Moving forward, riding the Grind

shoot-157The bike tour grows closer, and we are in the part of the plan I call the Grind.

Plans will be finalized in a couple of days, tops. Reservations soon to follow. Now comes the Grind. The actual act of preparing our gear, preparing our bikes, and putting butts in saddles to prepare our legs.

And our aforementioned butts.

Steph’s bike has had a set of fenders added. This was something she’d wanted since last tour. We were caught in a thunderstorm, and she had to eat the gravel and grit thrown by her front and wear the rooster-tail from the back the whole time. It was not her favorite part of the ride, so that was fixed. Her rack needs to be re-attached, but that’s about it.

shoot-156My cycle has had the internal hub’s lube changed out. New brakes. Some cabling that was replaced. It’s mostly ready, although it could stand new tubes and tires. I’ve still got a month to take care of that though.

Panniers and bags are all ready to be attached. Some decisions remain to be made, such as how many days indoors, how many days under the stars. A couple of ideas about a new tent and some test camping remain to be sorted.

And there will be much riding. Much, much riding. Mileage will creep up and try to hold steady around 50 in the last few days. Pedaling that far at 6,000 feet or so will probably make us fit for 60 a day below 3,000. It’s kind of daunting, when you think about it. While I know many people who can crank 100 miles a day with little effort or prep, most of them do not ride as heavy as we will have to. Daunting, but doable. That’s the mantra for the Grind.

shoot-155My camera rig is already thought out. A pair of XAs will live in my saddle trunk for the duration. I’ve already been working them out on our rides around town and up and down the bike paths. Extra batteries are a must, those always go bad at the worst times. A mix of films. Delta 400, Vista 400, maybe some slide film, maybe some Ektar, maybe some Portra for the train rides. Haven’t finalized that either. But it will be a glorious time to try new things out.

Waterproofing. Extra power supply for phones and other electronics. Getting the iPad added to the cell plan.

All of these to be ironed out on the Grind. To be considered, modified, and finalized to the soundtrack of the ticking of pawls, the purr of coasters down hill,  and the glorious hum of the tires as that speed I find comfortable. I can always find it, the three-part harmony of the bike sings to me when I reach it.

The Grind is daunting. The Grind is doable. That mantra will flow through us like a wave carrying us onward.

I can’t wait for the ride to begin.

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