Having a century under my belt in December, I kept up a decent riding schedule throughout January in anticipation for this year’s J&P Tucson Tour. This being my second year for it, I knew better what to expect and how to pack.
My front tire, which had been rotated from the rear a few months ago, was showing serious wear, so I decided to again change both out for my touring tires, reasoning that they would handle the additional weight better, and be more resistant to road debris. Just like last year, those tires were a real beast to get on. I had to use tire irons just to start the tires on the rims. The plastic nearly broke when I tried to complete the job, and I finally had to resort to using a small screwdriver. Fortunately the tube inflated. Decided I better take that screwdriver along with me.
At the same time, I took the opportunity to wipe down my bike, which eventually turned into a detailed cleaning with a toothbrush, Q-tips, and Orange Cleaner. I finished up this cleaning with a pressure wash from the hose, which really did a good job.
Consulting last year’s packing list, including the post-ride notes I’d made, I decided to take only 2 rear panniers and a rack trunk. I was torn on whether to take my street shoes, since my touring bike shoes walk pretty well, and in the end decided for it. Total weight of all three bags was around 18 lb, some 8 lb less than last year. Heaviest items were the shoes, followed by the jeans.
touring cycling shoes
1 cycling shorts
2 cycling jerseys
regular riding gloves
1 tee shirt
Long sleeve tee shirt
8 pairs of socks
Shoe toe covers
Tees to wear under jersey
Tools & Bicycle Gear
Took a loaded test ride down the driveway and found the handling fine. However, with the weight of 2 panniers plus the trunk all over the rear tire, the weighting of the bike was seriously uneven front-to-back.
The night before the ride I made 4 cue sheet pages, and also sketched out some not-to-scale maps of each day’s route. I also applied a good coating of Teflon lube to the derailleur, cranks, and hubs after their thorough cleaning.