Monday, March 16, 2009

must have patience.....

Lets just say things don't always go as planned. It is the nature of traveling.

Well, they did go as planned until I arrived in Bagdogra yesterday. From there I was on my own for every ounce of plans were thrown out the window. Patience took me far. Good too since I still had another 4-5hrs of traveling ahead of me.

~ I had no idea where I was sleeping last night.

~ I had to figure out how to get to Gangtok for the 'free shuttle' and heli were not operational. Heli due to the weather (very cloudy and overcast) and the 'free shuttle' because the tourism desk at the airport had no idea I was coming.

~ Found out I needed a permit to get into the state of Sikkim. No permit and no passport photos on my person. Had to go to the Sikkim tourism office in Silliguri (20km away from Bagdogra) and obtain a permit. Luckily I had a photocopy of my passport so that made due for a photo.

~ Luck is on my side... A tourism office offical needed a lift from Silliguri to Gangtok so he hitched a ride with me. His english was good too and he also helped me with the little nuiances along the way.

~ Long, windy, dusty mountain drive up to Gangtok. I was wearing thin. Very tired, cranky and hungry. I later found out the taxi could only take me to within 10km of Gangtok. Hmm.

~ By 7pm we were within 10km of Gangtok and we have to find a local taxi. The tourism office offical found a taxi for us and we then preceeded to the Sikkim tourism office in Gangtok.

~ No hotel room for you. What? Turns out the tourism office is not hosting us until the 17th. I was on my own with my sleeping arrangements prior to the 17th. Where I got the patience from this point until I fell asleep? I have the slightest idea but there was some present despite being very tired and cranky. Found a hotel room within 100ft of the tourism office for around 400rupees a night (around US$8). The close proximity was key seeing as I have two heavy pieces of luggage in tow.

Asleep shortly thereafter.

The time change is killing me. I woke up at 2am and was asleep and awake on and off until around 7. Been wandering around town aimlessly since 7pm (its 3:30pm now). Found an internet cafe for around US$1 an hour. By this point in the day I have been getting very tired. I want to take a nap but am holding off and wanting to force myself to stick with the local time (sleep at night) rather than where I came from...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

2.5 weeks of gear in 1.25 bags

All my remaining gear (cycling clothes, camping equipment, casual clothes, cycling nutrition, etc....)

Will it Blend?

Errr.... I mean Will it all fit? That is the real question.

It Fits!!

BUT, I did throw out a few items that I deemed redundant and excess..

NO, not Omega. He's staying with my parents in New Jersey. I mean the excess clothing.

And the rest goes in my carry-on..

Flight leaves at 7:15pm tomorrow. The fun begins!

I do not anticipate being near a computer until I return so you'll just have to sit back and daydream what you think we are doing....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

1.75 bikes in one box

Bike parts, tools and my actual singlespeed are all packed. I have enough extra parts to build a second bike (minus a frame and fork, etc..). Kind of need to pack this way seeing as we'll be on the other side of the world and in the middle of no where. Can't just run down to the next tent and get a chain or what have you.

lots and lots of stuff. Its gonna get crammed into this box.

what do we have?

~ extra grips
~ extra set of disc brakes
~ extra set of brake rotors
~ three extra sets of brake pads (new & used)
~ one pair of tires
~ five 29er tubes
~ tube patch kit
~ Quart of Stan's Tire Sealant
~ extra set of quick releases
~ up to 30 zip ties
~ leatherman tool
~ chain whip & lockring tool
~ full metric allen wrench set
~ Mavic spoke wrench
~ vice grips
~ torx bit and 1/4" drive ratchet for discs
~ two extra sets of chainring bolts
~ one box of misc chain links
~ four boxes of chains
~ 18T, 19T, 20T, 21T, 22T rear cogs (22 is installed)
~ 32T and 34T front chainrings (32 is installed)
~ Brave Soldier chamois cream
~ container of chain lube
~ container of Shimano disc brake mineral oil
~ two rags
~ Park Tool assembly grease
~ Shimano XTR chainring torx bit wrenches
~ Shimano XTR crankset tool
~ Shimano external shell BB tool
~ electrical tape
~ duct tape
~ chain tool
~ extra steerer tube spacers
~ extra cassette lockring
~ extra cassette spacers
~ extra Mavic 29er spokes
~ extra seat post binder clamp
~ extra water bottle cage bolts
~ extra Thomson stem
~ extra EBB bolts
~ extra Moots ti seatpost clamp pieces
~ suspension fork pump
~ extra Shimano cleats
~ extra SIDI shoe buckles and ankle strap
~ Oakley pouch (spare tube, Co2 pump, zip ties, multi tool... what I typically ride with)
~ two tires worth of Co2
~ frame pump
~ tire levers

I think that is it.

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 4:

Tomorrow... I start collecting all my clothing and other such 'gear'.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

preparation for India

Matt from Ghostship Clothing and I went out on the road bikes today. I wanted to see if I knew how to work this new GPS device I picked up for my India Expedition. I also wanted to see how I felt.

Did close to 20miles commuting on the track bike Friday and around 58miles on the road bike today. Feel pretty damn good. This is a good sign!

Now, I have gravitated away from technology whilst riding over the past few years. After riding with Ohio Robb I've become intrigued by his GPS. As a result, I bought one.. specifically for this India trip but think I'm going to use it quite often. I've got it on some setting that doesn't really show anything while riding so I don't even think about it. Its just there to record the data so I can mainly see (and record rides) what I did after the ride was over.

I call this the Ski Sundown loop..

3hrs 53min moving time
5hrs 12mins total (we stopped at Starbucks)
5,513 total elevation gain
60F average temp
15mph average

View Larger Map

Time to overhaul the singlespeed and spend the rest of the weekend sorting my gear out.