A lot of people ask about what items I will be taking with me on my trip… so I decided to write this blog for everyone to see the answer to this question! The simple answer is, “A lot.” My bicycle weighs just above 19 pounds by itself, but I am right around 50 pounds with all of my gear loaded on it! While the extra weight is definitely a burden, it all seems to fit pretty well in my setup. Check it out…
This is my “control center.” Up front, I put on aero bars which offers my upper body an alternative position when I start to feel uncomfortable. With these additional bars, I now have 5 different ways to position my body for a little extra comfort. As required by the rules set forth by the organizers of the race, I have mounted two high powered front lights. In the picture below you can see my four mounted high powered rear lights and some of my reflective tape. The last thing I have mounted on the front is my GPS. This GPS will provide turn by turn directions for all 4,223 miles along the way.
This picture shows all of the extra clothes that I will be carrying. On top of the shoes, helmet, shorts, and shirt that will be on my body, I am carrying two extra pairs of shorts, a high visibility rain jacket, a high visibility wind jacket, a high visibility jersey, reflective safety vest (for riding at dawn and dusk), full-fingered gloves, a thermal jersey, under armor cold gear, thermal socks, shorts & t-shirt, and a balaclava.
All my clothes fit in the large bag on the back of the bike in this picture. I am able to clip on my solar rechargeable battery pack and my other GPS that will be used to update my location on the race website.
This picture highlights my electronics and mechanical essentials. On the left side, I have my charging cables, dog spray, rechargeable backup battery, and usb ports on a three way converter in case only one outlet is available. On the right side, I have paper maps of the entire route (in case all electronics die), tools, bike lubricant, chamois cream, extra tubes, and a small bike lock to keep honest people honest. I will also be carrying two other water bottles, and the one is a filter bottle that allows me to drink water from any creek or other waterway.
All of these items fit on the main triangle of the bicycle. I tried to keep the majority of my heavy items in this area to keep the weight of the bicycle as low to the ground as possible.
Next up is my tent. I am borrowing a two person tent that provides plenty of space for myself along with my bicycle and all of my gear. While the size of the tent is large, it fits conveniently in the bags on the bottom left of the picture.
The tent and tent poles fit on the front end of the bike. The tent and rain fly itself fit in between the handlebars while the poles fit underneath the handlebars, ensuring that they do not interfere with my hands on the bars.
In my backpack, I will be carrying some lighter items. I will be using an inflatable sleeping mat (not inflated in the picture) and two sleeping bags depending on how cold the nights get in the Rockies. These three items fit in the gray, blue, and yellow bags. I will place my hand pump in the bag with all of the sleeping gear. Also in my backpack, I can carry up to three liters of water in the blue bag with the small hose. I do not ride well when I am dehydrated, so I made sure to include as much space for water as possible. Other than these items, I still have space for food. I will be carrying the majority of my food and snacks in this bag. I will be stopping at convenience stores and grocery stores as needed to refill my food supply.
And so THIS, is the full setup. Everything I should need to complete this journey is included in this picture!
Unfortunately, I can’t take it all on the plane with me. I packed up the bicycle and the majority of my gear in this box. It has been shipped out before I leave to make sure there is enough time for it to be put back together prior to my arrival in Oregon!