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Summits & Personal Quests

Post in 'The Green Room' started by jebatty, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    How far have you come on your personal journeys, and how far do you yet have to go? 2013 may be a year to undertake and succeed on some personal quests. My first big foray into green energy was purchase of the Tarm gasifier back in 2007. Greener than green novice I was then, ignorant but full of adventure; mistake on top of mistake but ever ready to learn; and now one of the smartest decisions I ever made.

    I'm thinking the next quest may well be solar electric. The economics are as good as ever (I'm ready to be talked down on this though) and tax rebates to boot. Minnesota has a good net metering law for grid tied systems. And oh how I hate to pay for coal generated electric, which is about as much as I hate to pay for LP and gasoline. I'm getting a bid on a solar system, and although I live in the north woods on a lake with trees all over the place, I think I have a good location in a wetland. The county zoning official says no problem with installing a system in a wetland, so wait and see what the solar designer comes up with. To get my fingers wet in solar electric I put together a 30 watt system to maintain an SLA battery which will be the power source to charge all of our battery operated stuff. A 30 watt solar panel seemed plenty big enough until I realized after getting it that it only supplies about 2 amps to charge a 12 volt battery, and that's when the sun is shining brightly, and about 0.5 amps when a cloud passes overhead. So be it. Tells me something about planning the grid tied system.

    And one more quest which is very green -- a bicycle circumnavigation of Lake Superior, which will be about 1600 miles round trip from where I live; figure about 3 weeks of travel. Initial plan is to alternate camping and motel nights. Lots of training to do this summer to get ready for a departure right after Labor Day. At 66 years of age this will be a quest, and also fulfillment of a dream I have carried for many years. I'm lining up some friends to ride a few legs of the journey with me, but I suspect that most of the journey will be solo. Has anyone done this or something like it? Pointers are welcome. I am an experienced bike rider, but have never taken a trip of this distance or duration.

    I hope some other quests surface. We all need inspiration to reach higher goals, at least I do. C'est la vie!
    343amc likes this.

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  2. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    Aspirations & successes that allowed me to live a greener lifestyle:

    1) Being financially stable through not living beyond my means, marrying well, working somewhat hard, being realistic and being lucky have all helped me get what I want.

    2) Studied wildlife biology in college.

    3) Part of what I do for a living is teach an AP environmental science course to high school students. This has helped motivate me to keep up with all things green with, hopefully, a realistic approach. Ideas, tech, etc. has to be sound, practical, etc. for me to embrace it.

    4) Wood burning in EPA compliant stove using mostly wood from trees that were already taken down by the weather/someone else anyway. I have cut some trees for firewood, although most were already unhealthy.

    5) Came online with a grid-tied PV system in Oct. 2012. So far so good, although ran into some added, unexpected costs (squirrels build a nest under part of the array and destroyed some wires. Company then installed a barrier. Ultimately had to bare some of that cost, but company met me half way). Production in winter surpassed my expectations. Spring has been good. Technically a 6.375 kW system, although I didn't realize that microinverters I have would clip at 225 W each (I have 255 W panels). So I guess I have a 5.625 kW system. Installer thinks I'll get 5-6 MW/ year. From late Oct. to mid April I'm approaching 2.25 MW, but obviously have not hit the most productive part of the year. Almost got 50% of my investment back in incentives and nonexistent electricity bills. SRECs haven't started coming in. Have to wait on the state to start and I have basically no leverage . . . they'll get to me when they get to me. Those should be ~250-300/each for the next few years at least.

    6) Nearly all of my batteries are rechargeable through solar. Try to actually charge them during the day so they really are from the sun.

    7) Been trying to bring my old house from terrible insulation and lots of air infiltration to ave insulation/air infiltration. I swear I've caulked an area the size of two typical sized double hung windows over the years. Simply amazing.

    For the future: looking at a Chevy Volt in the next couple of years. As much as I like the idea of all electric cars, range anxiety and the inability to quickly recharge is a deal breaker. Hopefully ~75% of the energy needed to run a volt can come from my solar array. The math has to work for the money as well, but hopefully I'll have enough data by next year or the year after to make a decision to by it or just get hybrid with regenerative braking instead, like the Prius V.

    Let me know if you have any questions about PV.
    Bster13 and 343amc like this.
  3. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Very inspirational Jim. I can't wait to hear about the bike odyssey!

    My quests have been more modest, and my pace has been slow.

    My first foray into hearth.com back in 2006 (I lurked for a long time) came from following a link from the Oil Drum, a Peak Oil website, and I was def interested in getting my old woodstove going safely to be more resilient. My thoughts/concerns during that time have evolved into an abiding interest in the science/predictions of climate change, renewable energy policy in the US and around the world, and living my own life more efficiently, with a reduced CO2 footprint. My timeline has been limited by budget, a demanding job and two small kids.

    My approach to conservation has been a bit different from Jim's (no criticism intended). I have several friends whose childhoods were deprived for various reasons, mostly poverty, and it has made them rather twisted and limited adults. Adults whose talents could have allowed so much more. Job 1 as a parent is helping your kids grow up to be the most they can be (Job 0 is nurturing). So, I am frankly not interested in raising my kids in a household with heavily restricted energy services. I believe that we can reduce our C footprint and save $$ while still having a comfortable and relatively conventional life. When the kids are grown, maybe my wife and I will downsize.

    So, other than my own education, and personal advocacy of the AGW/energy eff problem, I have reduced my own impacts and that of my family. This has amounted (over several years) to switching my house from oil heat and DHW to HP technology, and my elec supplier from conventional to wind power. I have dropped my house heat/AC loads by ~35% by DIY airsealing and insulation work, and done the usual energy eff stuff that everyone does (e.g. all CFL in 2003 and energy star appliances). I still have plenty to do...relatively cheap attic insulation and new storm windows (planned over the next year) should get me to a full 50% reduction in heat load from when I bought the house. But that stuff is boring.

    And I am certainly not 'pious' about it. Most of our carbon footprint is not personal energy use....its about 1/4th food, 1/4th stuff, 1/4th cars and only 1/4th residential energy use. (read about it here: http://www.withouthotair.com/ ) My 'hobby' above has only reduced my total footprint ~20% over 5 years! Just a hill of beans, really.

    At age 45, the greater challenge is always to be a better husband, a better parent and a better teacher and mentor to my students. And I am muddling through on that as best I can.

    John
    343amc likes this.
  4. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Hi Jebatty, my wife and I did a self-supported bicycle trip across the US in year 2000 - 3500 miles total. I have to say that this was one of the best experiences of our lives and we are looking forward to doing it again someday. The best advice is to not obsess about overtraining - just get started and take it slow in the beginning. The trip itself is training enough. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have before you get started about equipment, supplies and preparation. Feel free to PM me if you'd like chat.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    My goals are less lofty for sure. If I can survive another 5 yrs on the planet with lower impact, I will be happy with that.
  6. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    DBoon - thanks! I likely will have some questions; right now I'm assembling a list of things to consider and equipment needed, contingencies to plan for; also monitoring some of the bicycling forums of others who have done this trip. I am an old, literally old, USCF Category 1 road racer from the early 1970's, and I still love and ride my Raleigh Pro, all Campy, racing bike, although I did switch to clincher wheels from my original Weinman wheels for tubulars. For this tour I bought a Novara Randonee which I think is a good touring bicycle. Haven't had it on the road yet as we still are in full winter, another 8" snow over night.

    Big goals/quests have been part of my life forever -- set the bar high and strive for success, very inspiring for me and my wife. She got her BA at age 45, the culmination of one of our 5-year plans. Another quest, which is just in the dream stage, is a 60-90 day experience in Alaska, from some of the tourist things to living with a native family for a time above the arctic circle. That would be a whole summer away from home and I'm not sure that I want to give up a Minnesota summer, as short as they can be. This winter of 2012-13 will see a full 5 months of snow cover, and combine that with a cool spring and fall and that leaves about 6 weeks of summer-type weather. All the more reason to appreciate summer in northern MN. Cheers.
  7. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    The antarctic tours are also very nice....but you would have to miss some MN winter!
  8. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Hi Jebatty, contact me any time. I have loads of good advice and stories. I can tell people a thirty minute story and they will tell me that it sounded like quite a trip and in fact, it was one day. Good times. I rate the MN folks as some of the most hospitable we met - it was hard to get through a day without being offered a yard to pitch a tent in and a full breakfast in the morning before we could sneak away.
  9. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Two quests are moving forward. For the Solar Electric quest, I'm meeting with a solar consultant today for a site analysis and to talk through a preliminary plan. After visiting with a neighbor, I'm thinking that siting should consider the view impairment and sun reflectivity into the neighbor's living space. Have others dealt with this question? I'm not sure that I would like to stare into a solar array, especially if I was not a solar proponent. Fortunately, I think I have a siting that pretty much will screen the array from the neighbor's view without impairing sun exposure.

    For the Lake Superior Circumnavigation quest, I'm in training and planning is moving forward. On Thursday I completed the 4th ride on the new bike, including 4 miles of travel over rough gravel to see hw that might work. Simple solution: avoid gravel, but if have to ride on it, OK but hunker down for a tougher ride, physical effort increase and ride comfort decrease. The new bike works well, and soon I will add dead weight to approximate my touring load. I would like to train to be able to average 14-15 mph over 80-100 mile legs of the trip, weather permitting, which would be about 6 hours of riding per day. Is this reasonable? My thought considers adverse wind conditions, and possibly a need to ride early morning and late afternoon when winds are generally less. I also have acquired most of the equipment needed for the trip, am talking with other biking friends to see who would like to join the journey, at least for part of the trip, and soon will up my training rides into the 40-60 mile range.
  10. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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    To buy or build a tiny house, to not be as reliant on the grid and society, become a hermit, and grow my own food. I'm about halfway there.
  11. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Hi jebatty, riding a fully-loaded touring bike is soooo much different than riding a regular road bike without gear. The gear adds weight and wind resistance. I think you will find that 5 or 6 hours of saddle time are the most you are going to want to do in a given day, and depending on the headwinds, hills, and weather you encounter, this will mean anywhere from 30 to 90 miles in a given day. Realistically, this is a lot of work every day, and you have to pace yourself. You also want to avoid saddle sores that can lead to an early end to the trip. Also, lots of things will go wrong and delay you.

    My wife and I averaged about 50 miles per day. Our shortest days included a hellish leg in western Ohio with 25 mph headwinds in which we averaged about 8 miles per hour. We gave up after four hours (30 miles). One leg in Montana was even worse - 23 miles in four hours. Brutal. You just don't want to be trying to force 80-100 mile rides on days like that. Our longest day was 88 miles in North Dakota with a pure tailwind.

    I've been thinking about some things to recommend (if you haven't already made final purchases):
    1. Specialized Armadillo All-Condition tires. These are the best. We used 700x32cc on our tandem. On a single, I would go for 700x27 or 29cc. They NEVER flat, EVER. Everything else flatted, and often. Nothing is worse than trying to pump up a tire with a frame pump twice/day. Make sure the tires are the Armadillo All-Condition (they make an non-Armadillo All-Condition).
    2. Given that you have to ready for a flat, get a Zefal frame pump. Having used a bunch of others in the first few weeks of my trip (until I bought Specialized Armadillo All-Condition tires) I can tell you that nothing compares. Get the longest frame pump you can.
    3. I would get a NiteRider LED handlebar light and use it in flashing mode all of the time. I use this when I ride to work, and I can tell you that people see you. They make one for $150 that will last 8-10 hours in flashing mode and recharges overnight (if you are in a hotel, of course).
    4. Take a good mini tool kit. Also, pack tie wraps of various sizes. These came in pretty handy for me to hold broken things together - for instance, my rack stays broke twice and I could tie-wrap the rack to the frame until I got someplace that could weld it back together.
    5. I used lots of small frame packs (under top tube, corner packs, saddle packs, etc.) to store medical kits, tools, etc., the things I needed easy access to quickly if something went wrong, without having to unpack all of my other gear.
    6. I geeked out and estimated my and my wife's average horsepower output and then calculated what this would mean for speed and cadence for different gear ratios, then specified my gear ratios based on that. Worked pretty well.

    Keep posting during and after your trip. You are helping me re-live the best 3-1/2 months of my life. Thanks.
  12. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, DBoon. My bike came with Continental Touring Plus 32mm on rear and a Kenda 28mm on front, both with no-flat type construction. They seem to be good tires based on reviews. I get the pump idea. I have a small pump now that would take a long time and lots of effort to inflate a tire to 80 psi, but if flat resistant tires, does a person take a chance and go with the small pump? For lighting I have a 250 lumen-LED AAA flashlight with an excellent handlebar mount, hi, low and flash modes. The batteries are easily replaceable no matter where I travel. Also a Planet Bike LED very bright flasher for the rear. For added visibility, I wear a fluorescent green T-shirt with reflective stripes, like road workers wear. I have a flexible material solar charger that pins to the rear carrier for the panniers. I also have a good mini-tool kit, but I need to add zip-ties to my equipment list. Excellent suggestion. The small frame packs also are a good idea. I'm starting to ride now with the panniers and some weight to get used to bike handling, and will ramp that up during my summer riding to be ready for the big journey.
  13. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Weather for riding has been terrible this Spring, cold, wet and windy. Maybe good prep for the ride in Sept? ... hope not, because I have not been riding in the crap. Fitting some rides in, 37 miles on Fri 06/08 average 14.6mph and 50 miles on 06/11 average 14.6mph. Only about 10 lb load on the rear carrier. My goal is to try for an average speed of 14-15 mph, so I'm in the zone. My legs are reaching the point where they will keep going with a little food fuel along the way and still feel good after the ride.The bike performs well, solid, predictable, relaxed.

    Any pointers on getting the body cleaned up on a camping night in a remote area? Sweaty, gritty and sticky is not comfortable. Probably look for a camp site near a water body?

    A highlight on 06/11 -- a bear crossed the highway in front of me, walking slowly, paying no attention to anything on the highway. I had to stop and wait, and then when it crossed to the shoulder a short whistle sent it hustling into the woods. A real thrill to see a bear in the wild. I frequently find bear scat on our property, but rarely see a bear.

    In three months and with a Sept 3 departure I'll be about 1/2 the way around Superior! My wife still thinks I'm nuts, but she always has thought that so I would hate to disappoint her.
  14. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Hi jebatty, glad to hear that you are getting some rides in. It has been pretty rainy here in NY, and when it is not raining, I seem to be traveling for work, so I'm not getting too many good rides in.

    I never solved the "remote campground cleanup" problem, per se. We tried to avoid those places when we could, but you sometimes don't have too much of a choice. A few times, we were camping in a small park near a village (no showers, but port-a-john), and we were able to find an open church that would let us clean up using their bathroom sink and a washcloth and a camp towel. I learned that it never hurts to ask - most people will be amazed that you are taking such a trip and will go out of their way to help you on your way anyways they can. We also had lots of offers to camp in peoples yards and were able to use their showers and were fed dinner and breakfast (it helps to be an "unthreatening" husband/wife couple on a tandem bike, I think).

    Regarding the pump, your tires will lose 3-5 psi each day. You will need to pump them up a little each day whether you get a flat or not. So get a good pump - a nice long Zefal, and this will be something you'll want to do each night and not avoid. Filled tires = less rolling resistance, for sure.
  15. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    The bike trip sounds like a blast for sure. Along with a sore butt.
    Assuming you'll have a Camelback or similar along with you you can make it a bush shower. Just tie a long string to it & hang it from a tree above your head. Voila, running water in camp.
    If you have some time, lay it out in the sun to warm up first. Also good for general use in camp.
  16. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    The shower is a great idea. I expect to be space/weight challenged on this quest. My list of things to pack is quite long. I haven't yet done a preliminary packing to see how much I actually can carry. Since I plan to do some camping, and will need to carry some food, weight will add up quickly. My packing weight goal is 60 lbs max, with about equal in front and rear panniers, and I really would like to end up with as much less than that as possible.
  17. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, being out for that long would be tough to keep weight down, Are you planing to mail clothes & food... ahead to yourself along the way like thru-hikers do, or will you just be able to buy things in towns along the way?
    Some weight saving tips I've learned from backpacking:
    Finding dual uses for one thing versus taking two is always helpful (eg. you don't need a multitool AND a pocket knife AND a survival knife, just pick one).
    Don't bring back-ups of anything unless it's absolutely critical that you replace it immediately & not wait 'till the next town. Trust your ability to improvise.
    Make custom (ie. smaller) repair kits, first aid kits... versus buying what someone else thinks you might need.
    The most ultralight anything still weighs more than nothing, so if you don't need it, don't bring it.
  18. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    I will not be mailing food/clothes/supplies. The plan is to camp about 1/2 the nights, motels the balance, and most food at local restaurants. A starter breakfast and late night dinner supplement are the most likely camp-type meals. Caloric consumption will be high.

    Here is my list of "needed" items, comments will be appreciated.

    Bike
    spare tire
    spare tube
    flat repair kit
    multi tool kit
    pliers
    tire iron x 2
    pump
    grease
    oil
    zip/cable ties
    rear light
    head light
    extra batteries
    two water bottles
    helmet
    shoes
    gloves
    sunglasses
    rear view mirror

    Camping
    sleeping bag
    sleeping mat
    pillow
    tent, fly, poles, stakes, cord
    tent ground sheet
    rechargeable light
    solar panel+ batteries
    collapsible water bottle(s)
    stove
    fuel bottle
    funnel
    matches - container
    garbage bag(s)
    pocket knife
    DEET insect repellant
    bear repellant

    Clothing
    2-quick dry bike shorts
    2-jerseys
    1-quick dry pants
    1-quick dry long sleeve shirt
    poly long underwear set
    bug shirt
    fleece jacket/pants
    wind jacket/pants
    rain jacket/pants
    2-T shirts
    3-underwear
    2-socks
    cap
    camp shoes

    Food & Related
    water purification tablets
    oatmeal packets, fruit
    trail mixes
    cheese/nuts
    dry milk, whole
    coffee, single serve packets
    hot chocolate mix
    can opener
    dish soap/hand soap
    cup, bowl/pot
    spoon, fork, knife
    Wash kit: potholder, scrubber, can-opener,
    bottle opener, towel

    Miscellaneous
    map(s)
    compass
    cell phone
    camera
    plastic bags to keep things dry
    sunscreen
    ibuprofen
    benadryl
    vinegar
    vitamins
    talc powder
    vaseline
    lotion
    extra cord
    tent broom
    mylar blanket - emergency
    whistle
    first aid kit
    neosporin
    toilet paper
    bar soap
    wash cloth
    towel
    toothbrush
    toothpaste
    dental floss
    waterproof note paper, space pen
    safety pins
  19. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    Alright, I do love gear lists ;). Looks like you've got a good list. IF it were me, here's how I would be tweaking it for a little less weight.
    No comment on the Bike stuff. I don't have much experience there. I will ask if a good multitool could sub for the pliers, can opener, bottle opener...

    Camping:
    I'd ditch the pillow & use clothing as a pillow
    What's the rechargeable light for? Can you just use your LED flash/headlight? I expect you'll be too tired to read in the tent much at night.
    Solar panel will probably not get used unless it can be on your bike while riding. Just not enough daylight time in camp with all the set-up, break-down, cooking, eating.... Just recharge in motels?
    Ditch the funnel
    Consider replacing your tent stakes with stronger, lighter ones & don't worry about one for Every guy point. I imagine you'll often be camping on rock or shallow soil where stakes are of limited use, so tying to branches, sticks & rocks... is necessary anyway.

    Clothing: Looks like a good list
    I'd use waterproof-breathable rain jacket & pants as your wind jacket & pants also. I know they aren't as breathable, but I've never had need for separate wind shells in any conditions.
    Consider ditching the fleece pants. They are only useful in very cold conditions IMO. If it's cold you can wear the poly, quick dry and rain pants.
    Why the 2 T-shirts along with the 2 jerseys? I might just have one for a cleaner camp/town shirt
    Keep the camp shoes as light as possible.
    Bring at least 1 more pair of socks, maybe 2. Wet socks are no fun & neither are blisters.
    Add a fleece hat. If it's cold & rainy a warm hat is priceless, especially in camp & at night.
    Consider thin gloves for riding in cold and in camp.

    Food:
    Mostly depends what you like to eat, but lots of snack food is always welcome. I'd be adding a few energy bars.
    Consider just a spork for your utensils & use the pocket knife to eat with.
    As said, sub a multitool for the can & bottle opener, pliers, maybe even pot holder (that's a bit awkward though). This doesn't really save weight, just simplifies trying to find each of those little things in your kit when you need them.
    Ditch the towel from the wash kit & leave them wet or use your regular towel

    Misc:
    Again highly personal here, but I got ask: Tent Broom? I've never even seen one. If it's a free-standing tent, just flip it upside down & shake when setting-up or tearing down & all the dirt it gone. If a tunnel tent you can still do that with just a little fore-thought (like leaving 1 stake in at the head & 1 at the foot, then flip & shake)
    Add some elastic bands. Very handy
    Vinegar? I'm intrigued


    Generally I'd guess from the list that you are pretty concerned with hygiene. Maybe add deodorant for town stops, although I often forgo it in the woods. Hand sanitizer is not a bad addition either. Mixed with salt it makes a great fire starter too.
    Consider that once you are rolling along in the bike-eat-sleep-eat-bike rhythm you might be much more incline to toss some hygiene out the window in favor of more sleep. I can't tell you how many times I've come back from a trip having never worn that extra shirt that I threw in.
    You'll want a food bag & cord set-up to bear-bag your food & bathroom stuff.
  20. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    My list was intended to be pretty inclusive, with room to delete. But if I didn't put it down, I might not consider the item for cross out later. I will look at a multitool to sub for the pliers.
    ::DT My can opener and bottle opener is a GI little fold-out flat thing, weighs about 1/10 oz.
    ::DT I've used clothing before and woke up with a stiff neck. The self-inflating pillow squishes down to practically nothing, a couple of oz in weight at best. I'll tolerate that for a better night's sleep.
    ::DTYou're probably right on about the rechargeable light (see Model N200 at nokero.com), and this may be a cross off. It will hang on the rear panniers and charge up during the day of travel.
    ::DTThe foldable solar panel similarly will fasten to the rear pannier top and charge 2-AA batteries, and from these it will supply 5v to charge the cell phone battery. Google "powerfilm USB+AA charger" and take a look.
    ::DTThe funnel likely will be crossed off. My tent stakes for my single person tent are aluminum spikes, very light.
    ::DTI need to do something about the wind/rain/fleece jackets. The wind are snug fitting nylon shells, and the rain are pretty much the same with poly water proofing but loose fitting. I really would not like to ride with the rain gear in just windy, cold weather, due to moisture buildup. The fleece are worst case bad weather, since my trip is in Sept and weather could get nasty around Lake Superior. I'm thinking these might feel really good in the evening at a campsite, and if it gets really cold, my ultralight sleeping bag is not enough. I used the bag in the mid-30'sF and was cool enough not to get a good night's sleep.
    ::DTYour point on clothing is good. I intend to have only one towel although it appears on the list twice.
    ::DTTent broom ;) -- will not be coming along, a carry-over from my general family camping list with the big tent.
    ::DTElastic bands, yes. Vinegar works very well for me on bee stings, neutralizes them well. Also a reason for the benadryl. I was out camping once and grabbed a dead small log on the ground for the fire, and out came a swarm of wasps - about 7 stings on my arm, no vinegar or benadryl. My forearm looked kind of like Popeye's by day 3. Don't want that to happen.
    ::DTHand-sanitizer, probably a small bottle, can likely be easily replaced along the way if used up.
    ::DTFood bag and cord for bear, racoon, whatever - yes.

    I loaded most of the gear on the bike yesterday just to see how it would work out. The bike looks more like a truck, some cutting
    will be needed both for weight and volume.


    Thanks for the look.
  21. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,264
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    A brief update. Training rides are going well. I have contacted two local food shelves and offered to use the ride to earn donations for their benefit. I am asking them to work together to promote the ride, set up a website, solicit donations, and provide for me to blog over the trek and let viewers comment. I also have contacted Verizon and requested it to provide a phone and coverage for one month so that I can blog en route. I use Verizon now but do not have a smart phone.

    My training goal now will be two rides per week at a strong pace for about 1/2 daily distance, 35-40 miles, and one ride every 7-10 days at a slower pace for full planned daily distance, about 80 miles.
  22. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,264
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    Just over two weeks to departure. Excitement and a little anxiety. All planned gear fits in the front and rear panniers, 40-45 lbs total extra weight. Bike continues to perform without an issue after 770 miles of riding, wheels are true, tires look good, but did replace the chain (new SRAM 1051 replaces 1031), and now considering bringing a spare chain as I have some more conditioning rides plus 1600+/- miles on the Quest. Would not like to wear out the cassette and a chainring if that can be avoided.
  23. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,264
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    Last post here. I offered my ride around Lake Superior Quest to local food shelves to use as a fundraiser, and the 3 area food shelves partnered to do this. A website is up Rolling Over Hunger to which I will be blogging, and the food shelves will be shamelessly asking for donations. Anyone interested can follow my Quest or PM me for any specific info. Departure is 7 days (Sept 3) from today. Thanks in advance to those interested.

    Rolling Over Hunger
  24. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Roll Jim Roll!
  25. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    778
    Loc:
    Central NY
    Hi jebatty - have a great trip, I'm envious!

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