Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Fine tuning but no test....so far

Still faffing with the kit and packing options. I have ditched the emergency foil bag as carrying a sleeping bag, bivvi bag and spare clothes should negate the need for a big bacofoil sack :) I am toying with the idea of a front rack to take the clothes and sleeping bag (in a drysack) so I only have to carry water on my back. The only problem is that the front racks are all pretty small top plates and fixing the bag on there might be tricky. The other option is a bar bag (which I had sold as I was using bar mounted bottles) from Carradice (their zipped roll bag) which can take snacks and waterproofs thus freeing up more space in the frame bag for clothes possibly?

I have made out a provisional menu for the trip and considering the proliferation of pubs and small towns along the way I should not need too many calories in the bag. I am planning porridge/sugar/dried fruit, Geobar and coffee for breakfast. Snacks include 100g of Billtong (jerky) nuts, dried fruit and spicy chickpeas. Evening meals will be in a pub although I will carry some emergency food incase the pubs are closed / out of food / not friendly!

A provisional date has been set so that gives me a target to aim at and a couple of months to try stuff out. My latest purchase that will require some testing / trial and error is a poncho / tarp. I was considering buying some SilNylon but this worked out the same price and was already assembled :) I will need to sort out various pitching options and procure some tent pegs and guy lines from my current tent selection to make a complete shelter but at about 400grams and 2m x 1.5m I think it will be worth taking along.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Still riding...

although Becca is getting faster now she is riding to work most days. I hvae the WTB Weirwolf 29x2.55's fitted and I am loving the floaty comfort and grip :)

Just tried out my GDR-UK loading on the bike and it all fits pretty well. The camelbak bladder is a little narrow and rounded compared with the pocket in the back of the AlpKit pack but it works OK. Loads of room in the rack pack for food and snacks in the frame bag. I might even put the waterproofs in the Gourdon as it only has my clothes and sleeping bag in it! Guess it depends on the weather!

Full kit list so far:

BIKE
GPS
Frame Pack
Ft light
Rack
Rack bag
Rr light

FRAME PACK
£/Credit Card
Buff
Glasses cleaner
Maps
Montane Jacket
Montane Trousers
Snacks
Sunglasses+case
4x Lithium AA's
chain oil
pump
Tool kit**
Tube

RACK BAG
1st aid kit*
Bivvi bag
Camp soap
Ear plugs
Food
Matches in ziplock bag
Mini lock
Razor+oil
Scourer in ziplock bag
Sleeping mat
Stove
Suncream
Ti Mug
Ti spork
Toothbrush+paste
TP

ALPKIT GOURDON 20L
Altura longs
Camelbak 2l bladder
Camera+case (Left-pocket)
Cycling shorts
Merino LS
Merino Cycling Jersey
Merino socks
Sleeping bag
Snacks (Right-pocket)

WEAR
Baggy shorts
Cap
Cycling shoes
Cycling shorts
Helmet
Merino Cycling Jersey
Merino socks
Glasses
Summer gloves
Watch

1st Aid Kit*
3x Antiseptic wipes
Bandage
2x Dressing
Foil blanket
Plasters
Savlon
Scissors
Tape
Tweezers
Vitamin N
Latex gloves
2x Rehydration salts
Water purifier tabs
Safety pins
Needles+floss
Whistle

Tool Kit**
£cash
Chain links
Chainring bolt tool
Chainring bolts x2
Electrical tape
Gaffer tape
Leatherman knife
Puncture repair kit
Spokes+nipples
Topeak Hexus multi tool
Tyre boot
Zip ties


So there you go, a tantalising list of kit. I have left out some info and particular models as its no fun if some one tells you everything! Have fun trying it for your self. I am still waiting on a couple of small bits (50ml bottles, Cyalume's and possibly a basha/cord/pegs if the weather looks iffy)

Check out dR jOhNs blog for the ultimate (?) bloody mary :)

Right, off to help my sister move house!

Alex

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

SSUK

Sorry for the month long silence, not a huge amount has happened that was worth writing about. Minimal riding and motivation have given way to err, more riding and motivation! SSUK 08 was held at the weekend and I would like to thank all the oragnisers, helpers and staff for a great time. It was great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. There was beer, whisky, great food and bad dancing. Oh and a bike race somewhere inbeween :)

Due to lots (ok, 3) of requests here are the recipies for the cak and flapjack Becca was handing out all weekend:

Chocolate Beetroot cake (from Green & Blacks Chocolate cookbook)

100g Drinking Chocolate
230g s/r flour
200g Caster sugar
100g Dark Choc (recipe says min 60% I use 70% in case the 10% makes a difference)
125g unsalted butter
250g cooked beetroot
3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 180

Butter and flour 18cm tin.

Sift together drinking chocolate and flour, then mix in the sugar.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a ban marie.
Puree the Beetroot.
Wisk the eggs then stir into the beetroot. Add to the melted chocolate mixture and dry ingredients and mix well.
Pour into cake tin and bake for 50min.


Flapjack (from Nigella Lawson’s domestic goddess)

450g rolled oats
75g soft brown sugar (I use a light muscavado)
300g unsalted butter
50g golden syrup (I think its far to messy to way so use about 4 serving spoons or until the mixture smells more like golden syrup then butter!!!)


Preheat oven to 190.

Mix the oats and sugar. Melt butter and syrup gently over a low heat, once melted pour over oats and mix. Press into tin and cook for 20-25min.
While they are still warm (about 10min out of oven) cut into squares then leave to cool fully before removing from tin.

Photos will be fettled and added here as a mini slideshow and linked to my Picasa site soon (maybe tonight but I have loads to catch up on!) I only took about 6 photos and mainly around the Mabie red trail on Monday, Becca was snapping away during the race so she will take the credit for the shots ;)

Later

Alex