So it’s day 17 on the GDMBR. I wanted to be done by now, things in life don’t always work out. But hey, I’m still in it and that’s what matters. So today I’m taking some down time in Salida (suh-ly-duh) Colorado. It’s nice, only at 7500 feet as opposed to the previous craphole of the South Park high desert/valley which sits at a mere 9700 feet. It’s easy to see why the south park creators chose that as it’s namesake. It sucks out there, apparently the average temp last december was minus 13. Can you say, BARF? Anyway, I’ve got some infection going on in my legs where there was an allergic reaction to sunscreen so I drew the line right after getting out of bed this morning and said “REST DAY!!!!” So I’ve been eating, slowly prepping for the 940 miles I have left to pedal. The main thing I did today was do a total rework of the bike at a carwash here in town.
So I stripped down Conqueror Divide (yes I gave my steed a name, I find it fitting). I delicately pressure washed it and it looks almost like new. It’s handling the whole ordeal pretty well, probably better than my body is. It would have been nice if I could have built a new body up for the race too but that’s life, huh?
So next came the bulk of the work, analyzation and classification of all the gear. I figured if I was going to take a day off, I best get my ducks in a row so at least the next few days are brainless pedaling (something that is a lofty goal out on the divide to say the least). But it is possible, I’ve found with the mini-reboots I’ve done throughout the trip that they have helped immensely and I do feel that this day off is going to give me a much needed shot in the arm. So anyway, on to the fun stuff.
Here’s the full spread everything pulled out of the packs and put into its respective pile. Helmet/sunglasses pile, backpack pile, misc pile, tool pile, med pile, camp pile, pack pile.
Pile 2 (the backpack load): Canned pears, 2 water bladders, jolly ranchers, koala crisp, oriental trail mix, strawberry trident (with xylitol), clif builder bars, luna bars, and the SPOT tracker (that’s what keeps leeting you guys know where I’m at. Honestly I can’t believe all that crap fits in my backpack, but it does and that’s all that matters!
Pile 3 (the misc pile) Maps, bear mace, camera, seldom used mp3 player (I’m just scared some redneck is gonna knock me out with their fourwheeler or RV.) batteries, a note from my mother to keep me from getting lonely, my GPS (courtesy of OGC) and then some USB cables for the GPS and camera plus the garmin install disc for the GPS. Yes what a pain, I have to install garmin’s propietary program to update my GPS out in the middle of nowhere because it only holds 1,000 waypoints and the route is 2.079 so I have to update just barely twice, a real PIA.
Pile 4 (tools and parts): So we’ve got a bag full of cables and housing, a bag full on little misc parts, multi-tool, leatherman, 3 bottles of chain lube, 3 patch kits, duct tape (hey where’d my electrical tape go?) spoke wrench, spare spokes, pump, kevlar emergency spokes, a tube, paperclips and rubber bands, hose clamps, zip ties, and a crappy can opener that barely works (but barely is all you need on the divide!)
Pile 5 (clothing): My OGC Shine t-shirt, 2 handkerchiefs, 2 pairs of socks (warm and cool), arm warmers, leg warmers, a pair of long finger gloves, cut off gloves, cycling cap, and skull cap. All of this has come in pretty handy so far, defintely glad it’s all there!
Pile 6 (meds and emergency): A shot of rum, lighters, matches, emergency blanket, sting/poison extractor, aloe gel, some skin cream, lemongrass mosquito repellant, chamois butt’r, pure aloe, water purification drops, aspirin, ibuprofen, acetimethophen, naproxen, vivarin, a wet wipe, soap, magnesium fire starter, lip balm, emergen-c, and the first aid kit
Pile 7 (camping and layers): Mountain Hardware Ultralamine 32 degree 2 lb mummy sleeping bag, Big Agnes 78 inch x 2.5 inch insulated sleeping pad, a synthtetic jacket, rain paints and jacket (barely used, 6 years of living in portland has taught me that it really has to open up before I even think about using rain gear, seriously I think I’ve worn it for about an hour in the tetons and that was it!
Pile 8 (the packs): frame bag, seat bag with two spare slimed tubes, trunk bag, gas tank, backpack, and bungees (life on the divide is hopeless without bungees)
And here it is, proof that all that crap does indeed fit in the packs and on the bike. Conqueror Divide is ready for another showdown!