Category Archives: Things

NiteRider Lumina 700 Light

NiteRider Lumina 700 light

I friend of mine goes on night rides often and this is the light he has. I got to check out the earlier model when he made the upgrade to the 700. Just a couple times and I could see the value in having a high output light.

Charges by mini USB, same as my phone, and can be set to only put out approx 40 lumens to have a run time of 18hrs. Or 1.5hrs at highest setting and 2 other levels in between plus a rapid flashing mode. Good clamp, good quick release, the on/off is a press button rather than a slide switch.

Over all a very good light. Not heavy, some US parts or assembly.. I can’t remember b/c i pitched the box. Pretty sure this will be added to the touring kit, and not as a replacement to my headlamp. I figure I will be on tour when the days are short and I may need to get someplace. Plus safety and shit.

Bought this on a deal.

Update: Stolen Jan. 2013 and it was worth it to buy another one.

Joby GorillaPod Micro 800 Tripod


Joby GorillaPod Micro 800 Tripod

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)

Snow Peak Tableware

snow peak Ti mug MG-054Snow Peak Titanium Double 600 Mug MG-054

snow peak Trek Titanium PlateSTW-002T
Snow Peak Trek Titanium Plate STW-002T

Snow Peak Titanium Fork & Spoon SetSCT-002
Snow Peak Titanium Fork & Spoon Set SCT-002

snow peak Wood Party Knife NT-041
Snow Peak Wood Party Knife NT-041

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.

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.

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


Platy 2L Bottle

platypus platy 2L bottle

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

Backpackers Pantry U.T.U. Wood Spatula/Knife

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

Sram PG1050 10speed cassette 12-28t

Sram PG1050 12-28t 10sp cassette
Sram PG1050 10speed cassette 12-28t

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

Inspiration: Preserve

preserve Large Colander


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.

July 2013

a few things.

  • bought Schwalbe tires, but not rode them yet
  • my favorite cheap film was discontinued, and did some searching to stock up a little
  • my roommate and a friend left for a 3week tour on the northern west coast. Stoked for them and wishing i could do the same
  • picked up a nice linen travel towel, and have been using it. linen is great stuff
  • thinking about the letters P,B and J. Pictures, Biking and Jobs. I want to tour around and take pictures of people who work in manufacturing jobs. Things like Red Wing or Western Mountaineering.
  • not yet made a decision on a color for my new frame, but heard about a black powder coat that has a spectrum of color reflected in the sun
  • still contemplating options for doing, or not doing video on a future tour
  • also the options for solar charging, or just spotting outdoor outlets
  • reading a book, The Slow Way Down by Gerald Coniel

Thinking more about Pictures Biking and Jobs project idea. The amount of effort i would need to give it. What the main focus would be. Practical aspects like finding and connecting with people while on the road. And how would the stories be told, presented. I believe there are enough people interested in the parts separately and also combined specifically. I would hope i could be reputable enough to be allowed to visit work spaces and learn about the jobs, the people, and the goods they make. And take portraits.

Cant decide what cassette to install. My last tour was 12-25 with cassette cogs: 12,13,14,15,16,17,19,21,23,25

Shimano Ultegra 6700 10-Speed 12-30t
Range: 12-30
Cassette Cogs: 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27-30

SRAM PG-1050 10 speed 12-28t
Range: 12-28
Cassette Cogs: 12-13-14-15-16-17-19-22-25-28

Miche Shimano splined 10 speed 12-27t
Range: 12-27
Cassette Cogs: 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25-27

Custom Frame: Influential bike


Sitting around BMW talking bikes, talking touring bikes, and getting a custom build made, it has been this bike that was most influential. Other than my old touring bike of course. But in wanting to make a modern version of my old bike, although not too modern, I looked to this one for tube dimensions and frame features.

Both will have True Temper SuperTherm main tubes, with 1.25″ top tube, 1.5″ down tube. And external butted seat tube for 27.2mm post.