Water: where to carry it all?
Before we went out for our daily training (fun) ride yesterday, Rebecca and I spent several hours sorting through our kit, as well as trying to figure out how we are going to carry everything. Aside from purchasing clothing – which we still need to do, because none of the clothes that we had on the boat are going to be at all appropriate – we have accumulated much of what we’ll require. The question is, where to fit everything on the bikes? Much like a Rubik’s Cube, this takes a bit of experimentation.
We had hoped to run a strictly bikepacking-type setup with bags made by Rogue Panda, but did consider the possibility that we may need a set or two of small panniers to supplement that. It’s for this reason that we asked Daniel to add a rear rack to our Tumbleweed bikes. Yesterday, we came to the realization that our laptop won’t fit in our framebag, so with that information, concluded that we will need a set of small panniers. Planning ahead, we had actually approached a couple of companies to see if they’d be interested in sponsoring us, in exchange for promotion on our site and social media, but we were turned down by both of them. As we were told by one of them, everyone has a blog these days. 🙂
One big puzzle to solve is how to carry all of the water that we will need. Just as in backpacking, water can be the heaviest thing that travelers need to carry. In some places there are enough streams that, with proper purification methods, it’s not necessary to carry liters upon liters of water. In other areas though, like Baja, MX for example, water is much less accessible. The Baja Divide website suggests that, at time, riders will need to carry 8-12L of water. That’s quite a bit! Most people seem to use a variety of water bottles, combined with water bladders. We do not yet have all this ironed out, but will soon.
We opted to purchase a USB-rechargeable Steripen for water treatment (pictured at top of post). Using ultraviolet light, the Steripen kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. That should keep us safe, but in case it dies, we also have a number of purification tablets as a backup.
On the training front, I am happy to report that things are progressing well. Each of our rides from here begins with a long and steady climb up the road. The first time we did that ride, 1 week ago, I was forced to stop multiple times to both catch my breath, and let the lactic acid drain from my legs. Yesterday I not only managed to climb all the way to the top of the hill without stopping, I completed the entire ride without a rest! I’m also happy to report that I haven’t felt a single twinge in my knee.