Clip Pedals: We decided to eliminate the clip pedals in favour of regular pedals with straps and in turn we can use regular hiking shoes. This saves us carrying special purpose footwear. This should prove useful in future trips so we want to try it out now.
Helmets: Hélène changed her helmet for one that is "ponytail" friendly and with a better visor to protect from the sun. I also changed my helmet for one that has a better sun visor and looks especially cool!
|Pony tail friendly helmet|
Cycling Shorts: We both changed to longer pants that will protect our thighs from the sun. We decided to go with cycling liners and wear ordinary pants/shorts on top of them.
Cycling Tops: We decided to always wear long sleeve tops with UPF protection. We stay cleaner that way since we are not covered in sun screen with all the dust sticking to us.
Technology: We also picked up a few things to make blogging easier. We got an anti-glare protector screen for the notepad. We should be able to blog at high noon without difficulty. WiFi service was iffy in certain campgrounds and we got ourselves a portable Wi-Fi antenna. We tried it a few times outside and picked up tons of Wi-Fi signals. On our first trip, we relied on free Wi-Fi access to Internet. This time around, we will invest a few dollars and get a proper data plan so we can use our cell phone to connect (most) anywhere, anytime.
We also purchased a Garmin GPS 64ST. We can use this GPS both on and off the bicycles to help us navigate and determine our exact location. This will be most useful as we explore more and more on the less-travelled trails.
Bicycle gearing: Because we are now pulling trailers, we decided to change the front gearing (at the pedals) on our bicycles. On the first trip, the front gearing was 26/36/48 which is recommended for the "heavily loaded touring bike" category. For this trip, we determined that adding the trailer moved us up to the "heavily loaded touring bike" category. In this category, the recommended gearing is 22/32/44. We changed to 22/32/44 which should be easier on us pulling the trailer on gravel roads and up steep hills. My Surly was bought with those gears and we replaced the gears on Hélène's bicycle. Our bicycles have 9-speeds with a rear cassette of 11-34 gears.
In order to go up steep or long hills, our gear combination would be smallest in the front (22) and biggest in the rear (34) with many rotations of the legs (spinning/mouliner). On the flat or going down hill, the combination is reversed with big up front (44) and smallest in the rear (11) with less rotations.
For more info on gearing for touring bicycles, see the Bicycle Touring Guide.
Equipment List (to view the entire grid click here)
Weight Summary and Distribution (approximate at the moment)