It all fit.
All that stuff laid out on our dining room table — shown in a photo with a Sept. 9 post ( “The packer’s conundrum: Will it all fit?” ) — is now nicely tucked into my panniers, which are sitting on the living room floor awaiting tomorrow’s departure for California.
And I had room to spare.
I had joked in the Sept. 9 post about wishing I had room for a cooler of cold beer. This morning, as I thumbed through Adventure Cyclist magazine, I spotted an ad for an insulated “beer pannier,” available from StoneColdOutdoor.com for $29.99. Alas, if I ordered a beer pannier, it wouldn’t get here before I leave.
But my German forebears seem to have mastered the concept of combining biking and beer. See the video below of the “BierBike” in operation in Frankfurt.
My bike, my uninsulated panniers (minus beer) and I will leave as early as possible Tuesday in a rental car for San Diego, where I and 14 other eccentric souls gather Friday evening for the start of a 65-day, 3,160-mile bicycle ride across the United States.
The plan is to do a fully loaded trial run in the San Diego area on Saturday and head east for St. Augustine, Fla., on Sunday morning. We spend the first night on the road at Alpine, Calif., 38 miles east of San Diego — a short day but with a steady climb into the Laguna Mountains.
I weighed all of the loaded panniers with a somewhat erratic luggage scale and found that I’ll be carrying about 50 pounds of gear, including the weight of the bags. The bicycle, according to the erratic scale, weighs about 30 pounds, including the weight of the racks, water bottles, pump, lights and small handle bar bag. And the rider weighs about 180 pounds.
Somewhere in all that is the sort of mathematical word problem you find on IQ tests: “If 180-pound Jim leaves San Diego on Sunday with a bicycle and gear weighing 80 pounds, and he travels about 57 miles per day over 65 days, when does Jim get to St. Augustine?”
The answer is Nov. 21, the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
Headwinds, weather, sore muscles notwithstanding, that’s the one date on this trip that the guide says is inflexible.
By that time, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be ready to head home from Florida — by rental car — to sate myself on turkey and football. And to indulge in some of that cold beer that I wasn’t able to take along.
It all fit.