Everyone knows about the fall colors on the trees but no one talks about the other kind of fall colors, clothing. The temperature hovers dangerously near 60 degrees and I still follow the old rule given by Bettina, our triathlon coach. "No bare knees under 60 degrees." It might sound foolish and warm for knickers or knee warmers but I don't mind as long as my knees stay healthy. So the temperature drops with the leaves and the red knee warmers make their return. That's right. You know you love them. Today at one point I was wearing no less than my white helmet, white, red and celeste (It's the Bianchi color) cycling cap, a light blue and grey base layer, an orange, yellow and blue jersey, black shorts, red knee warmers and Italian flag socks. Nothing says hot like the mismatched rainbow. 40 miles in 2 hours wasn't too shabby either. I'm really looking forward to Tour de Front Range this Saturday and my dad made his flight for Moab so he's officially coming to help crew. Yay! My dad hasn't seen me race in a long time now and I'm really excited.
In other news, Marni and I decided somehow to clean the house tonight. And I paid bills. Boo bills. Luckily for this post, while cleaning the house I had to move all my random projects off the various counters and tables they managed to spread themselves out on. I will now use this as an opportunity to show off my lightest solo camping kitchen yet at under 2 ounces. I said before I wouldn't do a beer can pot for biking (although I did make one because I found a Heineken can on the side of the road) but the sterno pot is different. While it is easily dented, the metal is a bit thicker than a soda can and can be easily pounded back into shape should it get damaged. The big plus is that it's over 3" wide which means my Esbit tab is burned even more efficiently and fits on the wing stove even better than my Ti mug. Of course the fact that it boils a cup of water for tea or dinner perfectly and is 1.5 ounces ligher than my Ti mug doesn't hurt either. All of this stuff can be found free, cheap or easily made yourself. The hardest item is the wingstove but if you don't feel like coughing up $12 you can make one yourself with plans on thruhiker.com. The titanium windscreen can also be replaced with aluminum or brass if you have a hard time finding the really thin titanium and I used household aluminum foil for the lid. The sterno can is free from any friendly catering establishment (you can probably have 50) and the long handled spoon is free with any tasty DQ ice cream treat. I stole the tiny paperclip from work but you probably have one sitting in your desk drawer and the mini bic i picked up in a 3 pack from Walgreens.
11 gram Sterno Pot
11 gram Mini Bic
13 gram BPL Ti wing stove
3.5 gram DQ long spoon
8.5 gram Titanium Windscreen and Aluminum foil lid
7 gram mesh bag
<1 gram paperclip
I think 1.5 oz total is possible without giving up my long handled spoon which is great for freezer bag cooking or the convienence and reliablity of the combined wing stove/pot suppot. The wind screen is too tall for this setup and it's still too long for any of my mugs. Cutting it down will drop a bit more weight. The wingstove could use a couple small speedholes and the cordlock on the mesh bag is way too big and unnecessary. With the windscreen up this stove boils so fast for Esbit!