Graduation + Training in Earnest

The craziness of defending my thesis, turning it in and having family and friends over to celebrate caused a temporary lag in the updates, but now that the party is over (well as of tomorrow), I’m back to trip preparation. After doing a crash replacement on our 6 year-old Ortlieb classic panniers, the new ones came in the mail super quick! The upside of having to get new panniers (the old ones were tearing on the bottoms) is that we now have orange panniers to match the bike. They got a first test this weekend on the ETC 3rd annual beer ride and then again on Sunday for the ride to the WABL festival. Sunday was a bit slower and we had to make a stop at A-pizza mart to fuel the last 7 miles. ~55 miles Saturday and another 50 or so on Sunday. All and all a good weekend.

Another week closer to departure…

and less then a week until I defend my thesis. After working on it a few hours last night, I’m ready to enjoy some Saturday biking and birthday party.

But before the fun, Rob and I have some more house projects to finish up – small steps on the way to getting our house ready for tenants. I’ve also been getting rid of unnecessary things through our hyper-local buy nothing group (like Craigslist free for a small community where people actually know each other). Hopefully someone will take our old Christmas lights.

In total,
44 more miles on the bike, 1 plumbing project hopefully complete, Christmas lights spoken for and a few more powerpoint slides polished = A good Saturday

Practice Packing the Tandem – Round #1

Rob and I have done several bike camping weekends – High Steel Bridge, Lopez Island, Mount Rainier, Chelan to Washington Pass, etc. Now we have 10 days of bike touring in Sweden planned with just us. We’ve always managed with just the back panniers, but no way this will be enough for 10 days.

Last night, we put on the front rack and did a practice pack of the bike.

1st attempt at packing the bike.

1st attempt at packing the bike.

The packing list so far.

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pads
  • Snozzle Bag
  • Couples Cuffs
  • Water Treatment
  • First aid kit
  • Bike GPS
  • Bike lights
  • Bike tool
  • Patch kit
  • Extra tube
  • Extra tire
  • Spare nuts, bolts, and washers
  • Spoke repair kit with extra spokes
  • Duct tape, gear tape
  • Pump
  • Headlamps
  • Solar panel
  • Charging cables and outlet adapter
  • Shoe Covers pp.
  • Rain jacket pp.
  • Bike Shoes pp.
  • Warm hat pp.
  • Gloves fingerless and fingered pp.
  • Sunglasses pp.
  • Alternate shoes pp.
  • Bandana
  • 3 shirt pp.
  • 2 pairs underwear pp.
  • 3 pairs socks pp.
  • Down jacket pp.
  • 1 set bike shorts pp.
  • 1 set convertible shorts pp.
  • Rain pants pp.
  • Trash bags
  • Ziplocs
  • Cooking utensils
  • Stove
  • Fuel
  • Pot/pan
  • Container bowls
  • Extra water container
  • Toiletries
  • Toilet paper
  • Pocket knife

Resources used: (also tandem tourists), The Adventure Cycling Handbook (doesn’t have a detailed packing list but talks about how to dress).

Today, we rode 33 miles on an ETC ride with the packed bike. At speed we were very stable, but low speed maneuvering definitely suffered. Rob weighed our bags and it came to 47 pounds. We tacked on another 10ish miles without the gear getting dinner and beer in Ballard. It felt amazingly light without all our stuff. We definitely need to put on some more miles before our trip.

About Us

RSVP 2013. Waiting in line to cross the Canadian Border

RSVP 2013. Waiting in line to cross the Canadian Border.

Amanda and Rob met during orientation at Rice University in Houston, TX. After graduating in 2008, we moved to Seattle to pursue our careers in engineering via grad school and the tech industry, respectively, as well as the numerous outdoor activities available in the Pacific Northwest. We enjoy skiing, cycling, hiking, backpacking, cooking and kayaking.

Skiing in Lake Louise

Skiing in Lake Louise