Wednesday, August 29, 2007

PBP - Lightening up the bike

All year, riding buddy Bob Brudvik has encouraged me to try to pack more efficiently and to carry less stuff on the bike. I've used handlebar bags, underseat bags, frame wedge bags, rack trunks, and panniers in different combinations on my brevets and permanents this year. For PBP, I planned to ride with a jumbo sized Berthoud front bag and (possibly) an Ortlieb underseat bag.

In St-Quentin en Yvelines before the ride, I fussed around extensively and perhaps obsessively with my packing. In the end, I decided to use just the front bag. As with many randonneurs, I tend to fill whatever on-bike storage that I have available. Omitting the underseat bag would make me pack less stuff. Purists will note that I had restock available at drop bags in Villaines and Loudeac; I'll readily admit that the drop bags aided the gear choices.

Here's what I carried. (The bike and the body offer additional places for stuff.)

On the bike at the start:
  • Two large water bottles
  • Generator hub and Schmidt light
  • Battery powered backup light (DiNotte)
  • Frame plates (PBP number plate, SIR name plate, SIR name plate for Steve Hameister, Maindru photo plate)
  • Fenders & courtesy flap
  • Two taillights
On me at the start:
  • wool t-shirt
  • wool jersey
  • armwarmers & knee warmers
  • bibs
  • headband
  • reflective sash & anklebands
  • wool socks
  • shoes
  • gloves
  • SIR wind vest (with pockets - very handy to store arm/knee warmers and to carry day 4 change of shorts & undershirt from Villaines drop bag to Mortagne sleep stop)
  • helmet with headlamp and taillights (I had a button light and also clipped a Planet Bike light to the strap across the back of the helmet. This came in later when I discovered that the matching taillight on the bike had broken off. I just moved the light from the helmet and had two on the bike again.)
  • Sunglasses with light yellow lenses and mirror
In the bag:
  • Clothing
    • Rain jacket (never used)
    • Wool liner gloves (never used)
    • Cap (never used)
  • Nutrition
    • Clif Blox (used and restocked from drop bags)
    • Ensure (used and restocked)
    • Nuun electrolyte tablets (used and restocked)
    • Endurolytes (not used)
  • Repair stuff
    • Spare tire (never used)
    • 3 tubes (used 1 on first night and replaced from Villaines drop bag)
    • patch kit (never used)
    • tire boots (not used; used a piece of Tyvek from Peter McKay instead when I flatted; boot held for 1150km)
    • multitool (used twice to tighten fender bolts)
    • chain quick links (never used)
    • 2 fiber spokes (never used)
    • zip ties (never used)
    • 2 spare bulbs (used one)
    • 4 spare AAA batteries (used)
    • Swiss army knife (not used)
  • Personal care
    • Sun screen (never used; but gave some to Peter when sun came out outside Brest on Wednesday)
    • Lip balm (used occasionally)
    • Ibuprofen (used lots)
    • Vivarin (used twice)
    • Neosporin (never used)
    • Ear plugs (used at sleep stops)
    • Bandages (never used)
    • Toothbrush; toothpaste (happily used)
  • Other
    • Space blanket
    • Dark lenses (never used)
    • Camera (never used; I don't know why I continually carry a camera on rides and fail to take pictures)
    • Wallet
    • Phone
    • Brevet card wallet with brevet card, mag swipe card, and passport
    • SIR PBP2007 souvenir pins (handed out and replenished from drop bags)
Overall, I was pleased with what I had with me and felt reasonably confident of my ability to make it to the next control in case of any mechanical adversity. I used the drop bags for clean clothes and bike food replenishment. I also restocked the tube I used on first night and changed headlamp batteries on Thursday morning.

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