06/13/2021 – The Countdown is On

The countdown is on as Ed Craft and I prepare to begin our 75 day cycling tour of the ACA Northern Tier bike route. If this is the first you have read about this ride, click Here to catch up on happenings in general, plus the map, plan, parters in crime, etc. Ed Craft, my riding partner, flew into Bellingham, Washington this morning,, and I arrive at 8:44 PM tomorrow night.. He will already have his gear squared away, and hopefully mine will be packed in a squared away fashion, because by the time I arrive there, I’ll be out of time to do anything but reassemble my bike and catch some sleep.. I’ll have a van take me to the local Days Inn for one last night in a comfortable bed before embarking on our trip the following morning.

In the middle of my training for this ride, I threw a monkey wrench into the works by having a home built. I moved into the new house in Gilbert, Arizona a little over a month ago and immediately put my house in Ahwatukee on the market. During the final stretch of my training, I have also been contending with realtors, home inspectors, electricians, plumbers, pool repair guys, painters, more plumbers, more electricians, and worst of all–increasingly hot temperatures. On the positive side, I have awesome new neighbors, Mat and Lucy Willett, who have offered to watch my house and check my mail while I am gone. With them on the scene, I have zero anxiety over leaving town for 75 days, which as you know has been problem in the past. The Flood of 2017 and its Aftermath threatened to shut down the Southern Tier ride for me, but I trusted my insurance company and just kept riding. Bottom line: After training for an entire year, quitting was not an option.

Best Neighbors Ever! That’s Mat, Grayson and Lucy.

We would have started this trip in May, to avoid the heat and humidity in the Midwest, but my Granddaughter Ella was being baptised and confirmed into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, yesterday, and I could not miss that for ANY reason. The ceremony was awesome, and we are all so proud of her! Following the baptism and a little get together at my daughter’s house, life returned to my current normal of scurrying around to wrap up final details.

One very important detail has been getting my bike in tip top mechanical shape. A new neighbor at my old house, Jonathan Simonetti, is a bike mechanic extraordinaire who drives around town in a fancy Sprinter Van. He went over every square inch of my bike, repacking bearings, replacing the chain, bar tape, cassette, chain rings, shifting cables and tires. Friday, he did one final adjustment on the shifting and braking cables and gave me a refresher on how to adjust them myself, something I’ve never been good at. And now I’m on my own with maintaining the bike, again. Wish me luck!

The Gear

Yesterday, I was finally able to get my gear laid down, and here it is. I know this looks like a lot of stuff to haul around on a bike for 75 days, but it packs down nicely into my panniers and handlebar bag. The bags on each side of the bike are balanced weight wise, so the bike will manuever not just safely, but optimally. Total weight: 54 lbs. Ouch!


  • Salsa Marrakesh
  • Fizik Bar Tape
  • Grab On Maxi Foam Touring Grips
  • Water Bottle Cages (4)
  • Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Tubeless Tires
  • EO Gear Top Tube Bag
  • Cable Lock
  • Safety Triangle

On Bike Clothes:

  • Performance Ultra Cycling Shorts (4)
  • Pearl Izumi Sun Legs
  • Bontrager Sun Legs
  • Bandanas (4)
  • Swiftwick Vision 8 Socks (4)
  • Terry Soleil Jerseys (4)
  • Descente Thermal Leggings
  • Patagonia Torrentshell Rain Jacket
  • Columbia Rain Pants
  • SealSkinZ Rain Oversocks
  • Craft Active Exteme X Long Sleeve
  • Craft Ventain X Wind Cap
  • Patagonia R1 Hoodie
  • Shocktek Cycling Gloves
  • Pearl Izumi Waterproof Over Gloves
  • Pearl Izumi Thermal Toe Covers
  • Lake Cycling Shoes
  • Giro Helmet
  • DaBrim Helmet Visor
  • ESS Ice Sun Glasses
  • ESS Ice Hi-Def Yellow Lense Glasses

Off Bike Clothes:

  • Swimsuit
  • Hiking Skirt
  • Leggings
  • Underwear (4)
  • Jockey Sport Bra (2)
  • Swiftwick Aspire Zero Socks (3)
  • Long Sleeve T-Shirt
  • Short Sleeve Dress Shirt
  • Shower Shoes
  • Hoka One One Rincon Running Shoes
  • Reading Glasses


  • IPhone with Quadlock Mount
  • IPod Nano
  • Garmin 1030 Edge
  • Garmin Heart Rate Strap
  • Garmin Speed Sensor
  • Garmin Cadence Sensor
  • Garmin Varia Rearview Radar
  • Lezyne Power Drive 1100 XL Light
  • Cateye Rapid X Tail Light (2)
  • Anker Multi Charger
  • Anker Battery Pack (2)
  • Off Brand USB Chargeable Headlamp
  • MacBook Air 12″ w/ Charger


  • Camelbak Podium Water Bottles (4)
  • Platypus 2.5 Liter Hydration Bag (1)
  • Gatoraide Powder
  • SaltStick Fastchews Tablets
  • Various Other Supplements/Vitamins/Minerals
  • Hot Cocoa
  • Oatmeal Cereal Packets (8)
  • Dehydrated Meals (3)
  • Sweet & Salty Bars (4)
  • Life Savers (a bunch)


  • Hair Dryer
  • Tiny Hair Brush
  • Extra Hairbands
  • Oral B Electric Toothbrush & Charger
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental Pics
  • Neutrogena SPF 100 Sunscreen Spray
  • Neutrogena SPF 70 Sunscreen Stick
  • Shaver
  • Tiny Bar of Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Travel Sized Bottles of Shampoo, Conditioner, Face Soap, Lotion, Etc.
  • Q-Tips
  • Wet Ones
  • Lipstick
  • Laundry Soap Pods & some Quarters
  • Freshette (if you’re curious, ask Google)
  • Pee Bottle (don’t ask)


  • Spin Doctor 16 Multi Tool
  • Nylon Twine
  • Rubber Gloves & T-Shirt Squares for Chain Cleaning (a bunch)
  • Lillylube
  • Tire Boot
  • Spare Tubes (2)
  • Tire Levers (2)
  • Valve Stem Remover & Extra Valve Stems
  • Missing Links (2)
  • Loctite Thread Locker
  • Extra Silicone Bands
  • Velcro Zip Bands (6)
  • Electrical Tape
  • Duck Tape
  • Tiny Swiss Army Knife
  • Sewing Kit
  • Saddle Cover
  • Tent & ThermaRest Repair Kits
  • Various Sizes of Zip Ties

Touring/Camping Gear:

  • 1/2 of the Adventure Cycling Northern Tier & North Lakes Mapsets
  • Ortlieb Backroller Back Pannier (2)
  • Ortlieb Sport Roller Front Pannier (2)
  • Ortieb Handlebar Bag
  • Revelate Designs Feed Bag
  • Granite Gear Backpackers Wallet
  • Granite Gear 12 Liter ZippsaCk (3)
  • Sea to Summit 8 Liter Ultra-Sil Dry Sack (2)
  • Granite Gear Drysak 7 Liter (Tent)
  • Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 Tent with Footprint
  • Tyvek Landing Pad for Tent Vestibule
  • Cocoon Silk Mummy Bag Liner
  • Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Xlite Air Mattress
  • Therm-a-Rest NeoAir AirTap
  • Exped Air Pillow
  • ThermaRest Down Pillow Cover
  • Mountain Hardwear 35/50 Sleeping Bag
  • Clothesline
  • Tiny REI Camp Towel
  • Toaks Titanium Cup
  • Fozzils Pack Flat Bowl/Plate (2 sizes)
  • Sea to Summit Spork & Spoon
  • Tiny Silicone Spatula & Pot Holder
  • MSR Pocket Rocket Camp Stove
  • Tiny Bottle Dawn Dish Soap
  • Various Sizes/Strengths of Baggies for Food & Gear
  • Headnet
  • Mylar Emergency Blanket
  • Repel 100 Insect Repellant
  • First Aid Kit (Tums, Ibuprofin, Eye Drops, Bandaids, Triple Antibiotic Ointment, Etc.)
  • Passport & Original Covid Vaccine Card (look out Canada!)


I am leaving a resupply box behind with Lucy and Mat that they will mail to a destination TBD about halfway through the ride. It will look like this, but could include more or less items, depending on weather and other factors.

2 thoughts on “06/13/2021 – The Countdown is On

  1. I’m using your pack list as a guide, thank you.
    I now wishI would have joined you in Washington………


    1. There’s still time. You could save me from Ed’s politics that he keeps bringing up in spite of our rule. Join us in Whitefish and have Erwin take a bus to Manitowoc. You won’t need any of the cold weather gear and will only need the rain gear you wear in the summertime, if you join us in Manitowoc. I am just worried about freezing when we are in Glacier and riding Going to the Sun Road. I’ll be sending it all home after that and have an ultra lite rain jacket went out. Think about it. Could be fun!


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