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We’ve all seen the stories where a guy goes out these by himself and never comes back. It’s been like having a limb missing from my body. The separation anxiety has been beyond words. A thousand miles later and she performed absolutely flawlessly. The gear I chose to bring was nearly spot on. Her bags by Revelate Designs were impossibly perfect but what would you expect from a small local company where all the gear is made in America. As far as the solo aspect, it is what it is.

We’ve learned a lot together. I’ve already Ordered a new saddle to replace the torture chamber I had onboard. Other than that and replacing the shit bottom bracket and I can’t really see making any more changes. A mix of mid line spec parts works for me. At about 31lbs she is lighter than the Brand new trek 520 we met somewhere out there and most of not all other touring bikes on the trail. Built specially as a bike packing bike she falls right into the perfect groove of light-ish, durable as hell and the funnest bike I have ever ridden.

I didn’t necessarily have any budget restrictions when I started my search. I started at the Karate Monkey and ended right back at the beginning. All my pictures were stolen with my phone which is a tragedy as I was saving the best for last but they are all locked away in my brain forever. Seeing as I was born in the Chinese year of the monkey my choice seems pretty fitting.

With the exception of a few little fancy bits the only thing that could make this bike any better is a new 2k set of wheels. My tent that I’ve hated for every bit of the 150 nights and two models has become my new best friend, perspective.

My next trip will be smaller and lighter still with a few high end pieces of clothing added in and a few of the now decade old items retired. Tomorrow she will get a proper bath, her first but today is meant for riding. I feel complete again and now all I have to do is wind into a new journey. A journey of dirt and sand rather that one of asphalt.

She looks naked sitting in her corner but will be dressed up again, packed up again and ready to roll out the front door. This begs the question of when and where we will go. I’ve never been one to drive my bike to where she can be ridden. I’m a two day ride from the Blue Canoe and that can only spell one word Alaska!

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