Northern Tier 2010

June 27, 2010

Last South Bend Ride and Shipping the Bike

Filed under: Preparation Rides — Henry Scott @ 2:20 am

Just heading out of town on the Darden pedestrian bridge at ~6:20 a.m.

I’ve been preparing, physically, for this trip for six months now, and overall I’m feeling very good. One thing that’s been in the back of my mind, however, is that to really test the fit of the bike and my overall fitness I should do at least one century ride before heading west. After realizing that I should ship the bike on Saturday (yesterday), to ensure that it will be ready and waiting for me in Seattle on July 1st, it became clear that the century would have to be on Saturday.

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June 22, 2010

Final Overnight Tune-up Ride

Filed under: Gear, Preparation Rides — Tags: , — Henry Scott @ 10:15 pm

I joined my friends Matt and Bruce for another overnight ride to Potato Creek State Park last Sunday. The bike is very nicely dialed in, but I still need to get smarter about how I pack, and definitely more efficient at pitching my tent! But, overall, I feel ready. If I just set aside an evening to tweak my packing I should be all set. My legs feel great, and I think that is the most important thing.

Two brief gear updates: I tried using the E-Werk to directly charge the iPad during this trip, and I was very disappointed to see that very little charging occurred. I’m not sure why that is the case. That said, I’ve also learned that charging a “hot” iPad is very bad for it’s battery, which has me thinking that perhaps I’d be better off using the APC battery to store energy and charge the iPad overnight.

In other news, although my iPad Camera Connection Kit still hasn’t arrived, my friend Matt’s did, and he’s letting me test it — he’ll even let me take it on the trip if mine doesn’t arrive in time. So, this post, including the photo of Matt and Bruce at Potato Creek, is being done entirely from the iPad — pretty cool!

June 10, 2010

Overnight Shakedown

Filed under: Gear, Preparation Rides — Henry Scott @ 2:18 pm

My friend Matt and I did an overnight ride to Potato Creek State Park last Sunday (June 6). He’s preparing for a tour from DC to Pittsburgh along the C&O Canal Towpath / Great Allegheny Passage — the same route my brother and nephew just did. He also has a Surly LHT. The picture at left is of him on the road. I forgot to bring my camera, so this was taken with my new prepaid Verizon cell phone (an LG Accolade 5600); not a great picture, but not bad either for a $20 phone.

We didn’t hit the road until close to 6:00 p.m., but due to the time of year and our far-westerly position in our time zone, we were able to easily cover the 20 miles and set up camp before dark. We each cooked simple meals (he was trying out his new Jetboil stove) and had plenty to eat.

This was my first night in my new Big Agnes (BA) Emerald Mountain SL1 tent with my new BA Air Core sleeping pad, BA Yampa 40°F sleeping bag and Sea to Summit Reactor sleeping bag liner. Everything worked very well, but even without any rain there was a lot of condensation on the underside of the fly. That said, none of it got into the tent.

The bike rode better than I expected with the weight, but I need to make some minor tweaks in how I pack the gear.

We got on the road just after 8:00 a.m. the next morning, and I was in my office by 10:45.

Biking in North East

Filed under: Preparation Rides — Henry Scott @ 1:43 pm

I took the new bike with me to North East, PA over Memorial Day and had some good rides. The longest was to Chautauqua, NY, and I visited the Chautauqua Institute for the first time. My brother John joined me as far as Barcelona, NY, where we followed recent tradition and had breakfast at Jack’s.  Notably, John just recently returned from a year in Iraq, and he and his son, Søren, promptly biked from Washington, D.C. to Pittsburgh, PA  on the C&O Canal Towpath / Great Allegheny Passage.  After breakfast, John went home alone along the lake, making better time without his younger brother slowing him down, and I headed inland towards Chautauqua. My legs felt great on this ride.  See below for a small gallery of us on our bikes. (more…)

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