For anyone who hasn’t been lucky enough to hear us talking about what this actually is (i.e. the whole time)……it’s a wee spin down the Rocky Mountains from Banff in Alberta down to the Mexican border in New Mexico. A bit under 4500km – no stages or mandatory stops, sleep when/if you want. Sounds fun hey!?
Preps have been lots of fun. Training has gone well with steady big base kms January through to the end of March then some easier weeks and short stuffy the last month or so. Lots of spreadsheets (an Actuary’s favourite) planning gear, the route, resupply logistics etc. Now we’re ready to get this show on the road.
Here is a quick gear list of what I’ll be carrying for Tour Divide. The short answer is less than you’d think! Apart from a basic sleep system we’re not carrying a lot more than you would on a long day ride. We’re heavily reliant on resupplying food & water in the many towns along route. Always moving forward is the name of the game as we simply can’t carry enough for multiple days at a time.
I will be taking basically what I took to NZ for the Kiwi Brevet end of January, less the half-frame bag I’ve decided to go without. I don’t carry a backpack as I find having no weight on my back makes things a lot more comfortable for the backside.
Bike – Waltly Titanium 29er
- 3 x 10 XT Groupset
- TT bars (helps ease pressure on hands/upper body over long distances)
- Brand spanking new wheels! Carbon rims with the front laced to SP dynamo hub, rear DT Swiss 240s
- Ikon 3C EXO TR 2.2 tyres (never missed a beat and I’ve used the sh!t out of some of these puppies)
Handlebar bag – sleep system
- Western Mountaineering SummerLite bag (rated to 0 deg C)
- Thermorest NeoAir Xlite mat
- Integral Designs Bugaboo eVent bivy bag
- Lightweight down jacket for extra warmth
Saddle bag – clothes
- Showers Pass Elite eVent jacket with hood
- Ground Effect Helter Skelter ¾ length waterproof pants
- Mid weight soft shell jacket
- Merino skull cap
- Neoprene gloves for wet weather
- Mainly for food
- Some spares
- Rapha classic bibs (soooo comfy…better be since I’m only taking 1 pair)
- Craft mesh undershirt
- Merino jersey
- Fleecy arm/knee warmers
- Whistle for the bears
- Merino socks
- Defeet merino gloves
- Shimano XC50 shoes
- Garmin eTrex 30 (to follow the purple line)
- SPOT tracker (so you all can follow along at home!)
- Wireless cateye computer (for backup navigation if Garmin fails)
- 6000 mAh cache battery (Charged through dynamo and used to power garmin, iphone, headlamp)
- Exposure revo dynamo lamp for bars
- Exposure Axis headlight (USB rechargeable – extra oomph for descents and around camp etc.)
- iPhone (so I can call mum)
- 2L foldable water bottle. V lightweight and gives extra capacity for dry sections
- Sea to Summit sil-nylon backpack – packs down to nothing and again helps if overflow required for some long sections
- 3 x 3L sis drink bottles
- Basic spares & lots of chain lube
- Basic first aid kit, ibuprofen, multi-vitamins, electrolytes, sunblock, chamois cream, chapstick, toothbrush/paste
- Passport, cash, credit card, phone
- Bear spray….
Not the lightest setup but enough to make me comfortable I’ll be able to handle the conditions I might face out there without being overly luxurious. Ultimately, everyone has to decide on their gear based on their own aspirations and risk appetite.
Bring it on!