Monday, April 11, 2011

Ragnarok and some gear stuff

Last week I spent part of an afternoon seam sealing and generally playing around with the tarp that I'll be using on the Divide. Overall I'm really pleased with it and I feel like I've got the sleep/shelter thing figured out.

My tarp, bivy, and pad will be packed into this 6L compression sack, presumably weighing just about 2 pounds. At this point I am leaning towards ditching the Revelate handlebar pocket and just using some simple straps to attach it to the bars.

I also plan on bringing poles for the tarp. It seems like most tarp using bikepackers are quick to point out that poles aren't really necessary, but I feel like they make sense in this case. I don't have enough faith in my problem solving skills to count on being able to figure out an on the fly tarp setup in the dark after an eighteen hour day on the bike. The poles I have were expensive, and while not totally essential, I think they're worth it for the piece of mind that they'll bring. Plus they store really easily in the frame bag.

The gravel around here is fast and awesome, and I've been getting out on it a fair bit. I've been enjoying some shorter rides with good friends, and this weekend I got to experience my first ever Ragnarok. I finished the 111 mile course in just over 8 hours, riding with a kit that's within a pound or two of what I'll have when I leave Banff. The fast guys finished almost two hours before me, but I still am feeling pretty good about myself. The event was awesome, and I sincerely hope to be able to participate in it again next year.

I have the next couple weeks to get out on some overnighters and refine my setup; at the end of April I'll be stringing together a week or so long trip to work out any remaining kinks. There's still a lot to do, and I feel like these next eight weeks are going to go by in a flash.