Saturday, August 29, 2015

Finally settled on a date and a site.

I got a text from the neighbor letting  me know that one of the local bicycle parks allows for overnight camping. In a couple of weeks, we'll be loading up and taking off. Right after labor day weekend ends and the overnight temperatures drop a bit.

I repacked my bags a few times, and was able to get my tent and bedding into a single 22 liter pannier.  Yes, really.  Everything except the tent poles. So far, I'm really impressed with these Ibera PakRaks

That leaves the other pannier free for cooking/kitchen stuffs and a couple changes of clothes. The site has a fire ring, so I might even try to bring a hatchet and some good scotch. I have plenty of storage.

Friday, August 28, 2015

I survived the yard.

The overnight stay in the yard was a success. I did not die, and my gear worked. I do need a bigger backup battery, but the good one I have left was able to charge my phone by morning.

I'm heading out on another 4 hour ride soon, this time with a full load of gear and water. If I survive that, I will be ready for the next step: learning to feed myself from a tiny camp stove.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Backyard camping.

So, I have spent today doing fairly normal activities. An hour on the bike, using gps and Bluetooth and all that.  Tonight, I am recharging my devices via backup batteries. One of my backups has failed is what I have learned so far. We'll see how much reserve power I have left in the morning.

Since I am running off batteries anyway, I will be sleeping in the yard, testing the tent, the pad and the bag. Since there is 0 chance of rain, I will be sleeping with the fly off.

Good thing that I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow afternoon .

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Set up the new tent in the yard.

So, I set up the 12 Survivors Shire 2 in the yard to get a good look at it. It looks pretty nice.

Here is is without the rain fly:

 And With:

I should have taken the extra time to pull the fly taught, but I got the basic idea. There certainly appears to be enough room under that fly for my gear.

Monday, August 24, 2015

New pedals are installed!

...And I find them quite nice.  I'm still getting the spring adjustment dialed in, but I put 3 hours on them today, and they were so much nicer than my previous ones.

Also, I rode with extra weight today too.  Here's a pick of my loadout for the trip. One pannier held my tent, the other held my sleeping bag and sleeping pad. I carried a quart of water in each pannier as well.  The trunk bag had a bunch of locks and cables, just for the additional weight.
I'm certain that I have room for a small camping stove, fuel, food for an overnight stay, and a change of clothes.

The panniers are Ibera 22l bags, the trunk is a PakRak Quick Release, and the rear rack is an Ibera Touring Carrier Plus.

So far it feels capable of taking anything I throw at it.

Friday, August 21, 2015

New pedals!

Ordered some new pedals for the Nishiki.  They should be in some time today.

My current pedals have clips on one side and platforms on the other, and they're a PITA.  When you unclip, the pedal goes to it's default position, which is platform up, and so I always have to look down to clip in.

So, new Shimano PD-M520's.  I'm excited just thinking about it.

Also coming in today's shipment are my tent, a sleeping pad and a sleeping bag.  I'll do my best to document them appropriately later on, but here's the short list:

12 Survivors Shire 2 tent
Klymit static V sleep mat
Kaufland 40 superlight mummy bag.

I think I'm going to sleep in the back yard tonight, just to try it all out.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I think I might have found a new hobby.

I've really been doing a lot of bicycle riding these days, and figured I ought to start sharing my experiences.

First, we'll cover some history. 

Back about 5 years ago, I got a bike at a local garage sale - $25 for a 15 speed 26". A Magna Glacier Point. 

The intended purpose was to ride the bicycle to the corner store for beer and cigarettes, instead of driving.

It had it's issues. It had thumb-lever friction shifters, and the one for the front derailleur was broken. I'd have to put the bike on the sprocket I thought I would need, and then just leave it for the entire trip. The saddle was uncomfortable, and every time I changed cogs my feet would slip around on the pedals (and sometimes slip off.)

So, after a few years of riding that bike, I found another 'garage sale special' bicycle.  For $50 I picked up a Nishiki Pueblo.  It had a front shock, 21 speeds that all worked, and I thought it looked much nicer than the Magna.

I have put many hundreds of miles on this Nishiki, and even a few upgrades. 

I'm now looking for a dedicated touring bicycle.

I intend to chronicle my bicycle progression here.

(I have since converted the Magna to a 21 speed, and replaced the friction shifters with twist shifters. It's now my son's bike.)