Friday, June 29


The picture and following text is directly from Mike Curiak. Do you think you have your setup dialed? How much stuff do you really need?

That pic was taken the day before I left for the start. A few things changed that night before leaving, but they were pretty minor *and* they were additions, not subtractions.And I know it's hard to believe, but on the bike or in the pack in that photo are:

-gore rain jacket and pants
-arm and knee warmers
-warm gloves and rain gloves
-extra shorts and shirt
-2 days worth of food
-water filter
-ability to carry ~320oz of water easily and comfortably
-3 lights (2 bar, 1 head) and at least 2 nights worth of batts
-digi camera, 2 days worth of batts, and a spare memory card
-cash money, credit card, calling card, ID
-drugs (pain reliever, anti-inflam, antibiotic), basic first aid kit, chamois creme
-multi tool, leatherman, tire lever, 2 tubes, full size pump, couple feet of duct tape, real patch kit, spare bolt kit, spare links of chain, spare brake pads, spare shift cables, spare cleats and bolts, chain lube and rag, sewing kit, spare spokes and nips
-clear lens for night riding, orange lens for contrast
-sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and bivy sack
-cyclometer and all ACA maps and cue sheets
and a few critical things that I'm intentionally leaving out...
How to get it so compact and light? The devil is in the details.
Happy planning.

Take a look at that list for a minute. Now look at the pack and the bags on the bike. I feel like my setup is getting pretty good but damn.


Jill said...

Yeah ... don't you suspect just a little that he's yanking a few chains?

I mean, I know Mike's a smart guy but ...

That setup seems Houndini-esque in the amount of stuff listed versus the visible bulk in the picture.

Either way ... damn

nollij said...

I'm with Jill... since when did Curiak train with Houdini?

Geoff said...

yeah, i don't know mike, and i have no reason to believe he would lie about a picture of him from a few years back, but i do suspect that maybe he has "stretched the truth" a little about this one. obviously all gdr newbies are going to look for advice from people like mike c. and i think maybe he's providing a list of things you should have with you on your first gdr attempt, and maybe not neccesarily a list of things he had with him when he rode it faster than anyone ever (until later today). seems to me that this picture and list may be a clever way by mike to encourage people to get their kits as small as possible but still bring all of these listed "neccesary" items, when in reality he probably doesn't have some of these neccesary things with him in this picture... or maybe he does and he's got some crazy magical powers that no one knows about.

you know chris, from the sounds of some of your comments on the forum and on here lately it sounds to me like we may just run into each other next summer in northern montana... maybe around june 20th or so :)??

Chris said...

Oh I think it's possible that it's all in there. Maybe I'll show how? Maybe not? There are clues scattered about in many of MC's old posts and also from a few things I've picked up from him in person in the short bit we talked. Look carefully at the picture. Very carefully. Look at the wording of everything he wrote. MC is craft and likes to have fun with his posts.

I had roughly 60lbs of stuff at the GLR start including the bike, LOTS of food and a good amount of water, over 1lbs of batteries. Subtract food, water, batteries and bike and you aren't left with much else and I had a very similar list to the one MC posted although I have to admit his spares kit is more well done than mine. But I carried an unused cell phone.

Geoff whatever do you mean? ;)

Dave said...

I find it totally plausible that he's got all that stuff. 1 lb down bag, superlight and compact bivy, and I'm pretty sure he only has the ability to carry that much water. 2 or 3 bottles and a 10 liter dromedary. And what exactly is "two days" of good?

Spare shift cables? That is a heckuva spares kit.

Chris said...

Exactly. 2 days worth of food and batteries for one thing. That could mean very different things to different people. I KNOW what lights he was running from old MTBR posts so it's highly plasuable he isn't carry any "spare" batteries and that still constitutes 2 days worth of light. As for food? That could be as little as 4000 calories or it could be a lot more. Mike never really gives up what he likes to eat other than ice cream. Haha. And it's not likely he's carrying that with him.

Now chammy cream is harder to find on route. I'm curious how much of THAT he actually brought :p

Anonymous said...

Someone I've never met (and don't know) just sent me a link to this.

Like y'all, I enjoy a good conspiracy theory on occasion. So after reading all of the comments and ruminating on it for a bit, I can only assume that they forwarded the link to get me to spill some of the beans.

While that clearly ain't gonna happen, the list above is true. It may actually *not* be complete (there are probably things in there that I've forgotten), but I'm doing my best to forget the shell-shocked horror of the aftermath of that event, including but not limited to the things I packed.

I wrote the above list based on how I continue to pack for overnighters, be they exploratory tours or more.

To paraphrase a spaghetti sauce shill from my childhood, "It's all in there...".



Geoff said...

well, i guess mike settled that discussion. one thing's for certain: i got a lot of gear buying, testing, and tweaking to do in the next several months... now if only i had more than $5 to my name.

Chris said...

Geoff if you ever have any gear questions feel free to shoot me an email. Everyone's got their own strategy but that doesn't mean the best setup is the most expensive. I've bought at least half and maybe more of my gear on closeout, clearance, or by reusing everyday things in other applications. One thing is for certain, if you haven't ever made a gearlist now is the time to start. Weight AND bulk are important on the bike and it's all one big system that has to work together.

ryan young said...

So he must be putting stuff in the frame of the bike, in his helmet. That bag looks awfully flat. Maybe he has camel like skills for storing the water. I was in the Marines for a bit, and if he got all that stuff in there, I am impressed.