The Bikes: The bikes we are riding for the ride are bikes specifically designed for long distance touring and are made to carry heavy loads and all the gear necessary for a self-supported ride and both will have loaded front and rear racks. The bicycle I have chosen to ride is renowned the world over for its toughness and longevity the Surly Long Haul Trucker, which is pictured below:
Lauren has chosen to ride the GT Peace Tour. Both bikes are equipped with Books saddles, which are coveted by the touring community for saving your behind on long distance tours, triple cranks for the long climbs through the mountains and hills, and very sturdy rear and front racks that are capable of holding up 60-100 lbs each (although we will only be riding with 30-40 lbs on each rack). We ultimately decided on shipping our bikes from Columbus, OH to San Francisco to Box Dog Bikes via UPS to save on the hassle of taking them as a checked bag on the flight an to make sure our bikes were professionally tuned-up and checked over prior to departure. We would like to thank our local bike shops Paradise Garage and B1 Bicycles who helped us out in countless ways with advice while building our bikes, helping us find the best gear at a practical price, hooking us up with Box Dog Bikes in San Francisco and allowing us to use their shop to pack our bikes for shipping without these two shops this trip would have been much more costly if not impossible on our budget. Lauren's loaded GT Peace tour is pictured below just prior to one of our training rides:
The Gear: The gear took us almost a year to amass. The search for the lightest possible tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, portable stove, water filtration water bottle, etc. was exhausting and consumed many nights throughout the past year. Aside from having to set up your own camp each night, cook your own food and prepare for the next days route, and as I previously mentioned we will also be responsible for any minor mid-ride bicycle repairs. In order to perform these repairs we will be taking spare tires, tubes, brake cables, shifting cables, etc.. This will give us the benefit of being able to limp towards the next available bicycle shop on our route if any major repairs are needed. Below is a photo of a 120 mile round-trip training ride we took from Columbus-Yellow Springs, Ohio in mid-March.
The tent we chose is the Alps Mystique 2, 3 season tent that weighs-in at 5 lb. 2 oz. and is pictured below:
The gear list we compiled as you can see is massive, is probably more extensive than we actually needed and would likely suit some one who is trekking through the most remote and hostile environments on the planet. I expect to weed out the heavier unnecessary items within the first two weeks, but at least we are prepared.