Monthly Archives: September 2013

Book: The Slow Way Down by Gerald Coniel

The Slow Way Down by Gerald Coniel

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 first 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.

Kit, determined by duration

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

RMC Tokina 135mm f/2.8
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