Get the gear!

Montana and I have been spending the past couple weeks getting my bike ready for the big race. What we've come up with isn't as ultra-minimal as his setup a few years ago. But I need to change my shirt every once in a while to feel human. Here's what I'm taking. 


This looks like a lot of stuff. But this is the system I worked out this winter: one pair of non-fussy mountain bike shorts (thanks Shredly!), but no chamois; two pairs of wool socks; two pairs of wool undercrackers; two synthetic bras; arm sleeves; a bandana; a wool jersey; wool short sleeve t-shirt; wool long-sleeve t-shirt; wool tights. There's a pattern there. Wool dries fast and stinks less than most other fabric. I like Icebreaker stuff, but maybe I'm biased because I like New Zealand a lot. 


Cold weather really destroys me. So I figured I'd go all out with the crappy-weather gear: OR helium jacket and pants; waterproof OR shell gloves; wooly beanie; Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer puffy jacket. 


Again, getting kinda hefty - where other people bring nothing at all, I've got: an OR Helium Bivy (or a bear burrito, as Montana's been calling it); 6 titanium tent stakes; a Thermarest Neoair (ladies version); Enlightened Equipment Revelation Down Quilt, rated to 20 degrees. That quilt has been life changing. I used to camp with a Mountain Hardwear Phantasia 15, which weighed about 2 pounds and hogged all the space in my front bag. This baby is half the weight, just as warm, and it was made in the USA. Win!   

Fixy bits

It really helps to be married to a mechanic here. Patch kit; quick links; two sets of brake pads; grease, lighters; a new valve stem; iodine; wire; a multitool; pliers; chain tool; tire lever; superglue; cable; bolts; cleats; screws; zip ties... Not pictured: chain lube, rag spare cleats, a mini knife, and some Stan's. 

Obvious things: Helmet, gloves, shoes - without buckles. All from Giro. 

Other bits and bobs

Dorky fanny pack for food and iPhone storage; wallet and passport; sunglasses; ACA maps; headphones; eTrex20x; phone charger; some hippy soap; chapstick; half a toothbrush. Not pictured: a Princeton Tec headlamp, an iPhone for music, photos and navigation backup. Tomorrow I'm making a Target run to stock up on mini sunscreen, mini toothpaste, bandaids, probiotics and instant coffee. 

Bike-mounted stuff

Lezyne mini pump wrapped in Gorilla tape; spare water bottle; Sinewave Revolution USB dynamo charger; Exposure Revo dynamo light; one ultralight spare tube, velcroed under the top tube; aerobars; extra chunky grips. My bags (except for the Revelate bag on the top tube) are Defiant Pack zipperless bags. I've got Montana's Porcelain Rocket Mr. Fusion seatbag rack. The dynamo hub, USB charger and light are also Montana's. It made more sense for me to use his things than buy new stuff for the Divide.

My Waltworks is the best bike I've ever ridden.

A couple things:  I love riding this Whisky Parts Co Number 9 thru-axle carbon fork - it's light and lively. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to go with a 32X20 singlespeed. Riding gears has always felt weird to me. The brakes are Avid BB7's, with Paul levers. Jones H-Bars cut narrower because I have short arms (and because one time my bike fell off the Shark and the bars scraped along the road for a while). I'm a huge huge huge fan of the Terry Butterfly saddles. Last year I rode a unisex Chromag Trailmaster, which wasn't kind to my lady bits. The big notch in the Terry, plus the nice padding, make it a dream to ride without a chamois. Last, I like riding with aerobars a lot more than I thought I would. The padded cups are nice and squishy on my elbows. Can't wait to take all the naps there.