Monday, September 08, 2008

Details, Details, Details


I continue to be amazed and impressed with the infinity of needed details and “stuff” to pull off such a venture/adventure.

First of all--the route. We, Barb and I, needed to find a route that could be completed in her allotted vacation days. We needed a route that would be mountain-friendly for me and would put her near the sight-seeing opps she wanted to experience. Then it was drilling down to which of these little bergs, hamlets, ghost towns, might have lodging. Then it was creating the route, turn-by-turn in www.bikely.com and then transferring the bikely routes to my Garmin.

Next was food. I’m vegetarian by choice and gluten and dairy free by my body’s requirements. That makes eating out of MiniMarts impossible, which is actually probably a good thing, or at least a healthy thing.

On the bike I thrive on Mrs. May’s Treo Bars, Lara Bars, Hammer HEED, Hammer Sustained Energy, Hammer Gel, and Hammer’s e-Caps, I.e. nutritional supplements. I know exactly how much of each I need per mile, so there was ordering those supplies, and drop shipping them for pick up along the way.

Tools. This would not be as big a deal, hopefully, as it was for the GA Tour as Barb could carry the contingency supplies I would need. Hopefully the most I would need the first 500+ miles would be a spare tube or two.

Clothes. This shouldn’t be as big a deal as it was for the GA Tour either as the season was more stable weather-wise, at least in the mid west, and north east. It turned out Gustav and Hanna were active in the south east during my time on the road; more on that later.

I would take just one set of riding clothes, and one set of after ride clothes, which I would also sleep in. Ride clothes would be washed out daily in the shower and line dried in the room or the parking lot, just depending… I had a light weight set of long fingered gloves , arm warmers, knee warmers, a windbreaker, and Shower Pass Rain Jacket. This turned out to be an ideal plan. Never needed more, and used all of what I had at some point.

After Tour clothes were drop-shipped forward. I would be doing a professional training at Barb’s Addiction Treatment Program in Keene, NH (used-up after-ride clothes probably wouldn’t do), and I would be driving to Salem, MA to see my brother after the Tour, and then flying home. So, a different set of clothing needs than the daily haberdasher’s ware of the first 13 days.

Bike Packaging. Lest I forget, I would need to tear down the bike for flying it home with me on the plane. So, drop shipping the bike suitcase ahead, along with disassembly tools and packaging needed to be thought through.

The Good News: I really did remarkably well, I think, getting all the right stuff in all the right places. Kirk had to ship me some warmer/water proofy gloves (which I ended up not needing, but always better to have and not need than to need and not have). He also shipped me my soft-sided wheel bag in which I carry my 700c rear wheel on the plane. I did forget my 12mm wrench needed for one bolt during the tear down process. But a simple pair of Barb’s pliers filled the bill. Other than those couple of things, I had what I needed when I needed it.

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