Being that it rained all this week, getting stuff done before leaving has been a bit difficult. I had a lot of shuffling thing around going on. Waiting on people to pick stuff up from me, making sure the touring bike was in proper working order. When I came off the mountain Thursday morning my head was filled with concerns of these things and getting final work on my touring bike done and packing it. Sadly in the rain and the cold what was not thinking about was the poison oak I saw outside my tent Wednesday night. I am really allergic to poison oak. More than once in my life I’ve been swollen and oozing head to toe. In recent years I’ve been good about keeping it in check but only when addressing it right away. That was not done this time.
To make matters worse I didn’t get the touring bike pack Thursday night and had to do it Friday morning, but not before pinching a nerve in my back. Growing old before my time. In the end we where only an hour behind getting on the road but my mood was none too good.
A grumpy couple of days later I had mostly resolved to not ‘race’ the crash race but just roll it. But the magic of skeeball, air hockey and several beers finally righted my mood.
The race was great as usual but my gear ratio (46×17) was far too small. Oh well. Thanks a ton to Wolfpack for the years of great races.
Hopefully I can now check in 8.5 hours early and get a cocktail.
Last night went pretty well. The tent went up easy enough. The stove was being tempermental. Not sure if this was due to burning vodka, the wonky surface (eucalyptis sticks and bark) I was cooking on or something else. I do know the stove doesn’t like soup spilled on it and is now in need of a good scrubbing. The tent broke down and packed away without problems even wet. I slept fairly well and wish I would have purchased a Thermarest years ago. I’m going to get one of their pillows today too. And a kettle.
In all I feel pretty good about the setup. To my surprise my new ‘rear’ Ortliebs where the same size as my old ‘front’ ones. Turns out I’ve always had the Back-Roller Classics up front. This just means I have a lot of space and I can distribute weight nicely. Last nights trip I manage to pack everything except the tent poles into the pannies. This leave the tops of both racks available, say for boxes of water on the Nullabar?
Next post, breakdown of everything I’m taking and packing my bike.
Oakland hills. Bike mostly perfect. Legs check. Tent was a breeze. Stove doesn’t burn vodka very well. Canned soup was tastey. Hopefully everything packs down well in the morning while raining.
This coming year is going to be packed full of exciting events. I hope to visit at least two new countries this year (China and Russia). Play a million games of pickup. Organise some intercity challenges in Australia. Do several big tours. Get back into racing alleycats. Kill it in CX in Australia this year. Race on the track a lot more then I have in the past 3 years.
Alright, here are things I’m defiantly doing. Feel free to throw some suggestions out in the comments.
Joining my boys of Broakland once again for a shenanigans will weekend. Jason of El Camino Fab is already in town and enjoying the beautiful Bay Area winter.
Wolfpack Hustle: Marathon Crash Race 2012
Really excited for this one. I played in the AHBPC in 2009 in Melbourne and had a blast. This is going to be a hectic week. I’m flying from Los Angeles about 15 hours after the Wolfpacks Crash Race to Sydney then flying to Perth the next day.
After this I will be on my bike for about 1.5-2 months (no hurry) touring from Perth back to Sydney. Once back in Sydney it will be lots of pickup and not really having an agenda.
Next major event I’m definitely in for would be WHBPC 2012 in Geneva. Dates are not 100% yet but it is looking like middle or 3rd weekend of August. One of the loose plans for this would be visiting my brother in Yunnan, China in July as he is finishing up work there. We’d travel together north through China and take the Trans-Siberian Railway from Nokhodka, Russia to Moscow. Where I would likely tour to Berlin or given enough time all the way to Geneva.
What have I missed? I will be in Australia through July at least so will hit any polo event in the region. What is in other people plans post Worlds? I am still in consideration if I will head back to Australia then, maybe head back to Germany for a while or something I have not even thought about yet.