Monday, 13 August 2007

Fine tuning the kit and planning a soundtrack for the singletrack

Yep, been riding some more, last Sunday I strained some back muscles pretty bad out climbing some bouncy-shifty bikes on a hot and sunny 40km thanks to Si (Ihatenettles) and Sheldon. I took it pretty easy last week (apart from lots of utility cycling on the to follow) and went out for 3hrs (what I now refer to as a "short ride") to recover from a hangover and test out the new Karrimor camelbak that I got for my birthday.

I hate carrying stuff on my back but this bag keeps the weight low and on the hips so I can ride with the shoulder straps really loose and avoid neck and shoulder pain. I can fit pretty much everything in it and 1.2l of water. I will carry the tools and other spares in the Jandd frame pack to keep the weight on the bike...low and centered. I can carry 2x 0.75l bottles on the frame making just under 3l of H2O at any one time.

There are two zipped side pockets that I can access on the go so I can use these for snacks, sun cream and insect repellant. Speaking of nasty stuff I had my jabs last week for...well pretty much everything! My arms hurt and I felt a bit rough for the day but I am now covered for most of the nasties. The good news I had was that I don't need malaria tablets as Delhi is a low risk area and Shimla north is pretty much too high for the pesky mossies. I plan on high strength repellant and developing a love of G+T's...ok, just the repellant then!

I won't be on the bike tomorrow as there is a bad weather warning and I need to strip and re-build the bike a la Mike Curiak "Build it strong, build it comfey and use lots of loc-tite" People might wonder why I am doing this mid-August and not later September, well I want to give it a service then ride it some more to make sure that it is 100% fine before I go. There will probably be a few niggling things that need sorting over a few weeks.

My other task for wet-days is to rip some of my CDs on to my MP3 player for the trip. I already have an SD card half full of down-tempo, ambient stuff for the big climbs and long flights (Neurosis, Isis, Final, GY!BE, Silver Mt Zion) and now need some faster stuff like the Haunted, Dead Kennedys, Therapy?, Entombed and the Beastie Boys...did I say I had an ecclectic music collection?

Over and out.


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