Dry run #1

When going on a long voyage it is wise to do a test run.  This weekend was the first of my test runs.  If you have seen my pack list you know that I have a lot of stuff that need testing.  Some of the gear, I have had for years and I am confident in their abilities.  Other gear, I literally just opened out of the box.  For example, today, I got socks, underwear (testing now), pedals, a fuel tank, silk sheets, and fenders.  This weekend I took everything except the galley and external battery.  The galley is useless without the fuel tank and the brand new battery stopped working after a day of use.

The Plan

  • Ride 30 miles east Friday after work
  • Camp somewhere?
  • Ride 40 miles east Saturday morning, and chill at friends’ pool
  • Ride 20 miles west Saturday evening back towards home
  • Camp somewhere?
  • Ride 30 miles west Sunday Morning
  • Ride last 20 miles to home

What Happened

  • Rode 30 miles east Friday night
  • Camped at a school!!
  • Rode 30 miles west Saturday morning
  • Took a long nap

And that is why we test.  Good news: the bike and most of the gear worked perfectly.  Bad news: the motor needs more miles before properly tuned.  My longest tour was a 4 day, 200 mile ride and that was 3 years ago.  Two of those nights were camped out at schools.  During the summer months schools are vacant, especially during sleeping hours, which make them a great target for urban, stealth camping. 

Pad Update:  In one of my previous posts I talked about my sleeping pad.  It is growing on me.  I slept a solid 6 hours on it.  

My two biggest problems on the trip were my legs and food.  This is what I get for not training like I should.  I was struggling those last few miles after finding a camp spot and food.  This is when I decided to alter my plan and head home.  To my surprise, I felt great this morning and I did the 30 miles back home in 30 minutes less than the night before.  My mom informed me that it is all down hill coming from the east, thanks mom!  I will log another 30 tomorrow, giving me 90 for the weekend.  

Back to the food.  Even as an adult with a job and a car I spend a lot of time in the grocery store, usually once or twice a day.  If a person could only be described by a few characteristics, food would be one of mine.  Eating out can be difficult for me due to the restrictions I place on my diet, and also the quality of the food.  I GUARANTEE that if we go out to eat together, something on my order will be wrong.  So I forage for food in the grocery store.  For two years I lived without refrigeration.  This makes cooking challenging, so I learned to only purchase what I could eat in a day or two.  Canned and raw foods are my friends.  

At the store, I got a can of beans and rice for dinner and a can of sweet potatoes for breakfast.  One of the items I meant to test on the trip was a military style p38 can opener, but forgot it at home.  My substitute was a Swiss Army knife knock off, which broke after about 10 minutes of me struggling to get the can open enough to get my spoon through.  Now, I will be adding a real can opener to my packing list.  


This whole ordeal with the can opener got me thinking about whether or not I even need to take a galley.  That would change my whole packing scheme.  I still have yet to get my front rack.  I used the panniers on the rear rack and they rode well.  I will need to test them on the front rack and decide which I prefer.  That will be on test run #2.  Almost forgot!  I have a mirror, and it works!  No more straining my neck.  

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