Saturday, 24 December 2016

Tour Divide 2016 Gear List

I have put together a gear list of sorts.  Below is a snapshot of my spreadsheet listing each item and its starting location on the bike.  The location of some items moved as the trip progressed.  Below the spreadsheet are some notes relating to each item.  Hopefully this helps others in choosing their gear. 

On bike
Bike w/ Sigma BC1009 STS wireless computer, Profile Design Aerostryke aerobars, Lezyne Gauge Drive HP air pump
Etrex 30 GPS
Fenix LD41 Front light
Bontranger Flare 3 Rear Light
Bear Spray
ACA Maps
Rear Bag
 Pika Seat Bag
Rocky Stretch Gore Tex Rain Socks
Outdoor Research Versaliner Shell Gloves
Cheap Nitrile Rubber gloves
Helly Hansen Loke Rain Pants
Helly Hansen Loke Rain Coat
North Face Thermoball Coat
Running Room Beanie Toque
Chaos Merino Wool Tubular (Buff)
Specialized Therminal 2.0 Leg Warmers
Camp shorts
Diadora Windbreaker
Compression Sleeping Socks
Long Sleeve Base Layer
Gen 3 Spot Tracker
MEC Nano 3L Dry Bag
Front Bag
Revelate Med. Sweetroll Handlebar Bag
Outdoor Research  Helium Bivy
Thermarest Neoair Xlite Sleeping Pad
Marmot Plasma +15F Sleeping Bag
  Nikon Coolpix Camera
Front Pocket
Revelate Pocket Bag
Rash Cream
Butt Stick
Toiletries First aid Bag
Hand warmers (5)
Glasses and contact lens case
Gas Tank Bag
Revelate Gas Tank
Cell phone
Leatherman Juice XE6 Multi-tool
Titanium Spork
Feed bag
Revelate Feed Bag
Feed bag
Revelate Feed Bag
Lip balm
Eye drops
whistle/ compass
Frame bag
Revelate Salsa Frame Bag (guess)
MSR Dromedary 2L Water Bladder
MSR HyperFlow Microfilter
Rag, Lube, Cleaning Kit
2 Spare tubes
2-2032 batteries
Tool Kit
Abus Bag
Abus Bag
GoPole DualCharge 5000mAh Solar Portable Charger 
Sea to Summit Tiny Backpack

Kona Unit:
I love my simple steel single speed.  It’s a bit on the heavy side being steel, but with the Ritchey WCS carbon fork, it’s still pretty light.  The adjustment system for the chain tension is bomb proof.  Bike choice is very subjective.  In my opinion, reliable and comfortable is the most important.  Choose something that works for you and will not cause concern on the trail.

Sigma BC1009 STS Wireless Computer:
This is a simple bike computer that was reliable and simple.  It never steered me wrong.  I usually had it on the clock.  I didn’t like to see how far I had gone during the day until I was done.  I liked the clock to time when I should be shoving more food in my mouth.  I would tell myself, “Next snack at 12:30”, etc.

Profile Design Aerostryke Aerobars:
These aerobars worked well for me and were quite comfortable.  They were one curved piece instead of two single bars.  I mounted my big light on the centre at the middle.  One thing that I wished I thought of when buying them is where the bars are mounted.  These mounted under my handle bars which gave less space for the Revelate Sweet Roll and Pocket bags.  It took a bit of adjusting to keep them from rubbing on the front wheel.  It might have been better to get aerobars that mount above the handle bars to give more clearance.

Lezyne Gauge Drive HP Air Pump:
This pump is nice since it’s all sealed off from the gunk that can build up riding when wet.  The hose with the valve screws into the housing.  It also has an air gauge.  I only used it once to add some pressure to the front tire on the Gold Dust Trail outside Breckenridge.  The pump screws on to the valve which is nice and solid. 

Etrex 30 GPS:
Great GPS!  It takes a bit of experience to learn, but after you do, it’s a great machine.  It uses AA’s so no recharging. It hasn’t failed me yet and I have used it during training too.  I got the heart rate monitor and could load the gpx tracks on to Training Peaks for analysis.  I used BaseCamp to break the track of the route into 3 pieces that were less than 10,000 points so I could keep the detail as high as possible.

Fenix LD41 Front light:
This was my big light on the aerobars.  It takes 4-AAs and is super bright at full strength.  I never used it at the brightest setting so the batteries lasted a long time.  Over the 19 days, I replaced the batteries once.  The light is very bombproof and reliable.

Bontranger Flare 3 Rear Light:
I use this light for commuting to work.  It’s pretty bright so I feel safe riding in the dark.  I used 2-AAA rechargeable batteries that I used for the whole trip without changing.  It was mounted to my seat stay.

Bear Spray:
Bear spray is a good insurance policy for peace of mind. I have camped, hiked, and cycled in the Rocky Mountains for years and never needed it but the one time I don’t bring it, I probably would.  It feels good to have it.  Even in the areas with no bears, it’s nice to have just in case any threat comes along.

ACA Maps:
I had all the maps in a stack attached with a bungee on my stem.  I had an elastic to attach keep them all together and put them in a big Ziploc freezer bag.  I used an elastic hair tie to secure the Ziploc and then a bungee on my stem.  I liked having the maps for something to look at while riding.  I also had route information that I added to the map.  By the end of the trip the Ziploc had clouded over with the friction of the dust and rain so it was harder to see through.

I had a small cloth on my handle bars just to wipe my nose and face.  I lost the first one the first day, and then bought another one in Elkford.  It’s nice to have handy so you don’t have to wipe your nose with your glove.

Revelate Pika Seat Bag:
I’ve got short legs so had to go with the smaller bag.  There was less clearance required between the seat and tire with this bag.  Great bag!  Very durable and reliable.  I will be using it for many years to come.

Rocky Stretch Gore Tex Rain Socks:
I bought a pair of these socks about 18 years ago when I was hiking the West Coast Trail and I still use them.  They still are mostly waterproof after all these years!    Very durable.  I bought a new pair for the Tour Divide.  They worked great for the first while, but after my feet swelled a bit, they got to be too tight.  These socks are not super stretchy.  I stopped wearing them after the first few days.  Also, since I never wore my rain pants, the rain would run into the socks from the top.  That’s not really a comment about these socks, but the concept of wearing socks in general.  Rain socks will not usually keep your feet totally dry, but they will be less wet if you wear them.

Outdoor Research Versaliner Shell Gloves:
I wore these on top of my wool gloves for a windbreak layer.  I could wear my fingerless cycling gloves, wool gloves, then these and I would be pretty warm as long as it wasn’t pouring too hard. They claim to be waterproof, but like I have heard about many products like this, they are not.  They were light and with these three layers, I still had enough dexterity to eat while riding.  I kept my wool gloves and shells in my jersey pockets and would take them off and put them on as the need arose while still riding.  If it was raining, my raincoat would keep them dry and I didn’t have to stop riding to dig them out of a bag.

Cheap Nitrile Rubber gloves:
I pulled these out when the rain really started to fall.  I got these at the Dollar Store for $2.  They are similar to dishwashing gloves.  I would keep them in one of the mesh pockets of a feed bag.  Again, no stopping to put them on.

Helly Hansen Loke Rain Pants:
Really light pants, but I never wore them.  I won’t bring rain pants again if racing.  My leg warmers kept me warm when wet.

Helly Hansen Loke Rain Coat:
I loved this coat!  I wore it often.  It would be a layer of warmth on cold mornings.  It has zip vents in the arm pits that I left open pretty much all the time.  I used the hood to keep the mud off my neck if it was really sloppy.  It was really light and as far I could tell it was waterproof.  When you are sweating a lot, it’s hard to tell.  One thing with this kind of riding, you are always damp due to rain or sweat. 

North Face Thermoball Coat:
I saved this coat for the campsite.  I never rode it riding to keep it dry.  After stopping for the day, I would put it on to stay warm after I stopped riding and then it would be my pillow at night.  I wear it all the time in the Alberta winters and it’s an awesome coat.  It’s synthetic so it will keep you warm when wet.

Running Room Beanie Toque:
I got this toque doing the Resolution Run in Edmonton.  It’s a 5km run on January 1st that my wife and I generally do every year.  It was light, thin and warm.  I would wear it under my helmet and while sleeping at night if it was cold.

Chaos Merino Wool Tubular (Buff):
This is a very warm buff.  It’s thin and light.  I wore it on cold mornings and while I slept.

Specialized Therminal 2.0 Leg Warmers:
These were awesome!  They always kept me warm no matter wet or dry.  I would wear them in the rain and mud and they would dry fast when conditions got better. 

Camp shorts:
These were some polyester shorts I use backpacking that are pretty light. I never used them.  They stayed in the same bag as my rain pants in depths of my seat bag.  The only time I spent in camp was pulling down my bike shorts and climbing into my sleeping bag. 

Diadora Windbreaker:
I got this thin cycling wind shell on sale in Canmore just before a backpacking trip.  It was one of my almost everyday layers.  The only time I wasn’t wearing it was if it was really hot. Simple, cheap, light, and very effective.

Compression Sleeping Socks:
My ankle was a bit sore before the race so I went to my physiotherapist.  He is an accomplished cyclist and recommended getting some medical compression socks for recovery between rides.  I decided to spend the big bucks ($125CAD) and get fitted for a pair of knee high merino wool compression socks.  They worked great.  I would sleep in them every night and I believe they helped with recovery.  They were very warm which I appreciated on the cold nights, but were a bit too warm in the southern part of the route.

Long Sleeve Base Layer:
This is a merino wool polyester blend base layer.  It was nice and warm.  The only thing I would change is to have a full zip.  This was my only pull over layer and it was a bit of a hassle when going to the bathroom.  With bib shorts, to go #2, all the top layers had to come off and with the pull over, I had to take off my helmet.  Not too big of a deal, but it’s a small thing I would do differently next time.

Gen 3 Spot Tracker:
Not much to say about this since it’s so common.  Reliable tracker.  I use it for all of my rides out in the back country.  It’s peace of mind and allows my wife to check where I am.  I bought it at a discount and the subscription runs about $300CAD per year.  The plan you choose can be tailored and that varies the cost.

MEC Nano 3L Dry Bag:
This bag is a bit more robust than the typical ultralight dry bags.  I chose this because I wanted it to last for a longer time.  I used this one to store the clothes I was consistently putting on and taking off like the base layer, leg warmers, and wind shell. 

Self-explanatory.  I brought a roll of toilet paper and was very glad I did!  I ran to the woods several times on the trip.  One jumbo roll lasted the entire time.

Revelate Med. Sweetroll Handlebar Bag:
Good bag.  Mounts fairly easy and was easy to access with the roll closure sides. 

Outdoor Research Helium Bivy:
I debated bringing a tent vs. bivy for quite a while.  I bought a lightweight tent and used it on a training ride and found it was a bit of an effort to set up.  I like the comfort of the tent, but like the ease of set up and take down of the bivy.  I decided to go with the bivy.  I wanted to race so time spent on set up and take down was important to me.  Condensation is always an issue so I always tried to sleep with just the bug mesh and not the entire bivy sealed up.  That meant constantly looking for sheltered places to set up so if it did rain, my head would be covered and I would not have to zip the bivy up fully.  In the year I raced, I didn’t have a lot of rain so the bivy worked very well.  I kept my pad inside the bivy and would roll them up together.  Set up was simply rolling it out and blowing up the mattress.   I really appreciated this when tired and out of it.  The bivy also allowed for stealth camping.  There were many times I would sleep out of sight on the side of the road tucked under a bush or inside a small stand of trees.  I would not have been able to do that with a tent. I liked the bug mesh to keep the crawling bugs out and with just the mesh zipped, I didn’t have any real issues with condensation.  This bivy comes with a single pole that worked okay.  It didn’t have the stability to stay perfectly vertical, but it did provide a bit of space between the bivy and the top of my sleeping bag.  You could view the pole as optional.

Thermarest Neoair Xlite Sleeping Pad:
I really like this pad.  Warm and light.  I have used it for a few years now backpacking and it has been reliable and very comfortable.  I sleep on my side sometimes and my shoulder does not touch the ground.  I see some of the new pads like this have a bigger blow up valve and that would help.  This one takes several breaths to fill up so that might be my only small negative.

Marmot Plasma +15F Sleeping Bag
This sleeping bag was really nice on the cold nights.  It is pretty light for the warmth factor it provides.  It was warmer than I needed, but I wasn’t sure what to expect on the route.  I thought I had be better safe than sorry in terms of warmth.  There was one pretty cold night that I was glad I had this bag, but other than that, it was almost too warm.  I never had to wear my Thermoball coat sleeping so I probably carried too much insulation.  Many nights in the southern states, I was sleeping shirt off with the bag wide open.  +30F probably would have been fine.  I just ordered a +40F Enlightened Equipment Quilt to try on future rides.

Nikon Coolpix Camera:
I bought this camera in Banff the night before the race.   The one I had been using for years died on the shakedown ride I did the day before the start.  This camera runs on AAs which was my only real criteria.  I’m not a professional photographer by any stretch so this camera worked well at recording highlights of my journey.  Point and shoot – simple.

Revelate Pocket Bag:
I tried to figure out a way not to take this bag, but I had too much stuff.  It was nice to carry the odds and ends here.  I only had a few things to carry in this bag so it was only about half full. It worked well as a place to put the extra things bought on the way like pain killers.  I discovered the day before the race that it actually clips into the sweet roll.  The sweet roll comes with a harness and if you take it off, you can clip the pocket in its place.  This may be obvious to some, but I didn’t notice until the night before the race. 
I kept all my odds and ends in the Pocket:  A small tube of diaper rash cream.  I applied some every night.  Sunscreen/ lotion mixture.  The butt stick was something I found just before the race.  I can’t remember the brand and I threw it away at the end of the race.  It ran out right at the end.  It was a little thing that looked like a deodorant stick and smelled like menthol.  I would apply it once or twice a day and I had no chafing.  Lots of saddle sores, but no chafing.  For toiletries, I had some ibuprofen, Tylenol, polysporin, cold medicine, gauze, tape, band aides, sewing kit, etc…  I had some hand warmers I would put in my shoes on cold mornings.  Five pairs were more than enough.  Sunglasses, glasses, and contact lens accessories were kept here too.

Revelate Gas Tank:
Handy little bag that was easy to access.  It would tend to rotate on the top tube to the left or right since I couldn’t get the strap on the stem too tight.  The strap would squeak so it would drive me a bit crazy.  I ended up taking it off to stop the squeaking. 
I kept my cell phone, cash, ID, and credit cards in a Loksac here.  My titanium spork was stored here and I never used it.  The Leatherman Juice XE6 multi-tool worked well.  Pretty light with a lot of features.  I used it for the knife a few times and used the pliers to fix my pedal.

Revelate Feed Bags (2):
These were great!  They were strapped up at my aerobars in front of the sweet roll.  I found if they were kept at the stem where most people mounted them, my knees would hit them.  On the single speed, I was standing a lot so I moved them out of the way. 
I kept sweet food on one side and savory on the other.  I would alternate sweet and savory to prevent sugar overload.  They were easy to access, open, and close while riding.  In the mesh pockets I stored garbage wrappers, and my bear whistle, lip balm and eye drops.  My wife convinced me to bring eye drops since I wore my contact lenses non-stop the whole race, but I never used the eye drops.  The bear whistle is a compass-magnifying glass-thermometer-whistle combination made by Coleman.  I think I got it at Walmart for about $5. 

Revelate Salsa Frame Bag (guessed the weight):
This bag was made to custom fit one of the Salsa bikes and it happens to fit my frame triangle well.  It’s a good, solid bag with sturdy zippers.
I tried to keep the heaviest things in the frame bag to keep the weight low on the bike.  I had my extra batteries, tubes, and tool kit. 

MSR Dromedary 2L Water Bladder:
This bladder is nice and durable.  I bought a couple of quick connects for the hose.  On was for the bite valve hose so I did not have to thread the bite valve through my handlebars every time I had to fill the bladder up.  I would just disconnect the hose and remove the bladder for filling.  The other quick connect went on my filter hose.  When filling the bladder from the filter, I just had to connect the hoses together and pump the filter.  It was nice not having to keep the hose in the bladder opening.

MSR HyperFlow Microfilter:
I use this filter backpacking quite a bit.  It filters the water pretty fast when it’s clean.  It slows down when it gets dirty.  You are supposed to backflush it regularly, but it’s a finicky process.  I might not get the same one when it comes time to buy another one.

Rag, Lube, Cleaning Kit:
This was a baggie with a rag, small bottle of lube and a toothbrush that I fashioned a hook out of the handle.  The toothbrush came in pretty handy and I used the hook to scrape off gunk every once in a while.

Tool Kit:
My tool kit had some loose Allen wrenches, brake pads, chain breaker, spoke tool, patch kit, Tenacious Tape, and various other items.  I didn’t really have to use very much of this thank goodness.

Abus Bag:
This is a small frame bag I had that I stuffed under my seat.  It’s not designed to go there, but pretty much fit.  It did very lightly rub the inside of my thighs so my shorts got a couple of holes by the end of the ride.

I found a tiny Bible after a few months of searching.  I discovered that if you want a tiny Bible, you can’t be picky on the translation.  This one is an English Standard Version that measures 4.5”x3”x0.5”.

GoPole DualCharge 5000mAh Solar Portable Charger:
I found this charger at Best Buy at the last minute.  It’s advertised as being a charge source for a Go Pro.  It worked well for me.  I only had my smartphone to charge and I never ran out of battery power.  I would take advantage of the plugs whenever I stopped for a significant period of time.  When it was sunny, I would strap the charger on the top of my seat bag.

Sea to Summit Tiny Backpack:
This little backpack was great! I wore it for the whole trip and stored extra food.  It was comfortable enough that I would forget I was wearing it.  That might be because I didn’t have much weight in it.  I would usually just have about 10-15 bars in it.  If packs down to a cylinder about 1.5” across and 3” long.

Miscellaneous not on the gear list:
I used Locsak bags for other things like my phone and cash, and batteries.  These are like thicker Ziploc bags.  One of the bigger Locsaks I used for the rain pants and camp shorts.  These aren’t listed on the gear list because I would weigh the items inside the bag.

Merino Wool Full Zip Jersey:
Merino wool is the best!  I never washed this jersey for the whole trip and it got a little musty, but not super smelly.  It wasn’t too hot and the full zip helped control temperature.

De Soto 400 Mile Bib Shorts:
These are shorts my coach Joel Maley recommended.  He is a top amateur triathlete and these are shorts made for triathlons.  They didn’t hold moisture so I wore them through every sort of weather.  I never wore my rain pants because when these shorts got wet, they shed the water and dried super-fast.  They were very comfortable with no chaffing.  I got saddle sores, but with the unsanitary conditions down there, I am not surprised. Most shorts have the pad sewn into the shorts, but these shorts are constructed where the shorts are sewn around the pad.  This is the first time I wore bib shorts and I liked it.  The only inconvenience is going to the bathroom.  You have to basically get naked to get the shorts off.  That is an acceptable trade off since the bibs are so much more comfortable without the constricting waist.  Very cool design and I will definitely be wearing them again.

Shimano SH-M089L MTB Shoes:
These shoes worked very well for me.  I liked the softer rubber in the soles for grip when things got wet.  They were comfortable and lasted the whole trip with no issues.  When picking shoes make sure they are comfortable for walking.

Giro Montaro Helmet:
This is a decent, comfortable helmet with MIPs.

Fenix LD22 Light:
I used an air pump mount and a Velcro strap to stick this light to the top of my helmet.  I used a chunk of inner tube to adjust the angle.  It worked great!  I loved this light.  I never ran it at the brightest setting and I only had to change the 2-AA batteries once or twice.  I used this light all the time.  It was used to set up camp and get going in the morning.  It was the first light I would turn on in the evening.  Great light!

DeFeet Woollie Boollie Merino Wool Socks:
I wore these socks the whole trip and never washed them once.  They got wet a lot though.  That counts for washing, right?  Merino wool is the best.  Even without washing, they didn’t stink too bad.  They were pretty warm when it got cold.  They were warm when wet, and when it got hot, they were still comfortable.  

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