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Monday, July 27, 2020

Cloud Peak 500 - Packing Up

Some folk built like this, some folk built like that
But the way I'm built, you shouldn't call me fat
Because I'm built for comfort, I aint built for speed.

Built For Comfort, Willie Dixon (1959).

Over the past two years, I have ridden a variety of roads, paths and trails on my Jones 29+ bike packed for one and two night trips. But it's time to step up for the Cloud Peak 500. Now I'm packing for an 8 day self-supported ride on unknown remote roads with higher elevations, unfamiliar weather patterns and uncertain re-supply opportunities. Oh, and 40,000 feet of elevation gain.

I need to get this right. Here's my plan for packing the bike for the Cloud Peak 500.

Ready to roll for 8 days in the Big Horns. Just add a rider.

Truss Fork Bags (fork):  In addition to being light and strong, the Jones truss fork provides a built-in structure to support a pair of bags. Recognizing this potential, Jeff Jones and Revelate Designs created these bags, each offering nearly the capacity of a seat post bag. I pack the left side bag with a sleeping bag and a rain jacket. I pack the right side bag with a down jacket, sleeping pad, pillow and a stuff sack of extra layers (liner gloves, head band, skull cap, buff, arm warmers, leg warmers).

Harness + Salty Roll (handle bar):  My small tent occupies less than half the volume of the Salty Roll. So I stuff it into the middle, leaving more than a quarter of the bag remaining on each side for all my clothes.

Egress Pocket (handle bar):  Strapped to the Harness and atop the Salty Roll, the Egress Pocket holds my camera, wipes, toilet paper, paper, pens, and sunglasses/glasses.

Adventure Cycling Map Case (handle bar):  This map case is sized for the Adventure Cycling maps (like the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route), is water-proof, sits atop the Loop Hole H-Bar bag, and doesn't move at all in use. Perfect.

Loop Hole H-Bar (handle bar):  This bag is not visible, because it's under the map case and tucked into the space between the lateral tubes of the Jones handle bar. It is bigger than you think, is a great use of space and is on the bike full time. It holds a pump, first aid kit, sunscreen, lip balm, aspirin, Tums, and insect repellant.

Mountain Feed Bag (handle bar):  Bear spray. Yes, this bag is big enough for a large water bottle, but instead holds a large canister of bear spray a few inches from my right hand. Quick draw.

Mag-Tank 2000 (top tube by the handlebar):  This handy bag holds 2,000 calories of on-the-fly food and gels.

Showing a little dust from the last couple of weeks of riding, the Jones 29+ is loaded for the Cloud Peak 500.

Jerry Can (top tube by the seat post):  This sneaky little bag holds an entire tool kit, including a patch kit, tire plugs, CO2 cartridges, extra sealant, chain lube, extra chain links, bolts and cleats, spare derailer hanger, mini-tool, and LeatherMan.

Terrapin (seat post): This modular setup comprises a harness that attaches to the bike and a 14 liter dry bag that easily removes from the harness. I pack this dry bag with food, so I can readily remove it for overnight storage away from my sleeping area. Think grizzly. As shown, this bag contains breakfast, lunch and dinner for 8 days without re-supply, as well as kitchen utensils.

Frame Bag (main triangle):  The frame bag is divided into top and bottom compartments. The right side of the top compartment holds a 100 ounce water bladder and easily holds more. The left side of the top compartment is a relatively thin sleeve that holds maps, wallet, car keys, phone and mud scraper. The bottom compartment holds spare tubes, water filter and rain pants.

Down Tube Cage:  Strapped to the Salsa Anything Cage on the down tube is my stove and fuel.

Rear Axle Cages:  Bottle cages near the rear axle hold two large water bottles. I use one for an electrolyte drink and one for extra water.

In addition to the bags and their contents, I mounted a Cateye head light and tail light, a Cateye cyclocomputer, and a Stem Captain compass. I also mounted some old, odd-shaped bar ends near the levers on the Jones handle bars for some really different hand positions. The crowning touch is the Slow Moving Vehicle sign strapped to the back.

That's where everything goes. At least at the start.

Built For Comfort, Willie Dixon (1959), 
performed by Howlin' Wolf (1963).

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