Riding the Hooligan to NAHBS

WPBlog001 14

The Cannodale Hooligan continues to prove itself as a very versatile bike.  The afternoon before flying to Denver, I raced around town on the little-wheeled bike in search of a suitable bag to pack it in.  In the end, I decided that a pair of durable black plastic trash bags would be best, with the aid of a roll of duct tape.  Total cost: about $6.  

Twenty five miles pavement riding, fast– check

Pack my bags with camera socks and a sleeping bag the night before, around midnight.

I awoke at 3:30AM to ride to the airport by 4:30, to check the bike by 5:00 to board the plane by 5:30 to arrive in Denver by 7:30.

Cross-town ride in the dark to the ABQ International Sunport.  Pack the bike in about 15-20 minutes– check

At the last moment I noticed my multi-tool in my pocket, which would be confiscated at security.  I tore open a hole in the plastic bag, packed the tool away, and taped the hole closed.  I did not realize that the bag was not fully sealed elsewhere, as I had used two bags in opposite directions. I arrived in Denver without a tool to re-assemble the bike.  After some digging around with various airlines, I finally found 4 and 5 mm hex wrenches and an adjustable crescent wrench.  Roll out.  RTD bus to downtown Denver, $11.  Bike the last mile or two to NAHBS in the sun.   

Ride to NAHBS, with the help of a bus and an airplane– check.

WPBlog001 9

WPBlog001 10

WPBlog001 11

WPBlog001 13

What’s in the bag?  A kinetic sculpture.  Mobility device.  Materials for a trade show.  A new wheelchair for my mom, aunt, great uncle…most definitely not a bike.

Jetsam and flotsam

10406WP

The list of items that populate my bags and my bike is exhausting.  My Kit List accounts from this past month are almost completely inclusive.  However, if I was to upturn my bicycle and shake all the contents from the bags, a few items would fall to the ground to my surprise.  Some are useful, just in case; some are useless, mostly; and at least one item is an unexpected stowaway.  Item origins are indicated in parentheses, when known.  Less than half of these things are even remotely essential.  If you are looking for a way to trim down your touring load, start with the small stuff.

nail clippers, the worst I have ever used, $1.99 CDN in a small gas station (northern B.C.)

insulated electrical housing, 3 inches (came with Supernova headlight, Alaska)

extra Surly rimstrip for Marge Lite rim, black (Bozeman, MT)

1ft. yellow ribbon with reflective strip (Alaska)

3 spokes, length unknown but hopefully useful somewhere on the bike (Alaska and Montana)

tube of Nivea SPF lip product (Ontario, since June 2011)

spare tube, 26×2.3″ with unthreaded Presta valve  (from REI, Bozeman, MT)

tent stakes, began with 13 in AK, 9 remaining

homemade postcards, a dwindling supply of 100 (Ft. Collins, CO)

wallet

assorted business cards and grocery rewards cards

lens filters for camera (Fort Collins, CO)

6 links SRAM 9sp chain (Fort Collins, CO)

Origin-8 plastic chain retention, did not fit Lael’s drivetrain properly (Fort Collins, CO)

small Ziploc bag of 50 ibuprofen, dwindling (Anchorage, Alaska)

4 standard matchbooks with logo (Fort Collins, CO)

1 page from Dirt Rag magazine, Surly Krampus advertisement, to protect MacBook screen from keyboard when packed (Bozeman, MT)

postage stamps (Antonito, CO)

embroidered patch on Carradice Camper saddlebag, Great Allegheny Passage (March 2011)

3 plastic zip-ties (Alaska and Colorado)

1 small rubber band marked “Organic Broccoli” (origin unknown)

On our recent travels near Santa Fe, Joe Cruz exhumed a similarly well-used orange tube of the exact same Nivea SPF lip product from his bag.  His was purchased in South America, mine in Ontario, Canada.  There must be something about men with fatbikes and soft lips.

10428WP

10433WP

10423WP

10430WP

Packing the Campeur

9655WP

The excitement to load my bicycle with expedition-grade racks and plastic waterproof panniers has waned, and is countered by a fascination with ride quality, rather than load capacity. My cycling interests have wandered off-pavement and over mountains, onto the Great Divide Route and the Colorado Trail, and a lessened load has become my best friend. A lightweight bike allows greater access to new terrain and reduces fatigue on both rider and bicycle. A smaller load equates to a lessened frontal face and an aerodynamic profile in headwinds or when riding fast. The bike is easier to lift over fences and rocky trails; best of all, it is fun to ride. With a quiet lightweight bike and larger volume tires, I can go anywhere.

Without a heavy load and the need for rack fittings, almost any bike can serve as a touring bike. With the ability to cover distances more easily, even fewer supplies are needed on-board– it’s a slippery slope to a really enjoyable, ridable bike.  

More on the Velo Orange Blog…

9593WP

9473WP