Note: This post turned out to be me thinking out loud, kind of willy nilly. Some people might find some of it useful or interesting, but I would guess not many. I started this post mostly cause I wanted an excuse to post a picture of the police sniper bike above. Mission Accomplished. Read on at your own peril.
What to bring. Hmmm. 7000 miles, 10 days in hotel, 90 days camping, Touring S. Africa and Zambia afterwards. Maybe going on to ride from Paris to Bejing after that. A few criteria come to mind:
1) Utility - everything needs to have more than one use
2) Cost - almost anything I bring could be ruined or broken
3) Durability - I'd rather it didn't get ruined or break
Here's the list:
Poprad with 32 hole open pros and ultegra hubs. Nitto seatpost, thompson stem, alum bar and Ultegra group. Some really cool Specialized touring tires - 38 mm with a ton of tread. Negetive tread design and inflatable to 85 psi. They are folding but weigh a ton. My goal is zero flat tires on the trip and these babies are my secret weapon. I'm gonna bring an extra set of tires, jsut dome 32mm michelin mud2's, they pack pretty small and it might be nice to have a more fun set up every once in a while.
The real big bike question for me is pedals. If I bring clipless pedals I have to bring special shoes. Plus that's two things that can't be replaced if they break. But is riding 80 miles a day on flat pedals, especially with loaded panniers, a good idea? I don't know, I've never tried it.
Spare parts: I'm counting on most people to bring way to many spare parts and be able to buy them before they fly home.
2 tubes, 1 patch kits - TdA recommends 5 patch kits and 5 spare tubes - WTF?
Spare Tires - two 32 mm CX tires
1 brake and 1 gear cable.
brake pads - 3 pair
tool kit and pump
I'm thinking about bringing a rear thumbshifter or bar end shifter. Just in case the STI goes wonky on me.
bike lock, it's actually a snowboard lock
Extra saddle. Learned my lesson at Fools Gold.
extra bar tape
extra cycle computer - I guess these get stolen by kids a lot. makes sense.
bell - omage to cliffy,
Clothes - yep I'm bringing clothes. I'm pretty sure they sell clothes in Africa so I'm not that worried about it. Some cold weather clothes and some hot weather clothes. 2 or 3 sets. Of course clothes do present a real opportunity to show people you don't know too well how cool you are. I think I can accomplish this with my "Evolution Kills" and "I feel Pretty" tshirts. There appropirately sacastic and obscure. They really shout "I'm smarter than you but at least I have a sense of humor about it". I am definitely bringing my Joes Tshirt and of course my Atomic Jersey. Again the big issue is shoes. Also whether or not to bring lycra bike shorts or just wear regular shorts, it's that whole utility thing. Plus I look funny enough just being a white guy riding his bike thru africa, do I really need a superhero outfit to add to the spectacle? The upside is they don't take up much room and my regular shorts don't smell like ass at the end of the day. I guess I'll bring a couple pair
I am also debating whether or not to wear a helmet. Riding on dirt roads with no real extreme "hey y'all watch this" opportunities I'm not sure it's needed. I'm sure it's required as a matter of policy but... I just hate to lug it over there and not use it. I never used one in the peace corps and they threatened to thow you out if you got caught without it.
Tent, sleeping bag, bag liner, foam pad, Head lamp, bowl, spoon, cup, tent stake hammer, 8 ft of rope, groudn cloth - all the usual stuff. Thought about tarping it to save space and wt. but then I thought - mozzies and snakes and scorpians... oh my.
ipod with Swahili, Spanish and French audio lessons that I will probably never listen to, and some music and podcasts, I wish I hadn't sold my freakin shortwave on ebay last year.
Camera and extra storage cards.
two books - Africa, Biography of a Continent and Shock Doctrine by Naomie Cline.
medical stuff: immodium, contacts, advil, chamois creme, sunscreen, salt pills, larium (maybe),
misc toiletries of course.
I bagged the idea of carrying Binos and a bird book, I'm just gonna make up a bunch of cool birds to tell Cliff I saw. Cliff if you want I can just give you the list in advance and save some time. I am gonna carry a 8x21 monocular that I've had laying around for a while.
What to carry it all in?
Airlines want to charge you for everything bigger than a fanny pack and any luggage I bring has to be carried with me on the trip. So I'm thinking about filling my panniers and then putting them in a cheap cloth bag I can give away or pack. Bike goes in a cardboard box. I'm not sure if I can fit a bike with front and rear racks in a biek box but I will soon find out. I have front and rear panniers but I'm thinking about only using teh front, maybe I should just get off my butt and load the panniers to see how much room there is.... yep.