Tour De Jasper. Slowly, but surely, since January I've been prepping for the trip. I have been trying to ride long distance when I can, and have been purchasing suggested items on the tour packing list. I'm worried that I haven't done enough long distance, but the people at Ruckus think I'm ahead of many in that respect as I bike all the time and have almost 3000 kms (1242 miles) on my bike since I got it in Feb. 2009. Still, I will practice when I can.
Toe clips, straps, and water bottle.
I have bought bike shorts, bike gloves (fingerless), a couple water bottles, new bicycle hand grips, an ultra-lightweight tent- Hubba by MSR- (not really needed for this trip, but will use it..combined use of hiking/biking means it's a good investment), Merrell Metric shoes that are perfect for bicycling, and some toe clips for the pedals. I am not sure how handy clips will be as I don't need them around town, I think they are too unsafe. But I thought I'd try them out for the trip, and if I don't like them, I'll have just lost $25..not too bad! I got metal ones as I thought they'd be the more durable and they were only a bit more expensive then plastic ones. I remember using them on my sister's bike..her old bike had them on it and it seemed ok to use, I never fell down.
As I picked up the clips and a water bottle today at Ruckus, I asked them how to pop off the reflector on pedals so I can put the toe clip on. He showed me that they easily pop off. I also showed him my tires on the bike, and asked if they were in good shape for the tour or if I should replace them. I told him that I had biked almost 3000 kms on it and never had a flat! He was flabbergasted. He couldn't believe that I never had problems with them as they were $18 Kenda tires (stock tires that come with bikes are not always the top quality). He checked them out and yes, they are still in good shape, good enough to bike to bike to Jasper (400 or so kms away).
But, he added that he did have spare tires on the support vehicle on the tour- he is the bike mechanic for the tour. So I don't have to go out and buy1or 2 extra tires and carry them with me. I will replace them though at the end of the season if they need to be replaced...I can do that without help of shop.
I think we have almost every prep stuff done for the trip, just need to ride lots of kilometres before then. We have our pre-trip meeting the first week in June, so I can meet the other 24 riders. It's going to be a big group and I'm excited to get to meet them! One of my friends is coming on it, so there's already one that I know.
Getting all excited about doing this! I have heard that there is a guy from Washington State that bikes up to PG (over 10 hrs drive by a car!) and then does the trip. Afterwards, he bikes back to home. He has done this for a few years already, if not more. Amazing!