Friday, May 25, 2012

Jarral's Long Awaited Tour Divide Gear List!

As all of you regular readers of this fine bit of literary brilliance must have been wondering is what is this punk going to carry on this reeeeaaaaalllllly long race? As you are an avid reader you will remember my epic post regarding my epic gear list of the epic Colorado Trail Race here.

There is always much controversy as weather to take a water filter or tablets or even a steripen ultraviolet purifier. Or maybe spare spokes. So after much thought I'll take only what I need to survive--but what do you need to survive? Here is a link by what I mean

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1CYg0vIygE&feature=player_embedded

I couldn't get that to embed so here is a bonus video that has nothing to do with anything.



Now this race is waaaaay longer than the Colorado Trail Race. So as you might image I will take waaaay more stuff. My first plan was to hook up the trailer and make it an SUV type bike. But I just couldn't get it to hook up so I decided to ditch the trailer and just do what everyone else was doing.
I've been making a point of bugging Jefe Branam (and then bugging him some more) on beta. He is a bit of a "legend" in the bike packing community and did the race last year on a singley speed in 2nd place. He works at two of my favorite places -the Firebrand Delicatessen and Rock and Roll Bike shop here in Gunnison. I'm like, "So Jefe do you think this tire would make it?" "How'd you avoid getting eaten by bears?" "So Jefe could you stop a) making that sandwich or b)fixing that bike and tell me where you got water?" He is amazingly patient and good humored but finally just told me to never show my face around either place ever again and if I did... well I shouldn't repeat. (COMPLETELY JOKING!!! I still go in the shops--just not when Jefe is around.....)

Then I ran into Ethan Passant at the local mt bike races, also a bikepacking fiend and 3rd in TD last year. He is the opposite of Jefe. Complete wound up with energy. And finally I did a mini tour with Josh Shifferly who after some leg problems had to bail in Gunnison but is going to try again this year.

So I got tons of advice. When doing a race like this though everyone sees different priorities and will pack different things. You have to just go what feels right after lots of riding. So here's the list.

Clothes:
Option A (Ethan and Josh style). Light down jacket, Wind and rain jackets, short sleeve jersey, arm and leg warmers, two pairs of shorts (rinse out one every day), rain pants. 
Option B (Jefe style-he doesn't stop riding or sleep much). Wind and rain jackets, long sleeve jersey, short sleeve jersey, arm and leg warmers, one pair of shorts. No warm jacket as the only reason to stop is to sleep and you are in your bag. Also no need to wash you or your shorts.

As I looked at the Banff web cam and saw this picture this morning (1.5 wks before start) I was thinking the down jacket may be a good idea.... But then again as long as you don't stop you won't get too cold maybe...

So I'll also take my warm gloves, booties, my secret weapon shower cap from my wife's trip to Spain for helmet cover, warm socks, and hat/balaclava. 
Bike gear:
Consensus here:
Relevate seat bag, frame bag, bag on handle bars and top tube.
Aero bars, Jefe yes, Ethan would if he did it again, Josh bar ends.
tires something good.
Trek superfly w/29er rigid fork.
2 Lights. The guys all have Fenix LD20 lights.
Spot II tracker
Etrex 20 GPS (Jefe used one and other two wished they had one. Cyclocomputer.
I was surprised how many spare parts the three took. I'm just taking a mini tool with chain tool, patchkit, 2 tubes, Bontrager 29-2 tubeless tires, zip ties, lighter, extra cord, some tape, Dumonde Tech chain lube, small piece of rag and pump. No chain parts-you can just shorten your chain a touch and not cross shift. No spokes. I'll rig up something with the cord if need be. Maybe a tire lever--but I can get off mt tires...

Sleeping gear:
Siltarp tarp, very light somewhat waterproof bivy, western mountaineering sleeping bag (32F, 1lb 3oz with stuff/long), Neoair thermarest. Here is a picture of the tarp--bike or tree or? to hold it up. Other ways to put it up also....


Well that is about all you need really to survive well except insulin, syringes, glucose meter, and test strips. And can't let them get too hot or cold....

Other meds. Ethan swears by Alleve. Iburprofen seems well liked. DZ nuts chamois cream. Vit C. Lip balm. Sun Screen. Caffeine tablets?

Food:
After nearly runnng out on the Colorado Trail I plan to pack 10x more than I think I can eat in towns. And have a stash of 1000 cal on hand. I can't eat power bars or the like for that long so gotta get some more interesting food.

Water:
I will have 3L bladder in my frame bag partially full in the wet areas and fill up another bladder and put bottles in my pockets for the dry areas. So that is 5 L plus water in my jersey pockets.

Water purification? I have a steripen but thought I'd go with the approach of the hero in "The Princess Bride"
I have been slowly drinking water from questionable sources such as first the river and then beaver ponds. Slowly I will build up a tolerance to giardia and what not... Brilliant? or Inconceivable? 
OK I'll take some water tables and vit C to neutralize it if I need water from a ditch.

I have a pretty good first aid kit. Enough to cover some road rash for a while and stop some bleeding.....

Here were the guys consensus on how much to carry:
Jefe: he could carry 7 L. But forgot to get water in the driest area at the beaverhead station in NM and almost died. And then with 50 miles to go his water bottle holder falls off and breaks a couple of spokes.
Josh 3 water bottles....
Ethan, Camel back for dry parts and bladder in frame bag I think.

Other essentials?
On the CTR I decided that the Lord of the Rings trilogy (hardcover) was sufficient for such a grand race. For this much longer race I think the Harry Potter series may be in order. Again Hardcover to avoid crumpling the pages. .
A huge pillow again to rest my huge head as I cry myself to sleep.


And finally a little secret weapon from Ethan. Shower wipes. Like baby wipes but big enough to wipe all of you down..........

I am also filming a bit of footage of me for people with type 1 diabetes. So I will also have my GoPro and extra batteries. And finally a cellular phone that my family kind of insisted I take. It won't be on to save juice but I can call in.

Well I hope I've not given away too many secrets! My whole kit doesn't weigh much. Around 10 lbs maybe before food and water anyway and some of the odds and ends probably.