Are We Ready?

Taken in western Montana in 2011, I expect we'll see a lot more of this kind of riding
Taken in western Montana in 2011, I expect we’ll see a lot more of this kind of riding

The tour is almost upon us. Jack, Phil and I have been exchanging emails for last minute information. A prevailing tone has been a wondering if we’re collectively ready for this. Since returning from vacation travel 30 days ago, I’ve gotten in 395 miles and just under 14,000 feet of climbing. 168 miles and 8,000′ climbing were about 75% loaded on the Surly.  Jack’s done a bit more than that.  Phil did the Mormon Lake and Luna Lakes rides with me, so he’s likely on par.

As Jack points out, we’re about to try 800 miles and 30,000 feet of climbing in less than half the time. Are we ready?

I’m counting on the long days to make the riding comfortable.  Weather forecasts (for Jasper as a default) show marvelous temperatures and not much forecasted rain so far. Sunrise at 6AM and sunset at 10PM gives an awful lot of riding hours.

Jasper shows lows around 50F. We’ll be in the 40s for sure at higher elevation campgrounds. Hope we can stay warm enough.

As if you can’t tell, I’m getting pretty excited to go. Can hardly believe another tour is upon us, and this one promises to be a stunner. I spent yesterday morning installing new handlebar tape.  I’m a long-time fan of pipe insulation on the drops, so I installed some of that too.  Today I’m doing final packing and installed a roof rack onto our SUV.

I considered getting a good tune-up at my friendly neighborhood bike shop, but the old Surly is running well these days. The only thing I’m going to renew before leaving is the brake pads. I thought about new tires, but my current Schwalbe Marathon Plusses have a little over 5,000 miles on them. I’ve decided that adding 800 more to that should be all in stride. Hope I’m right.