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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Panniers, racks, and roll!

The most important part of preparing for an adventure like this is the equipment.  The bike is rolling along beautifully.  Many people ask, do you need to spend a lot on equipment.  That is a complex question, I will take a shot at it.  Certainly I would not want to take this challenge on a bike from the local big box department store however I knew I could do it without spending thousands on a bicycle.  Let's be honest, not many of us have thousands to spend on special equipment.  I am no different, this is a self supported tour and I need to do it on a shoestring so I have money for the more important things like visiting as many survivors as possible.  I chose to modify a bike a currently owned, a Specialized women's specific mountain bike.  We changed out the suspension fork, changed the gearing so I would have those much needed gears for hauling my life on a bike, added safety equipment, and racks and now we are on to the panniers. For those of you who aren't bicycle savvy, panniers are bags that attach to the racks on the bike.  Right now, just for fun, I am designing a coat guard and a friend is trying to see if he can find a metal worker to make it for me.  It is a fun, exciting process.
I encourage anyone involved in a project like this to seek our sponsorships, even the smallest things are helpful.  It may be something as small as a donation of a new bike seat.  There are many good people out there who want to support a good cause and you will be surprised to see what offers you may get, sometimes it is a service, sometimes it is a product.  I have gotten many great donations along the way.  The most recent is a wonderful sponsorship opportunity for the panniers with Arkel, a great company with great bags.  
 If you have always wanted to do something and you are hesitating, there are no excuses.  I challenge you to at the very least, whatever it is, try it for 30 days.  Even if you decide it is not for you, you won't be able to say that you never tried.  Life is for living, enjoy!