Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Here are photos of the gear I'm bringing.

It seems like lots of stuff. 

Given that these items represent my shelter, clothing, kitchen, toolshop, and entertainment for the next two months or so , maybe it's not outrageous from that perspective - but seems like a lot.  The surfing gear is quite extravagant - on the left, from the top: surfmat (http://www.surfmats.com), fins, wetsuit. 

I spent hours deliberating on how to bring a surfboard (started to custom order a 3'11" board which would be right at the lower limit of what I felt I could ride, but it was too rushed) as I didn't want to haul a trailer.  Fortunately I asked about it at work and a colleague came up with the brilliant idea of an inflatable surfmat.  I've tested the surfmat out three times and it's really fun - you lie on it kind of like a bodyboard but it feels a bit different since it's flexible.  So, stoked I'll be able to surf on the trip on the mat or bodysurf... might also use friends' surfboards along the way as well.

The other items - clothing is top center, the orange is the panniers, right green is my bivvy sac (with sleeping bag + pad inside), middle are the stove, cookware + 'ukulele, bottom are bike tools (grey bag is a tarp in case it's raining really hard).  I've usually used a tarp when camping, but decided to try the bivvy sac as this way I am not reliant on finding a spot between trees.

 Amazingly all the gear fits in my bags! Here is my bike essentially fully loaded.

Detail of the jelly roll in the middle on the rear rack consisting of: sleeping pad filling surrounded by a 2mm wetsuit (it's thin, I know - trying to save weight) and a surf mat, topped with a pair of bodyboarding/bodysurfing fins.

Food will go in the frame bag... I'd like a bit more room for food, but that surf gear is taking up lots of space.  This reminds me of one time when I traveled to London and saw my rollerskating buds out there but I didn't bring my skates... one of the guys was horrified and stated that he'd rather not bring clothes.  I guess shortchanging food for surfing gear is similar but maybe less smart. :)

Geeky gear photo for fellow bicycle tourers.  Figuring out a handlebar bag and lights is tricky as they occupy the same space on the handlebars and the bags generally also block the lights.  I initially wanted to use a basket, but finally decided a handlebar bag is a bit more organized.  I read a number of different online posts on elaborate ways to deals with handlebar bags and lights such as installing a second handlebar stem or adding a special light holder on the fork.  To accommodate both, I tilted the handlebar bag down - this seems to work so I'm quite glad to avoid the complicated solutions.

Here's the stuff when packed.  It is heavier than I hoped (I used a scale that had questionable accuracy, but came out to about 30 lb on that sketchy scale).  I was hoping to be more in the 20 lb range.  The fins are a bit heavy... I also am bringing a fairly thick jacket - it's summer but sometimes it gets cold at night on the coast and I think I'd rather be a bit tired from pedaling than cold. :)

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