different bags hanging here and there? I condensed the two handlebar bags into one, the handy-dandy Broad Fork (formerly BarFly) Banana Hammock one designed specifically for the loop in the Jones H-bar. The seatpost and underseat bags contained spare tubes put there for easy access, but the Arkel Kargo bags have small external pockets perfect for those, so off come the little ones.

I don't really have that much I would consider to be luxury items. The bluetooth speaker is obviously one, but I ride solo and love to have my music with me, channeling Pandora through the IPhone on the stem. My action camera is handlebar mounted, but that total package barely weighs 12 ounces and is loads of fun. I like to shower or bathe daily even on the road and to sleep in clean clothes, so off-bike items are necessary. My tent is heavy at 5 pounds, but I've owned it for ten years, it's roomy and serves its purpose well, and I don't camp enough yet to warrant dropping $200-$300 on a new one so  can save a couple of pounds.

And I have to remember to carry more food this time. Last year I didn't have anything more than energy chews, jerky, and electrolyte drinks with me while rolling, figuring there were a lot of places to eat. Unfortunately, I found myself hungry when between all those places, and I face long-ish stretches (e.g., Lompoc to Santa Barbara) on this trip with no facilities of note. Note to self: stock up on sammiches, snacks, fruit, and nuts in Pismo Beach.

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