The race ends on Sunday, February 20th, but I am not coming back to Denver until the 24th. I don't have to work again until Friday and the Arizona Trail, (literally a hop, skip and a jump away) is calling. Its time for a test run, thus explaining the recent acceleration of gear planning and accumulation.
I am still working on the plan for the sections of trail I want to ride and the logistics of pick up/dropoff. Much of this has to do with my brother being able to stay the week. It's still a bit up in the air, but I am really hoping it works out. If not, I won't be able to see as much trail as I would like. More on this soon...
Upon taking inventory on what I have/need still, I was pretty happy to learn I am NOT going to have to buy the newest generation SPOT in order to activate Track Progress. In case you are not familiar with SPOT, here is a link to the one I got when they first came out a few years ago. Its heavier than the newest version and doesn't have all the features, but still fully functional and reliable, so I am going to forego the purchase of a new one (YES!!).
Ok, so here is the rundown of what I have:
2010 Gary Fisher Superfly 100
--The back tire (currently a 1.9) has got to go. I will most likely put the same one as I have on the front.
Epic Designs Frame Bag, used but modified to fit my frame.
GPS--just got the handlebar mount yesterday, never have had it on a bike before, just in a backpack :)
Sleeping Bag--I debated for a few weeks over which bag to buy, but went with this one, due to dimensions, weight and warmth. I teetered back and forth between this and a 40 degree bag, but came to the realization that I am a pansy. I am definitely willing to take on a few extra ounces for the added warmth. Even though I will be sleeping fully-clothed, I hate being cold. Hate it...haha!
First Aid Kit- this one is easy since I already have a super lightweight kit I made and take on hikes.
Water Filter- have had this for a couple of years and love it. Need to change the filter though.
Food--From many hiking trips and 14er trips, I have been able to figure out what works for me. I can't eat a huge burrito and then try to exert a huge physical effort. Powerbars, protein bars, custom trail mix, dried fruit (mmmmm, mango and raisins), jerkey, chocolate-covered espresso beans, fruit strips (high in potassium), sandwiches, pita pockets filled with almond butter and agave nectar...Basically high energy food is what I will carry and eat more often and on the bike. No doubt I will buy more in the towns I pass through.
I am not going to take my Pocket Rocket stove and lightweight cooking items to cook dehydrated food. It takes up too much space, the de-hy food pouches are bulky and it seems unneccessary when hot food is available in the next town if I really need it.
Backpack--This is a newer version of the same pack I have. Super light, good capacity and accomodates a hydration bladder.
Light--this is my current light. Recharging the battery is the big issue I need to look at and plan accordingly. Thinking about getting this one in addition: Princeton light. I have several Petzl hiking headlamps, but they aren't very bright.
Clothing Layers/Warmth: I feel very prepared in this area, but am looking at a few different layering changes..More on this later...
Here is what I need:
Bike tool/repair kit: HELP! This is by far my biggest weakness. I have many ideas of what to carry from looking at other's blogs, but my problem is that I am so inexperienced in, say, fixing a broken chain, changing brake pads or something along those lines, that I need to seriously get up to speed here. Flats I can handle, but for everything else, I admit I have pulled the "girl card" for too long. And I suck at fixing things..heh...that needs to change. Here is a rough brainstorm of things I need:
-Brake pad set
-Small hand pump
COMMENTS/SUGGESTIONS for additions??
Shoes: My current shoes won't work for hike-a-bike sections. I am looking pretty seriously at the Pearl Izumi X-Alp line and doubting (in my case) the PRO version is really worth dropping two bills on. The Enduros are fitting my budget much better...anyone have any experience with either or other suggestions?
Seat Post Bag/Gas tank pack: Seat post bag under construction currently. Need to pick up a gas tank bag, but am really wondering if I need one since everything I would put in it normally goes in the waist strap pockets on my backpack..Still thinking, but will probably go with one.
Bivy: Going with this one
So this is where I am for AZ...I am anxious to see the desert (well, kind of, anything new is exciting), but more to get out on the trail for some overnights and feel this whole thing out. What I have here will certainly be refined and changed. I urge any comments or things you may have tried that work. Thanks for reading this! I see how it can be a bit of a dry read, so here are some of my favorite pictures taken from the summit of Mt. Sneffels...No doubt I will be missing this after a week of CHOLLA...ha!