4 days till we ride! Before I write anything further, I have to wish Happy 1st Birthday to my grandson Ryland. His gang lives in No. Calif. so I won’t be there to join in the upcoming celebration. Every grandfather thinks his grandkids are the greatest–me included. We think he might also be a lefty –now that would be especially cool since both Denise and I are southpaws. I may finally have someone to pass the old baseball mitt on to! We have 3 adult children and not one lefty was among them.
So, this blog is for the bike geeks who are wondering what I am riding and the bike specifics. I am not a bike junkie who knows every piece of my bike and how it works but here is some of what I do know. I’m not riding a touring bike. Those are designed to carry the weight of panniers and sleeping bags etc. Since we are doing the hotel and meals out “luxury” travel plan–no need. I’m riding my road bike, a Specialized Roubaix Expert.It comes with their stock package: Shimano Dura-ace shifters and Ultegra parts for everything else. The cassette is 11-speed with an 11-32 cogset which should help with those hills! I’m riding their standard wheels with 700 x 28 tires, the Specialized Armadillo all condition. I’ve been advised to expect plenty of flats in spite of this tires great design. The big culprit seems to be the steel belted truck tires that you see shredded along the roads–small fragments of the steel are serious threats. I chose not to ride with aero-bars, I’ve used them in the distant past and never felt totally comfortable with them. We have all the other “stuff” on the bikes such as; front and rear lights. a top tube bag for snacks and seat bags for a few tubes and tools. There is a map carrier or “cue sheet” for quick reference draped over the handle bars and “big” water bottles that are augmented in the desert with mandatory CamelBak packs. I carry 4 CO2 canisters that are screwed into a device that attaches to the same braze-on as my water bottle. I also carry a hand pump for inflating tire tubes — you can never have enough air!! I’m wearing SIDI Mt. Bike shoes instead of racing shoes. My reason for that choice – I want to be able to walk around easier when I’m off the bike, and for me, they are a bit safer. That’s it for the bike etc. It weighs in at just over 27 lbs. Maybe later I’ll describe the eating habits that I hope sustain me through this ride and I hope will keep me from turning into a replica of Gumby. Some people might like the weight loss–but not on a ride like this. As the ride leader has stated repeatedly–“this is not the time to try and intentionally lose weight”!! So, I plan to eat my way across the USA!!