One week away and how am I feeling? Anxious!! I woke up tense –my mind thinking of a 1000 things to do. My neck has a weird cramp in it and I’ve got zits (which only tends to happen when I’m nervous).
I started my day by ordering my wedding ring (very excited…a cute inexpensive little ring with a bike on it). Hope it gets here in time. Next up I have stuff to return. It seems as though every time I buy something, then I learn more about it online and end up returning it. For instance, yesterday I hit up Radio Shack in search of a AA/AAA battery charger, a 3 prong adaptor (to allow me to plug 3 items into the wall instead of just one), and the same sort of thing for charging multiple USB devices at one time. After purchasing these items, I learned that not all AA/AAA battery chargers are the same (I seriously spent probably 2 hours learning about rechargeable batteries and charges). Ironically, I ultimately realized that I now have only one item that requires AAA batteries, my taillight. So unless, I end up doing a lot of riding at night (which I never intend to do), I will just aim to pick up batteries along the way when I need them. The weight and expense of a charger isn’t worth it. I found a better, cheaper 3 prong adaptor at the hardware store (better because it allows you to plug devices in from multiple angles). As an aside, I also picked up a plastic tarp for $2 for a ground cloth for my tent. Much better than the $40 “fitted” one from REI.
Then online, I learned about multi-port USB chargers. Turns out there is huge differences with these too. Just because it has multiple ports does not mean it can charge any and all devices, and different chargers charge different voltages per port. Bottom line, read the reviews before your purchase. I ended up getting a Anker 36W/7.2A Quad-Port Compact USB wall charger. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Then came the flipping kickstand research. Over 4255 kickstands to choose from on Amazon! Are you kidding me? I’m loving the crazyguyonabike. com site, where other touring cyclists write about their experiences, including their experiences with products. The one that seems like a good choice for me is a Greenfield Stabilizer. Unfortunately, no one posted about their experience with a kickstand on a mountain bike, and a fellow on another site said it did not fit his bike. Luckily Performance Bicycle carries them, so I will stop in there today and see if it, or another one will work.
My Ortlieb pannier bags that I “won” off Ebay arrived yesterday (so I will use those 2 on the rear of my bike, and my old “non-waterproof” ones on the front). My reward for the day yesterday was to attempt to load my bike up. Very exciting stuff!
Well everything fit technically, but I got thinking about how much more stuff I have on my bike than last time. My set up is 15+ lbs heavier! Between technology, art supplies, and my guitar (it and case are 3+lbs alone). Plus, my bike is heavier given that it’s a mountain bike. I figure that really is not too bad. That’s less than the weight of Grande (my mom’s 30 lb cat), and really about the weight of attaching a trailer to the bike (granted you would then take of the weight of racks and panniers).
I still have not heard from Voltaic as to whether they might donate a solar setup for my journey….but my fingers are still crossed. If anyone is reading this, feel free to contact them and tell them how great it would be if they selected me for a solar setup (firstname.lastname@example.org). It says on their website, “We encourage you to have your friends vote up your entries, but we won’t be judging solely on popularity,” but I don’t really know what they mean! Keeping stuff charged is definitely going to be a challenge. I would really, really, really love a solar set up…but it’s just not in my budget. These are times where I wish I was techy and could just build some cool solar setup. I know it’s possible…or so I’ve been told.
One other item on the agenda for today (besides school writing) is making my wedding veil. It must securely attach to my bike helmet and my head! I feel much more confident about making this than the solar setup. I can do hot glue!
P.s. Still time to support my Indiegogo campaign (http://igg.me/at/BikeLove/). Thank you!