Well the countdown is on. It’s November and in a few weeks I’ll be setting out from Vancouver. I’ve been busily gathering my kit and supplies as well as assembling the various components for my bike. Chris, one of our amazing mechanics at Cap’s, is building the Surly Big Dummy with me. We’ve got it half way there. There’s just a few last items to arrive. I’m crossing my fingers that the rims arrive soon so we can build the wheels (not the easiest to find good 36 hole, 26 inch rims with sidewalls for rim brakes).
I’ve been gathering camping gear as well. So many different opinions on the best materials to use for the potential minus 40 degree (or worse) temps. To go with down or synthetic seems to be the big question for the sleeping bags. In the end I have gone with a minus 30 down bag with a down overbag that adds about 10 degrees, plus my minus 10 degree synthetic bag for the first leg of the trip. I also have a vapor barrier which I am praying I’ll never need to use (it essentially means jumping naked into a plastic bag so that you don’t sweat into the down which would result in the bag losing its loft).
I have also been meeting with various people who can help with raising the money for and the logistics of sending a container of bikes to Africa.
The more that gets done, the more I realize that this is actually happening – scary and exciting!