Every bike tour uses up things. I had three pairs of bike shorts during my last tour. One pair were a bit snug at the start of the tour. I didn’t much like them. I ended up shrinking into them over the first half of the ride. By the time I reached the west coast they were my favorites. After 4,300 miles, they hung on my hips. Sadly the nose of my saddle tore the stitching out of the front. They died a hero.
My gloves wore out. I wore them every day. They were just shreds of fabric at the end. They were old school, mesh gloves with no padding in the palm. I could tell I needed more cushioning when the top of my right middle finger went numb.
With these things in mind, I have made a list of stuff to acquire for this year’s tour:
- Shorts. I learned today that it is a little early to be shopping for bike shorts.
- New glasses, both sunglasses and clear, with progressive lenses. This will help immensely with map reading on the go. I bought these yesterday.
- Croakies (the thingies that holds your eyeglasses on your head). Acquired at the optician yesterday.
- Headsweat. The one I liked was last seen hanging on a shower rod in a motel somewhere west of the Ohio River
- Adventure Cycling maps. All I need to do is commit to a route. Derp.
- A new bag and map case for my handlebars. My old map case was help together with packing tape from the post office. The new ones won’t work on my 15-year-old bag.
- Tires. The Mule’s current Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires have over 5,000 miles on them. I’m confident they have another one or two thousand miles on them. That’s not enough though. My baby needs new shoes.
- New Koolstop brake pads. My brake pads have been on the bike for two years. It would be nice to be able to stop now and then.
- Water filter. I have never used one but something tells me that way out west I may need one.
- Health. I am waiting to see if the cortisone shot I had fixes my left rotator cuff. So far, the spasms of acute pain have been dialed down to mild, occasional discomfort after less than a week. I am encouraged. I seem to be over all the colds and body aches that plagued me this winter.
- A lighter motor. Alas, I have gained quite a bit of weight since last summer. I am confident that warmer weather and a few 200-mile weeks will do the trick.
- Motivation. Cold March weather is sucking the enthusiasm out of me. Fortunately, two things are coming in the days ahead. On Sunday, temperatures will rise into the 60s. Next Wednesday, I am going to Adventure Cycling’s get together in DC.
- Train ticket: I need to get to Chicago if I am riding Route 66.