Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Stuff!

So today my girlfriend Alanna and I received a package from Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC). They are a really great company, and a true co-op. They have tons of outdoors equipment and clothing. Above I am pictured wearing my new Castelli cycling cap, MEC Beech short sleeved shirt (in a basil), MEC Quarter Knickers for cyclists, and MEC liner shorts (not pictured of course).

The shirt is very light and made of 100% nylon. It has a hidden vent in the back, as well as in the front, and two front pockets. The Kickers are also very light being 88% polyester and 12% spandex with a durable water repellency finish. These two pieces of clothing were purchased mainly for touring. I want no cotton with me when I tour, or at least very little, so that laundry (or if I get wet) will dry quickly. The choice of collared shirt and knickers also have the added bonus of being kind of dressy casual so I can not feel funny going into a restaurant or attending some sort of function while on the road. I intend to acquire more polyester/nylon clothing in the coming months. The liner shorts are much thinner than normal shorts (more like boxer briefs) yet they have a very thin chamois and rubber leg grips. Great for commuting.

The hat is mostly just because I wanted one, but it did not get uncomfortable on a 17 degree Celsius ride and kept the sun out of my eyes.

I don't do a whole lot of riding in the dark, by the time I'm finished my 36-45km commute for the day I'm usually ready to relax. But last fall I did quite a bit of riding in the dark due to the early sunset and I suspect that as the nights get hotter the streets will seem more appealing at night. So I upgraded my lighting system from a MEC 1 watt shark front light and a wal-mart red flasher on the back, to a Planet Bike pair: the 2 Watt Blaze in the front and a Superflash in the rear, supposedly the "Brightest, most visible tail light on the planet." A lot of people use PB lights and they have a really neat feature on their site for checking actual light power! Haven't tried these yet but they seem really bright! Will do a review once I get out in the dark. I also have a DIY mount planned to attach this to the mount on the back of the Surly Nice Rack, but we'll get back to that when I actually make it.

Also got some camping gear. This is the GSI Pinnacle Dualist cookset (for me and the misses). It's a 1.8L pot with strainer lid, 2 bowls, 2 insulated cups, 2 sporks, and a stuff sack that doubles as a sink. It is also able to store a small fuel container and a pocket stove such as the Pocket Rocket (a very popular camp stove). We have a bigger stove, the MSR Dragonfly, which is multi-fuel and has the ability to simmer, but I may get a small stove for weekend trips.

And last but not least my Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp. Another really bright light! When we went on our bike trip last summer there were a couple of occasions where I had to shag around in the dark for something. Having to hold a flashlight and fix a tarp to prevent getting a wet tent in the middle of the pouring rain and pitch dark night is harder when you have to hold a flashlight. So I got this. It has 2 brightness settings, a flash setting, and a little red light also with a flash setting. I also have a adapter kit for this ordered to give me more mounting options, like a helmet mount.

That's it for now!
Alanna found a 6 week position for the summer, so we should be able to go on our bike vacation in mid August. I do have a bunch of stuff already collected for touring this summer as well as the big trip next year. Perhaps in the coming week's I'll have to document them and give my initial impressions and then do proper reviews after the vacation. Either way I'll probably take some pictures of it all and post it, if only to play with my Nikon D50 (btw all pics here taken with AF Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 D).

Still on the buy list
-Western Mountaineering Summerlite 0deg Down Bag
-Silk bag liner
-Smartphone (iPhone4 or HTC Legend? What do you guys think?)
-Arkel Handlebar bag (big one)
-Arkel Front Panniers (T-28's or a pair of GT-18's not sure yet)
-A Jersey
-More camping/cycling/travel clothes

2 posts in 2 days! I'm sure I should be doing other things!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah for new stuff! I love your blog so fun!