So many little things to tell you about! It has been about a week since I returned from my journey. Plenty of time to reflect.
I felt I packed just about right. As it turned out, I didn’t need the rain gear or the warm gloves because the weather was so spectacular. However, one must always be prepared. The Arkel panniers did their job admirably. It is amazing how much they can hold. Everything inside the packs is also weather protected with a rain proof lining that can be unfurled when needed and then packed away when not needed.
I have already extolled the virtues of my ride, a Co-motion Americano touring bike. I absolutely love this thing. Completely reliable and solid and it didn’t break a sweat with the kilograms of gear in panniers attached to its frame. It was stable at high speed on the mountain road descents and on the flats it ran like a thoroughbred. I think this is going to be a long and meaningful relationship!
My small ultralight tent, the Easton 1 Kilo, was a comfortable home away from home. It is amazing how light it is and how small it can be packed. It didn’t really rain so I did not have a chance to really test out its foul weather capabilities. A comfortable bed is very important and the combination of my Western Mountaineering Versalight sleeping bag and the Xped down sleeping pad allowed for a restful slumber.
The MSR Reactor stove did a great job of heating food/hot drink up very quickly. I basically brought food for breakfast and dinner. I also had numerous snacks as I was biking during the day. Beef jerky, raw almonds, dried apricots, dates as well as protein power bars supplied energy along the way. I tried to purchase lunch, if it was available, along each day’s route. The dehydrated food was adequate for dinner. I have purchased a dehydrator and will try to prepare my own dry foods for my next adventure. It is my hope that this will be healthier and taste better.
The campgrounds along the way were great. Each provided hot showers and heated bathrooms. This really does make a difference when you are out on the road day after day. Each of the campgrounds were well landscaped and very well-managed. They were very quiet for the most part [except for the nearby trains].
The technology [yes, I always have to talk about the technology] allowed me to stay in contact with my family, blog along the way, stay “energized” and provided the photographs you are hopefully enjoying in the blog. I brought the Olympus Stylus 1 along because it is a compact camera. It produces great photographs and has a great focal length range from 28-200 mm at maximum F2 .8 aperture. It also has an extremely long battery life. I never needed to charge it for the entire week. The Delorme SE satellite beacon provided tracking capabilities as well as the ability to communicate with my family and also allowed them to track me [stalkers]. The Garmin GPS provided me with digital maps as well as data regarding the trip and a GPX file which is always helpful for future journeys. A Brunton Lithium Ion battery pack provided me with mobile energy to power all of my USB devices. It did not have to be recharged for the entire trip. Quite efficient!. In fact, at the end of the trip it still had 80% retained charge.
And now, the stats! I really do not spend any time thinking about the technology/stats when I am out on these adventures. However, at the end it is always interesting to quantify what one has done. It certainly adds to the satisfaction and continues to augment my opinion of how amazing the human body is. Without further adieu:
Total distance traveled- 688.4 km
Time in the saddle- 43 hours 20 min.
Total calories burned- 16,645 kcal
Average heart rate = 114
Maximum heart rate = 147
Average speed during the tour- 16.2 km/h
Maximum speed- 59 km/h [downhill, of course]
Total ascent- 6898.7 m [yikes, almost into the death zone of 8000 m]
Total weight lost during the tour = 3 kg
Total joy quotient = immeasurable!
That’s about it for now. I certainly encourage everyone to cycle. It is an amazing way to get exercise and a great way to experience the environment you are cycling through. As I said previously, I certainly plan to do more cycle tours- alongside my other activities- over the next several years. Here’s looking forward to the next one. Until next time.