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My friend Julie is quite possibly the only human in existence that gets me. she’s constantly reminding me that if I’m not shivering while wearing everything I own that I brought too much stuff. When I mentioned I was switching back to single-speed her quiet response was “what took you so long”. I switched back to gears because I thought the single-speed was hurting my knees, turns out I’m just getting old. Today was a day away from the boats for some much needed cycling and bike prep. Yes I’m a bit of a gram weenie but not out of control.  I carried a 64 ounce metal bottle on my last trip mostly because I knew I would need it in Mexico but also because I wanted to make sure it worked before I hit the borde., I never needed it but that 5 pounds really added to my total weight, more mentally than physically.  There is a definite art to packing a bike.

I’m more than happy to carry any and all I need but things I have that I’m not using irk me to no end.  I’m not sure if it will be spring in Alaska, Summer in the Rockies or fall on the coast but I’m putting together my ultimate minimalist bug out bike. Like with boats I have a budget multiplication factor X 4.  I’ve given myself a grand for upgrades which means I cant go a penny over 4K in new cyclogeekery. While I still have my eyes on a new carbon wheel set I also cant commit to wheel size. The Karate Monkey is designed to easily set up with literally every known bike build in existence so I’ve got options.  I’ve been penciling in a permanent home for Chika in the new boat and think I’ve got it covered so any upgrades are a true investment in my future.

1000 miles on my shit miserable stock saddle were what I can only describe as less than desirable.  I didn’t have time to swap it out before I left and was sure Id find a suitable replacement along the way, WRONG. It was the only complete fail of the trip but the new one is pure butter. At some point I hope to make a video of everything I brought, what worked and what didn’t and how it all fit together but having two boats on the side is like having two mistresses, very time consuming “i’ve heard ;)”. If I can sneak away from the girls every other week for a quick 24 hour escape I will be a happy camper. Chika doesn’t mind my polyamory as she is always within arms reach, the twins on the other hand are much more demanding of my time.

Second by second the days are getting longer and warmer. I’m feeling stronger every day and much more energetic. While I’m sure that this will turn out tho be the busiest year of my life, every second of it is fun and a much needed diversion from the real world and its hash realities.  If you have the means I highly suggest you give freedom a try. Its not that I have always lived this way but its hard to remember a time I haven’t. Back in the year 2000 I had just shut the doors to my company and was planning on zening out for a month before figuring out my next move.. One phone call and exactly 12 hours later I had given away everything I owned that wouldn’t fit in half of my 4×4 and was on my way to the Rockies with my MTB. I had gone from executive to dirt bag in the process and have never looked back.

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