I’m going through the process of working out what to take.  Like I said before, it’s a balance of Information and Gear, knowing more means you can pack less. But now the question is becoming, how important is weight and compactness against easy of use and convenience.

And, all of the new ‘toys’ need to be weighed up against the consumerist waste I’m generating.  After all, I have plenty of tents, bags, lights, GPS’s, everything to choose from already, so preparing for this trip shouldn’t be a shopping exercise. I’ve been going through a rehoming process for my gear for so long now that it seems silly to start buying more.

But, to the problem at hand.

Is it better to have water bottles that are easy to access, easy to to see how much water I have, easy to open and close with numb hands, or is it better to have a camelback buried in a frame bag, that becomes a chore to refill and access, but makes for a more tightly packed and aero bike? Or, do I use goon-bags made from mylar weighting almost nothing, but live with them flopping about like a bloated jellyfish.

How important is aero and weight over convenience? Is it a balance of the above.

The other question is, “How important will the comforts of home be for my mental state compared to the cost of dragging them across the country with me?”

There are things that I can take that are not going to increase my speed, my convenience or my weight, but will help me mentally to have with me. And, there will be things that will make my life easier off the bike, which in turn will make me faster on the bike.  Where does that balance sit?

…at what point do you pack your teddy bear…

I’m starting to feel like I’m running out of time to test my last pieces of gear, I think to finish making the decision I need to decide what kind of cyclist I’ll be on this race.