Joby GorillaPod Micro 800 Tripod. Probably the smallest useable tripod.
I didn’t buy this, just saw one at the store. Kind of impressed and think it would be a good choice for a bike tour. Joby also makes a smartphone clamp that attaches.
Folded Length: 3 1/2 inches
Load Capacity: 1.7 lbs
Weight: 2.3oz (65g)
Thru an associate I was able to get a unbeatable deal on some Snow Peak items. I first thought to only go for the Ti French Press and a baller mug. But decided to stick with my current coffee making method and instead upgrade my tableware. My stainless biner mug is good because it has a lid but that lid is a bit of a pain to open sometimes and it is only 12oz capacity (to the very top, no lid). Plus it weighs 9.6 oz. versus this being 5.1 oz in weight for a 20oz capacity. I think that’s an improvement even though I lose the closure option.
I never carried a plate on a bike tour before but adding 2 oz is totally acceptable and with a diameter of 7.5″ I’m sure I’ll be able to store this easily.
I don’t mind a fork and spoon that are on a diet (SCT-002 is 1.4 oz for both) but a knife has got to be a knife (NT-041 is 1.6 oz and length is 9″). The Ti knife in SCT-001 is so dainty it looks like it made for nothing bigger than those peel top mini butter pack you get in to-go food orders. Hence the Ti/steel mix of cutlery.
All are made in Japan.
I wasn’t really all that into this book for two reasons. The guy who wrote it seems like one of those people that have to be above others who are all in the same group. They are all biking the length of Africa but he makes a “Locker 9 Club” to have a way to hang out separately with the other rich men on the ride. Also there is no end to the focus on riding “every fucking inch” of the route. So seeing the letters EFI is entirely too repetitious for me. I also must say there are exclamation points at the end of nearly every other sentence through out the entire thing.
Only in a small tid bit does he explain the EFN class among the riders. Those are the ones who slept in a tent every fucking night. The author was definitely not in that class but I would much rather read a book by someone who was!
Also not a loaded touring story. A race story really, but still a bike travel story so worth the read.
I can recall that I read about 10 or 12 touring/bike travel books back around the time of my fist tour. I just don’t remember any of the titles. Reading about other peoples experiences is a way to learn by the mistakes of others. Not sure what the next book I’ll read will be but pretty sure I’ve got time before i hit the road.
Still stuck in this city. No traveling for over a year now. So i surf web and i see all this stuff, gravel grinding, ultralight touring, bikepacking times 1000, rando, s24o, and other things. Among all this there are those whats-in-my-bag pictures. And i just now looked at this one where the only cooking/food item was a Ti spork. There may have been a can opener and some matches in there but it made me think, yeah if i was only going for a few days i could get by with just that much. But I don’t think about going for a few days. For me it’s only been for months. I’m not going for 3 months with just a spork.
So I then thought that, thru my 4 tours, my kit had mostly stayed the same. I can only think of a few variations. My first two were about the same then with my third and fourth I just upgraded my clothing and camera gear. I kind of know just what to take on a 2½ to 4 month tour. But looking at that photo of a 2 day kit with a spork I knew I’d take more for a 3 month trip. But now I’m worried that my 3 month kit won’t be what I need to take for a 5 season trip.
Thinking about being on the road for 450 days is almost too much to plan for. Shit will break, wear out, get lost, get stolen, be given away, or become useless deadweight due to changing seasons. So what do i pack differently based on the duration of this trip?
One thing I’m going to do is have a back up stock of a few thing to leave with a friend to mail to me. Things like clothes, tires, film.
Another thing is my cooking gear will have coffee gear in the mix for the first time. And i’m looking into a better fry pan. Mostly so I can do more cooking beyond boiling water for pasta and heating vege burgers. I also might bring a plate so I can eat like a human being.
Also because this next tour will have a photo project attached I want to add to my camera gear but still keep the weight within reason. Still not sure what will make the cut but its looking like another lens and a tripod.
The thought of leaping from the season+ duration to the year+ realm is kind of scary.
Tokina RMC 135mm f/2.8 lens (image source)
This old lens was a gift from a friend of a friend. It didn’t take long for me to buy an adapter so it would fit to my Canon. Right away I did some test shots in my house using my DSLR. I was not super stoked on it and pretty much just set it aside for a few months before I decided to shoot half a roll on my SLR. The outdoor portrait shots were way better. And this is a good lens I’ll keep around. Small, light in weight, and really good for portraits. But I lose AF, not bad because the focus ring is very good, and I lose light metering. That second part is not so bad either but does slow down my shooting because I resort to a free phone app that calls its self a light meter to calculate exposure settings.
Anyway, only 50% chance this would come on tour with me. But maybe, it is build tough enough.
Cost: Free +$30 for adapter. I did see a couple on eBay for $50.
Made in Japan
- I decided on a cassette, the Sram 12-28. Mostly because I think pushing a Z gear of 30×28 will be close enough to a 1 to 1 ratio that I don’t really need a 30t or anything bigger in the back. And when I look at the spread, the 12-28 lets me keep the 16t I’m used to having between the 15 & 17t, but i trade my 21&23 for only a 22t, and on the top end I gain a 28t to resort to when that 25t is not enough. Also it’s a few bucks less than the Shimano Ultegra 12-30t.
- Speaking of cassettes, I saw a 11-42t 11 speed on the market. I get that its for a single chainring up front but the look of it is ridiculously bad.
- My friend picked up a Solio BOLT battery pack/solar charger. He showed it to me and said he liked its performance. Small, light, not a ton of money. Might look into getting one for myself later. But for now the components still needed are headset, stem, bars, seat post, cables, & bar wrap in order to get rolling.
- The thought of going to Interbike and learning about more companies making things in North America. But i’ve never been to Interbike
- In the future I need to keep track of days I resort to my Z gear. So I’m making a new tag and hash tag #Zgear
I’ve made my photo project idea concise enough to talk about it with friends. But still there is a lot to it. Besides all the parts I’d need help with there is the reasoning behind wanting to do something so involved. And of course there is the debate of should I make it a big project I have people helping me with, or should I just do nearly all of the work on my own and keep it to a manageable size.
And its that last part that makes me even wonder if I should even set out to publish anything. For some reason I still come back to the idea of just going on tour. No charity. No blog. No big projects. Just get on my bike and ride. Take pictures, write in my notebook, eat food and sleep in my tent.
To counter that. I want to do something good. I like having a project. I want to take pictures. I want to see new things and meet new people. I feel connected to people who work jobs making things we need. I want to tell some sort of story about why they are important.
But I’m scared. I don’t want to fail. I worry I won’t get into the factories and work spaces to meet the people I want to meet. I worry about so many things. Too many to try to list them.
A few things arrived. New cassette but i had to file down a screw on my hub so it could fit. A few things for my daily rider. And news that my frame might be going in the jig next week. good news.
Might be ordering some Snow Peak stuff thru an associate. Looking at tableware things.
Sometimes it feels like a very long time will pass before I leave on another extended bike tour. So much time that it is very possible something unknown could pop up and derail the whole thing out of my future. I guess I shouldn’t think that way..
Need to remember that you land where you look.
For some reason I bought an adapter for this old Nikon mount Tokina RMC 135mm f/2.8 lens I was gifted so I could use it with my Canon. That was many months ago. I’ve not shot one picture on film with it yet but I’m gonna start now. Compared to the Canon EF 135mm f/2 its small and light and free. Although no AF and a stop slower.
Yesterday I saw a book by August Sander and I was really impressed. This guy did in Germany what I wish I could do here. Many decades ago and on a different continent but I am inspired. I look on the web for inspiration via web searches for images & articles, on sites like CGOAB, twitter and personal blogs but I also see links to way more. facebook, instagram, youtube, vimeo.. there are so many but what is the longevity of them? in 10, 20 years will any of it make it to the surface? Books. I should think about a book.
This August Sander book is titled Face of Our Time and it has an introduction by another person followed by 60 portraits with simple titles. That should the goal, not instagram followers or youtube views. I don’t care about that shit but it is important to lots of people, including some of those on tour. I want to talk with people and make friends. I want to print pictures and hand them to people, or send them in the mail.
My problem is that I am also here using the internet as a way to share, there are difference but it is really just that I’m small time and I like it that way. Money can be made from a busy website. videos and instagrams can funnel hits from other areas on the web to a site of your own. One making money. I get that there are checks to be made from this kind of shit but I think what I want from touring is to be free from that.
I’m going to stop trying to describe this stuff. Just to say, I want to ride my bike far, but to one day come back. And I want a full notebook along with many many pictures I think are good enough to show.
still no welding to happen yet..
still need to sew that other pannier..
not going to Interbike.
Prob not a necessary item because just about anything can be used to hold extra water but being compact, light, and large capacity but fillable under a shallow sink goes in the pros column. Trying to fill an empty 2L soda bottle or gallon jug under a small sink isn’t easy. 2L should be good to boil water for a pasta dinner, coffee in the morning, and some left to drink.
Capacity 70 fl. oz / 2 liters
Weight 1.3 oz / 36 g
Paid about $8 on a deal
Made in Seattle, USA
Backpackers Pantry U.T.U. Wood Spatula/Knife
I picked up one of these for $2.50 to give it a try. The 2-in-1 design is good for bike touring and I need a spatula. The knife is a bit short to get the last of peanut butter out the bottom of even a regular 160z. jar but not too short. Pancakes were the real test, and this didn’t do so good. It is small and light but I’ma keep looking..
Pros: Light weight, small, 2-in-1, low cost
Cons: Knife too short, spatula too small, imported
Made in Taiwan
A new cassette that will go on my new bike. 12-13-14-15-16-17-19-22-25-28
Heat treated steel. Under 300g.
I think this will work out fine but I think this is a general use range, not especially for touring. I wish I could make my own cassette, it would be close but just a lil’ different. 13-14-15-16-17-19-21-23-25-28 its much like my old 12-25 cassette but trading the 12t on one end for a 28t on the other.
Paid a lil’ ova $50 on a deal
Made in Taiwan
This one is a bit different for inspirational images.
I have never taken a proper strainer on tour, don’t plan on it. But I do make pasta while on tour. A lot of pasta and definitely often. At home I still make pasta more often than most. The story behind why I’m inspired by this colander is because after my last tour I moved in with a friend and the apartment did not have a pasta strainer. No big deal right, I’ll just use the lid to the pot I boiled the noodles in. Just like I do on tour with my cook set. With my pasta habit it got to be that I was in the market for a strainer. Problem was I could not find a made in USA option. A few bouts of looking in stores and online won me nothing. I kept using the lid to drain the water off my pasta noodles. Months of this because I’m stubborn and didn’t want to spend money on something made in China when I believed I could find a domestic option.
My roommate understands me enough to get that I’d rather not buy an imported item if there was a made in USA option. He had seen me dump way too much pasta in the sink on accident and he was the one who made the score. He found it and he bought it but I was happy to see it on the counter when I came home one day.
So! I am inspired to work on a new idea for a photo project on my next tour and this is the item that gave me the idea.