8/21/18 – Final Preparations & Portland

If you just received this post out of thin air, back up and read the link above about my upcoming Pacific Coast solo ride from Vancouver, B.C. to Mexico.  It explains how I got to this point, after last year’s transcontinental tour.

Roll the clock forward.  I have been sorting through gear and clothes for a few weeks.  Last week, I packed my panniers and handlebar bag with my final gear choices and went on three rides–fully loaded.  Whoa!  That was a killer in the Arizona heat!  On the first ride, I had to use my granny gear just to get up 4-5% grades, but on my third ride, I was able to do the .4 mile 10-11% hill at the end of Chandler Boulevard without falling over or coming to a complete stop—a sure sign that I am ready for the tour.

Sunday night, I was up all night getting ready for my flight to Portland, Oregon the following morning.  I loaded my handlebar bag and panniers into a large box.  After  disassembling my bike, I wedged the frame and all the parts into a bike case.  Hopping on a plane Monday morning, I was in Portland that afternoon.

Tuesday, I reassembled my bike, hunted down some ultra lite fenders (surely there will be rain on this tour), and had a Performance Bike mechanic check the adjustments on the derailleurs and dropouts.  With just a few more preparations, I will be completely ready for the tour.

I am not including a complete gear list as I will basically be using the same setup I had on the transcontinental tour, last year, with a few improvements.

  • Replaced the Costco down quilt with a real sleeping bag
  • Added a Spot Tracker Gen3 GPS tracker to enable daily satellite communications with friends and family who worry about me
  • Added Tubus front racks and Ortlieb front panniers
  • Added a front and rear fender
  • Added a seatback water bottle holder to replace the bottle capacity lost when the front racks and panniers are installed.
  • Got rid of the orange lunch box that was formerly my racktop bag.
  • Added a cooking setup that includes a butane stove, a titanium pot,
  • Added to my electronics a larger capacity multi-charger and a higher capacity Anker charging blocker, as well as a Garmin Varia Rear Radar unit, a Spot Gen3 Genand an electric toothbrush
  • Added a dress, dress sandals and tennis shoes to my clothing
  • Added a Kindle HD Fire and compact keyboard for blogging

Tomorrow morning, we will be loading my bike and gear into the back of my friend Dale Garcia’s pickup truck and heading for Vancouver.  He will ship my bike case back to Phoenix for me along with the gear I weeded out here in Oregon and the tools that were needed to assemble the bike.  I won’t be needing that box in San Diego, as I’ll be renting a car to drive my bike home to Arizona.  We are hoping to have some time in Vancouver to  take the Hop-on-Hop-off tour of the city.  It will be my last day of goofing off before the pedal hits the metal on this ride.

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