As pieces of my trip come together, I am going to be highlighting them on the blog here. Now, just as a warning, for those of you who aren’t ‘gear junkies’ or a list fiend, this exercise may get a little long for you! But I feel a need to list everything, with some tidbits, because someone else might be planning for a trip just like this, and they can read what I put together…before I went on my ride! Also, so you can follow along on Google Earth and spot me while I’m riding from my clothes list here.
I’ve been showing pictures of the bike build in the “BIKE UPDATES,” and I’ll be adding updates regarding the gear as they start to come together. It’s pretty exciting watching everything start to fall into place. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers during this very important planning process!
With the very recent addition of Primal Wear Bicycling Gear to the list of amazing sponsors, a big portion of my bike gear came together.
From the head to the toes:
- Helmet (I’ll wear this so much that it may as well be listed as “clothing!”
- Sun Wrap (I’ll explain this a little later)
- Jerseys (one long sleeve, one short sleeve)
- Wind vest
- Wind shirt
- Bike shorts
- Boxer Briefs
- Cycling sandals
- Toe warmers
- Rain Gear
Off The Bike:
- Ball cap (Wondering for which team…What’s that? Steelers? OK! Settled. But WHICH ONE??)
- Button down shirt
Now for the fun part…because I love pictures. They seem to liven up just about everything. Not that my lists aren’t exciting enough, after all. But still…
I’ve had this helmet for about 4 1/2 years, but it’s the only one I won, and I really like it. It’s lightweight, and while it won’t protect my melon like my motorcycle helmet, it should do. I’ll be applying some bright yellow reflective tape on the larger solid spaces on the helmet, to help with visibility and also keep the solar heat at a minimum, since it’s an all black helmet.
This is the best thing I can find to show the basic premise of this item. Essentially, a protective sun wrap that will be able to be drawn over the front of my face and clasped shut by velcro. It will give a little protection to the parts of my bald melon that will get sun through the helmet; neck and ear coverage; and on the real bad days, or times when the sun is right in my face, I can close the front so that only my eyes are showing. That won’t look weird or anything, not at all! 🙂 With a history of melanoma in my family, and my penchant for loving outdoor activities…well, better to be safe than sorry! I’ll be making this out of SPF 50 rated material. In fact, if you look at my PCT thru-hike blog, you’ll see the shirt I’m sacrificing for it!
I’m riding a bamboo bike…so it makes sense that I wear a pair of bamboo sunglasses. Made by Proof Eyewear, a generous sponsor for my ride, these will be fit with prescription lenses (UVA/polarized), and self-adjusting gradient shade system to allow me to wear them at any time of day, inside or out.
I will bring a balaclava with me similar to this one. It has a thin material on the top, specially made to have little interference with a helmet, and a wind-stopping material from the nose to down below the chin, with a little extra material so that when you cinch the helmet strap it doesn’t bunch up and leave a bare neck. Inside is a soft, comfortable synthetic material for a little warmth. Cool piece of equipment. Will be great for cool mornings or night rides. I have had this since 2005, when I took a motorcycle trip around the country, and it worked fantastically for me then.
I will carry one short sleeve cycling jersey with me. I chose this one for a couple different reasons, the most important was that it’s very visible and eye-catching without being ‘day glo.’ The second, growing up, Rush was always my favorite band. I know, I know, you either love them or you don’t, but I was in the former camp. So Primal Wear Cycling Wear has a zillion cool styles of jerseys, and they had a Rush jersey. Random, yet awesome.
For the times where I’ll need a long sleeve riding jersey, this will be perfect. Midday sun, cooler mornings/evenings, etc., and just to have a non-stinky option around, I’ll be glad to have this one.
To keep the biting chill of early mornings and windy days off my body, I’ll take advantage of this sleeveless wind vest from Primal Wear. Zips over anything, from jersey to fleece jacket, and provides that little extra bit of warmth. Very lightweight.
For a full wind jacket experience, I’ll bust out the uber lightweight Patagonia ‘Houdini’ wind jacket. This was an essential and excellent piece of gear that I used on my PCT hike, and I wouldn’t think about taking this trip without it. Has a fold away hood, cinches tight at the openings, and great for repelling wind and moderate rain and dew.
This will be my “chill buster” when it gets colder. On my PCT hike I used a Patagonia NanoPuff jacket, and it weighed about 13.5 ounces. I couldn’t have been happier with it. On cold mornings and evenings, I knew it would be there. This 1/3 zip, 900 fill down filled “shirt” just slips right over my head, and weighs just 5.9 ounces. Seriously. Awesome.
Bike shorts from Primal Wear. No explanation needed, but I’ll add a little something anyway! First, I chose these over a pair of regular shorts mainly because of the chain issue. On my bike, the chain will be longer and more exposed to more of my legs. If I wear looser clothing, like the shorts I typically like to wear, there’s a threat of snagging. That would be potentially horrible. Second, the weight factor. These weigh next to nothing. Third, I chose the Army model based on my deep appreciation for the whole U.S. Armed Forces (sorry, I could only choose one, so Army it is!)
These are amazing. I know I must have mentioned them on my PCT blog, because I took one pair of these, and they were my only pair I wore….for 2,000 and 4 1/2 months. And they are STILL going strong. I kid you not. I think they must be made of stink-resistant soft-brushed titanium alloy. A little more expensive than your typical pair of Hanes or Fruit of the Loom, but once you wear these, you may never go back. Except for the ladies. Keep doing what you’re doing…nothing to see here… 🙂
From Primal Wear. Made with brushed MicroFiber. On cold mornings and evenings, I can slide these over my chilled legs and keep moving without becoming an icicle. You might ask, “Dug, won’t you be riding in April and May? It will be nice then, right?” Well, when you’re waking up at 5:00am or earlier, and riding til dark, sometimes in the deserts, sometimes in the mountains…it gets chillllly. Add in wind chill factor from moving? Brrrr. Better safe than sorry!
I chose a cycling sandal over a cycling shoe based on my general dislike for shoes on my feet! I mean, I’ll wear them, but I like to be barefoot of in flip flops. These will allow for ventilation, and double for a casual shoe that I won’t have to immediately switch into when I get off the bike in a town or a camp. On the bottom, there’s a really cool plate especially made for cycling cleats, so when I want to ‘clip in’ to my pedals I’ll be able to. Generously donated by Keen.
Toe warmers….these will slide over my sandal, and give my toes that little bit of extra buffer they’ll need on the cold mornings. They have a cut-away plate area that doesn’t interfere with clipping in and out of the pedals.
two pair of thinner Merino wool socks, for the general everyday biking needs. I’ll alternate pairs, and while one is drying, I’ll wear the other pair, switch, and so on, always having a clean, dry pair.
I’ll just bring one pair of these, and if I need to I can pick another pair up along the way, but I doubt I will. The reason I’m going with wool: wool socks dry quickly, moderate heat efficiently, retain warmth even when soaking wet, and last a longggg time. Cotton socks do not do any of those things. There’s a phrase regarding cotton and being in the outdoors: “Cotton kills.” So it’s wool all the way!
Pretty much self-explanatory. I won’t always be pulling off the road to seek shelter when it’s raining, so I’ll be wanting a good set of rain gear. Thankfully, I have a very comfortable, durable set that even has reflective piping on it.
And I’ll need some “Off-The-Bike” clothes as well…………
For the times I want to just throw on a cap and not worry about fixing my hair….
I do like wearing ‘normal’ clothes sometimes, too…One casual cotton t-shirt.
And for those times it’s either a little chillier, or I want to ‘dress up,’ a long-sleeved button up.
The heaviest clothing item, but one I will be able to use in all types of scenarios, from the human trafficking presentations to going out. Here, I get a little help from Levi Strauss himself, displaying one of his fine creations.
One pair of very lightweight surf trunks. For all the times I want to wear ‘normal’ shorts! I’m a big fan of Maui Rippers (not a sponsor, just a fan) and have been for years. Their stuff lasts for years of hard use.
It’s hard to believe, but there may be times I would like to (or need to) wear a pair of ‘normal’ shoes. I’m thinking this pair of brown ‘Cordones’ style shoes, made by Toms, would fit the bill. Lightweight, fits with jeans, casual yet nice.
And there it is. Other than a couple pair of gloves (one pair of fingerless cycling gloves, the other a full fingered pair), that wraps up all the clothing I will have with me on the trip. The great thing?? I have everything accounted for except for the Patagonia down shirt/jacket and the ‘regular’ pair of shoes (Toms).
If you have any questions, comments, or just need a little nudge to wake you up from this article on * yawwwwn * the clothes I’ll be wearing for this trip, leave me a comment below in the comments box!
(*UPDATE: I have made the inevitable changes to this section, and they can be found in the newer “clothing” post)