First brevet of the season: Holly the Pack Mule

I’m sorry to say that the events of this past week have sucked some of the enthusiasm of this ride. None of the determination, mind you, but some of the enthusiasm. I will be riding with blue and yellow ribbons attached to my bike in memory of Boston.

In terms of equipment, I was having a hard time deciding which mount to ride, so I left it to chance. If there was rain in the forecast I would have taken The Beast (since I can’t mount fenders on Holly). There’s no rain and if I’ll be riding in the dark it won’t be for long. So I don’t need a generator, and so I’ll take Holly out and take her through some of her paces.

Unfortunately, tomorrow is supposed to start out below freezing, but end up around 50. This means I’ll be wearing a LOT of clothing at the start. It also means I may not want to be wearing them later. And finally, this means I need to have a place to stash all this clothing.

Holly is a road bike. At least she usually is in her normal guise. She can fit a rack if I want to put one on her (first one to say, “nice rack”, please leave the room) but I really don’t; then I’d have the weight of the rack, the weight of the bag, and the weight of the stuff. So instead I went with Jandd’s massively huge seatbag, the Mountain Wedge III. This one attaches to the saddle and the seat post and has an aluminum spine which hold it out into space. It fits Holly quite well. It also makes her look like a beast of burden:


Tomorrow, she and I will tackle this:


200 kilometers of goodness across the Iowa countryside.

In case you wondering what I’m taking tomorrow (keeping in mind the first stop is 50 miles in):

  • Road fuel (18 Oreo cookies)
  • Park Tool MTB multitool
  • 2 spare tubes
  • patch kit
  • spare shift cable
  • 2 water bottles
  • 4 Skratch labs lemon lime water packets
  • CO2 pump with 3 cylinders
  • FiberSpoke Kevlar spoke replacement kit
  • front and rear lights
  • reflective vest (first bit of ride might be foggy, last might be in the dark)
  • 4 mini-packs of HooHa Ride Glide (yes, I know… it’s specially formulated for women, but it works really well for guys, too)
  • 2 US government-issued tire boots (tire boots, the stuff you line tires that have been slashed, cost more than a dollar. Currency is made from resilient fiber-reinforced paper and work just as well. And a dollar only costs a dollar)
  • first aid kit (yes, really)
  • cue sheets, brevet card, and other paperwork

I’m taking Holly the Raleigh, a Revenio 4.0, with stock wheels and tires (Vittoria Rubino Pros).

Catch you on the flip side. Boston, this one’s for you!

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3 Responses to First brevet of the season: Holly the Pack Mule

  1. saltyvelo says:

    good luck. I look forward to reading your ride report. I like a pump just b/c I’ve run out of CO2 before. My “boot kit” is pieces from a kevlar envelope. C’est gratis!

  2. vardotrichic says:

    Have an awesome ride!! I may see you out there!!

  3. runningknows says:

    I usually bring a frame pump but I had to have room for so much other stuff (room I didn’t end up using) so I worried about the size of my favorite (but huge) frame pump. Tried to hedge my bets with 3 CO2 cartridges, ended up not needing any, thank goodness! Ride report coming!

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