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Preparing for the 1000k

by on June 30, 2014

Physically preparing for the 1,000k (622 miles) ride next week is probably easier than preparing all the other parts of the ride.  It is contained in this one simple formula: Ride a lot of miles.

Something I read the other day made the most sense in the world.  Physical conditioning is necessary, cardiovascular conditioning isn’t as important.  I’ve said it a different way.  “You got to have a lot of miles in your legs.”  I’ve got that one covered.  I’m physically ready (except for the painful left knee and a visit to the Chiropractor this week).

This ride is unsupported.  What that means is that no one is going to deliver a backpack of previously prepared items to our hotel as can happen on many other rides of this distance.  Those bags would normally include battery chargers, clean clothing, food supplies, and room to discard the dirty stuff.  Logistically, since this ride crosses international boundaries, it is not possible to get so many bags through the border checkpoints.  So, we are left to carry and purchase what we need along the way.  If I get searched at the border, I pity the border agent as we re-enter the United States.  There are going to be bags of very smelly clothing.

There are two major guiding principles to determining what we bring along.

Is it worth carrying the weight and volume for 622 miles?

Is it something I can’t easily purchase if/when I need it?

I’m pretty efficient in my packing, but compared to some riders, I still pack like a teenage girl or a boy scout who has recently learned to “be prepared”.

My list includes things I definitely need, like:

Passport

Spare tube

Bike tools

Lights

Sunscreen

The more interesting list includes things one might not expect to need, but come in really handy under the right circumstances:

Pin (to dig out debris from a tire)

Shower cap (over the helmet in a rainstorm)

Duct Tape (if it moves and it shouldn’t)

Toilet paper (who wants to get caught without some in an emergency?)

Flip flops (we have to walk across some bridges)

Compression socks (evidently I can expect my feet to swell)

Of course, the trick is to carry only what I need, and what I can anticipate that might end the ride if I don’t have it.  There will be spare spokes.  I’ll carry enough food to cover me during times when stores are closed or far apart.  I’ll carry something to help keep me cool in the heat of the day and warm if it gets cold.  There will be safety gear, including plenty of reflective material.  The longest distance between resources where I might be able to purchase something as a solution to a problem is 100 miles.

And it is my hope that I won’t use all that I bring (especially the repair kit items), but also that I brought nothing that is unnecessary.

Now, I hope it all fits on the bike.

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From → Randonneuring

2 Comments
  1. Home Email permalink

    I volunteer to drop you and ur buddies a bag or 2. Or does that defeat the purpose? Call me an enabler… I’m secure with that…lol

    • ponderingpastor permalink

      What a nice offer, but we decline. It is a 9 hour, one-way trip by car to our first overnight. Even our spouses have said that if we get stuck in Canada, we have to find our own way back!

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