In every epic adventure, there was the time of PRE-adventure. There is the planning; the choosing of routes; the training rides; and the counting down of days on the calendars. Then, the week before hand comes my truest struggle, the packing….
This adventure is the ride along the Oregon Coast. Starting in Astoria and riding all the way to California. It will be hilly, chilly at times, warm at others. We will likely see sun, clouds, fog and rain.
The quandary: What to bring….
Now this is my second time doing this. the first was back in 2008, when I did it unsupported. That meant if I couldn’t carry it, I wouldn’t have it. Then, as now, I was credit card trekking, staying in a hotel each night. Even without camping gear though I was loaded for bear.
Panniers on both sides, a trunk bag, and the trusty sandals riding Beverly hillbilly style on the outside of the bag. If it didn’t fit in one of the bags, it didn’t go. (I will say at the end of the ride I had to replace the trunk bag, the zipper had ripped. Maybe I stuffed it a bit TOO much)
This year is different. This time I am riding with a buddy. In addition, Michelle and her best friend will be driving a support vehicle along the way. This means Rob and I can run with just trunk bags
But, knowing I have room in the car, I am packing everything but the kitchen sink.
First concern of course is a flat tire. Last night I checked my spare CO2 cylinders and I was excited to see I had 7! Perfect! No worries!! Then I double checked to make sure they fit in the inflator and found they were too big! I am not sure how I did it, but after the big flat misadventure (see We take Care of Each Other) when I used all the ones I had, I replaced them with the wrong size! I am VERY lucky I did NOT get a flat while riding from Seattle to Vancouver BC last month, the cycling gods smiled on me!
So I went today to REI. First I returned the wrong ones (LOVE REI) then I went back to get the new ones. This time I had the inflator in my pocket. I got to selection and found…they did NOT have the correct size! DAMN! OK, since I am here though, I grabbed some spare tubes on sale.
No worries, just down the road is Performance Bikes! I go in and SHIT!! still wrong size… OOOO new fingerless gloves on sale! $7.50!! YAY! Got them!
OK off to Greggs Cycles further down the road! BOOM!! Quest complete! I am prepared for flats!
But that doesn’t show the real packing. Right now I have 3 jerseys, 2 padded shorts, and the convertible bike pants (legs zip off to make shorts) I have the full rain jacket, the insulated and non insulated wind breaker. Warm and cold socks, fingerless, insulated and waterproof gloves. PLUS a GoPro and still camera. I am sure there is more!
I know all this will ride in the vehicle, so it won’t weigh me down, but I am hoping in the next couple days I can weed out what is not necessary. (This doesn’t even count the NON cycling clothes for the after ride each day.
For some reason, I just have a feeling 2008 Tony would look at all this and just laugh (Holy crap! I still own the jersey in the first picture below and I was wearing the windbreaker in the second just today! I NEVER throw stuff away!)
But 2016 Tony looks back and realizes how lucky that new rider was. Nothing worse than a drizzle, no major mechanical issues and only one flat. Hell, he damn near fell of the sidewalk on the Coos Bay bridge into traffic because he was cocky.
Each night I will grab what I need for the next day. If it doesn’t fit in the trunk bag, it does not go. I know this time, though, whatever the coast throws at us hell even a tsunami, we will be ready. Knowing that I have what I need will let me relax, pedal, and just enjoy one of the prettiest places to cycle there is, the Oregon Coast
Stay tuned, I don’t know if I will post everyday, but I guarantee there will be more great pictures coming!