9/3/09

thinkin', tinkerin'

finally, that last tour is mostly soaked up by the weary bones. the blowed up achilles thing wasn't tooo bad. gimped around on it for a few, then finally turned some road bike pedals on Saturday. Mild tenderness, but felt better in the evening, improved in the morning and was fine for mixing it up in the cupcake batter on Sunday. Good to ride w/ ya Buddy! Too bad for Elk, having to ride Thorpe instead...

So, w/ the big party approaching, I actually rode the road bike some more this week, can you spell s-l-u-g-g-i-s-h-? Yeah, funny to see my name in print for the S&M100 race brief. If Chris only knew...or maybe he does know. Maybe the 13-18-13.5hr tour set me up for something big? Maybe a light spin tonight after the bike tune and chainring work w/ show me something other than blah...or maybe I really am done for the year w/ regards to clock challenging efforts.

And with an eye to the future, and big(ger) routes on my mind (mwuhuhuhaaahhh, who needs to go out West?) I started refining the tour gear in my mind, kicking around some thoughts..first, shelter. To date I've been very lucky and have not had to withstand anything other than an infrequent windblown pitterpat while in the bivy sack. I have somehow managed to avoid being stuck in camp when the weather blows in. On the last TuscTour, boogying home directly meant I was sitting in the Pub instead of on some rock in Michaux when that gnarly gully washer blew in at about the time I'd be making camp. And during the recent HiT, that Monday night shower I rolled thru on the SMT woulda been fucking miserable to be stuck in if bedded down...so, today I ordered one of these:

With the pole and stakes, 17ish oz, tyvek ground sheet is 4-5oz, actual shelter at <1.5lb. So, gain a few oz's, decide to try and trim some elsewhere, look at the cook kit. That fuel canister, clunky, wasteful. Chad showed me his alcohol kit at the 101, pretty neat, compact, light, simple. I went hi brow and ordered this unit, custom tuned to my current Ti kettle.

Added in the Ti Esbit stand, what the hell, may as well tinker with that too. Curious how it'll pack into the soft bags though. So, eliminate the weight of the raw fuel canister, 3-4oz, lighten the stove unit itself, an ounce or so, fuel remains the same, guessin' it'll probably be a wash in the overall vs the gain from the enhanced shelter. Which is good, especially when I've got one of these bouncing around my head as an option.

That'll add 3ish lbs over my current WI hub/FW setup, but I'll be losing the weight of the rear rack, hmmm. The internal will allow me to keep that tight, quiet, direct, reliable chainline of the single, but will mean much less hiking of the loaded sled on those bits that go just that extra pitch. That pitch which is rollable on the tarmac, but mix in the trail clutter and a 13ish lb load and you just can't quite keep that gear turning. Might help prevent gimping myself on day three...add on a six bolt adapter to the centerlock disc, throw a 19t cog in the pack and there's your way home if the internals can't handle it. Going w/ a rear der setup adds about a pound-pound and a halfish and that nagging feeling that you're this close to ripping that fucker off when it gets rocky gnar tight or 'shwacky. And the noise, the chainslap and clackity clunkss, bleh. The bike is already loaded, so not too concerned about it affecting the balance of the ride. Sounds like I just need to pull the trigger...

Wonder if this'll all come together in time for a fall tour?
Bag delivery vs open wknds is the equation....

3 comments:

dicky said...

My friend has that tarp thing...

bad ass.

Vanderpowski said...

Talked to a bit of an old-timer the other day. He had some interesting bits about dirt/gravel routes in the vicinity of your HiT and beyond. See ya at SM.

The Evil MGE! said...

Been riding the internal geared Alfine since Early May up here in the high Country of Colorado. Set up 32x22 at the moment which gives me a gear ratio range of 68-22 gear inches. Thinking of going to a 23 or 24 tooth cog for those pitches of over 18% when I'm sucking wind at 12,000 ft. Its been good to me so far.