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Randonneur Pre-Ride Report: 3CR 1000k – Gear

With the Santa Cruz Randonneurs’ 2014 California Central Coast Randonnée looming before me, I’ve been slowly ramping up preparations for my longest ride to date — 1000 kilometers.

The first thing I wanted to get squared away was my gear, with my bicycle being at the top of the list. While I had built up my rando-specific bike last year (which served me well during my second full series and many other rides), I debated whether I should switch to my El Camino CX bike (which I had used for most of last year in a rather kludgy set-up.) I was in the process of rebuilding my Ocean Air (trading in the Campy Athena triple group for Shimano Ultegra compact 11-speed) and my CX bike was much lighter. And after completing a few brevets on my CX bike, I was once again seduced by the allure of weight-weenieism. So after much hemming, hawing and other mental shuffling-back-and-forth — the El Camino won my internal battle and I started to prep it for the event. I just needed to make a few tweaks to get it ready: I borrowed a generator hub-equipped front wheel from my friend Martin; borrowed a Supernova headlight that fits onto the skewer from my friend Alfie; broke in my new Brooks Cambium C17 saddle with some long training rides; acquired a new Paloma handlebar bag from Swift Industries after investigating some other bags owned by other randos (Martin had lent me his Revelate saddle bag but decided I’d rather the bike be front-loaded); also bought an Oveja Negra Snack Pack for my camera; mounted some new Cygolite taillights on the seat stays. So while I feel a bit guilty leaving my rando steed behind, I hope I’ve made the best choice — I’ll be able to say for sure at the end of the ride (and I’m crossing fingers that I finish successfully!)


 

Here’s a rundown of the other stuff I’ll be carrying:

Contents of my saddlebag: Archive Bags saddlebag with (2) tubes; (2) Pedro’s tire levers; patch kit; (2) rubber gloves; Park Tool emergency tire boot patches; Fix It Sticks; (3) zip ties; Owleye spare headlight. (I know other randos carry spare spokes, tires and chain tools, but I’m just hoping I won’t need those.) Tools Contents of my handlebar bag:  (front pocket) sun block; (5) small packs of Chamois Butt’r; spare contact lenses; (4) Action Wipes; Salt Stick caps; ibuprofen; caffeine pills. Health (main compartment) Topeak Mini Morph pump; stuff sack with Rapha hi-viz gilet; Sheila Moon fleece arm arm warmers; Sheila Moon knee and ear warmers; possum wool gloves and neckwarmer. Clothing Accessories I’ll be wearing and have: Giro Aeon helmet; Petzl Tikka headlampVespertine Vespert; bandanna; GORE Bike Wear gloves; Joglite Rivendell Bike ankle reflectors; Sidi shoes; (2) San Francisco Randonneur water bottles.   Accessories

It’s a pretty minimal list, but I’m aiming for the less-is-more, super-streamlined approach. Plus we’ll be close to civilization for most of the time, so I’m guessing I can find whatever else I may need on the road. Gotta remember to bring a pen, too!

Up next: drop bags, then food.

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6 Comments

    • July 30, 2014
    • Reply

    Hey, Jenny – that’s a great list! To think about: I always carry a chain tool and a quick link, on the theory that I’ll never need it, but one of my friends might. Last year on the Gold Rush I actually used my quick link to repair a Russian rider’s chain.

    I also always carry a spare tire, in case I get a cut too big to repair with a boot – hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve lent my spare tire to other riders on occasion. I keep another one in my drop bag.
    I’ve got a Fiberfix spare spoke – really small and again on the theory that if I have it I won’t need it.
    I always carry 4 tubes on longer rides like this, plus stash a couple more in the drop bag. The summer roads have a lot of debris on them; you don’t want to be stuck having to patch a tube because you already used your spares.
    Finally if you have a way of carrying an extra bottle or two that will also make you faster (!). The inland sections are really hot, and there are long stretches where there isn’t anywhere to get water if you run out. An empty bottle doesn’t weigh much so you don’t need to ride with all the bottles filled all the time, but it also saves time to not have to stop every two hours just to refill water bottles. I carried two 24 oz bottles and a 70 oz bladder, plus at most of the controls I usually drink liquids for my calories; fast, helps to stay hydrated and my water lasts longer so (for instance) on day two I filled up with water in King City and didn’t have to refill again until I got to Big Sur. I tend to sweat a lot so you probably won’t need nearly that much with you.
    Last thing: on day two we started off in the warm inland region (it was already up in the 80s and low 90s climbing to meet Hwy 1 by Carmel) and then spent a lot of the day doing climbs along the foggy coast in the 60s. My jersey was soaked with sweat from all the climbing on the Big Sur Coast, but because of the cool temperatures it never dried out. When I reached Ragged Point I was very happy to switch to my warm & dry wool jersey and arm warmers! Depending on your clothing choices you might need to carry any extra layers or kit but it’s Yet Another Thing to think about. :-)
    I know you’ll have a blast; I’m looking forward to seeing you and all the other riders at check-in and at Pinnacles!

    • Thanks, Roland! This is all SUPER helpful. I’ll re-evaluate what I will bring — especially water and tools! And congrats on your finish!

  1. It would be interesting to time yourself on the cross bike versus the rando bike on a short test course to see if the feeling of the bike being heavy translates into lower speed. Of course up climbs the lighter bike will be faster, assuming both are a good fit.

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