Hi I’m Tony and I am an Over-Packer

Here it is, the day before we head south for 8 hours to Crater Lake for the big ride of the year (100 miles to the park and around the lake and back).  I made my run over to REI and picked up the requisite Shot Blocks (Black Cherry of course, WITH caffeine!) I’ve also made the run to the bagel shop to be able and make my breakfast sandwiches the morning of the ride.

I’ve also started the list of items to grab for the bike.  Therein lies the problem.  I HATE leaving stuff behind.  You never know what you might need!  Should I throw in the roll of duct tape?  How many CO2 cylinders should I bring?  Is one spare tube enough?  The small pump?  Tools?  OK it’s a supported ride, but should I bring the camel back?  Extra food “in case”?  Gotta have the swiss army knife!  Camera and batteries….

Then there is clothing.  It is likely to be in the high 40’s at the start.  Windbreaker enough?  Or do I need the mtn Hardwear coat with a bit more insulation.  Shoe covers?  I’m going to bike in shorts only, the legs will just have to suck it up, but what about gloves with fingers in addition to the fingerless gloves.  Should I bring the helmet cover?   

Wait, this is in the mountains, At the breaks there are going to be Mosquitos? Bug spray!  Oh yeah, sun block!  Lip stuff, Chamois cream?  The list goes on and on.

My mistake, was buying this:


It allows me to carry everything I could ever want or need.  In many rides, I get people asking me “What the hell are you carrying in that bag?”  As they blaze by with a small seat bag and stuff tucked into their jersey pockets.

The problem is, each time I leave something behind, I want it.  I cut back on CO2 on my one day Seattle to Portland ride and almost ran short!  I had one left.  The Swiss Army knife


has helped remove many things from the tires.  Duct tape?  Well you ALWAYS need duct tape.  What if I have one too few of….  And then I throw more stuff in the bag!

Then there’s food and water.  I carry 2 waterbottles on the frame, but on rides like this I have been known to carry the camelback as well.  Looking at the map:


They have SAG stops no farther than 20 miles apart.  With an extra water only stop thrown in for good measure.  That should be fine, even if it is hot…  But what if I run low… 

It was much easier to weed stuff out back in the hiking days!  First, everything I brought was on my back.  On a bike, it does the carrying, so it is easier to “forget” you have “too much”.  Any food or drink I needed back then I had to carry, and if I ran out I was out of luck.  On these rides, they supply food and water, which means I can carry more stuff!  And finally, when hiking, there was less to break.   If I broke a leg I was going to have to be carried out.  On a bike, MANY things can go wrong… All requiring stuff ti fix it!

So as I write this, I am planning NOT to bring the yellow bag on the ride.  I have a butt pack that I have used that will carry the few extra items I DO need.  I am also planning to leave the camel back at home…  We’ll see what ends up in the rental car though…

Not sure if I will blog from Crater Lake, so if not, wish me luck! I will share the ride after its done and I drive 8 hours home!

4 thoughts on “Hi I’m Tony and I am an Over-Packer

  1. Good for you for leaving the yellow bag behind and for taking the butt pack instead 😉 No worries, I’m the same way. Whenever we go on any sort of trip, I pack this tote bag absolutely full of things, including my huge camera, water bottles, and whatever else I can think to put in there. It hurts my arm after like ten minutes 😉

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