Baja Divide, 2 week countdown!
You heard me folks, 2 week countdown until my crew and I leave my house in Echo Park, Los Angeles and head South (by bike) down to San Diego. We are giving ourselves 2 days to ride the some 130 road miles down to SD. Once we arrive in SD, we will hop on the route and begin our journey into Mexico following the Continental Divide, 1700 miles, down to Cabo San Lucas. The route is 90% dirt, traversing through the backcountry of the Baja, CA Peninsula. We will find ourselves on off road jeep roads paralleling the Pacific Ocean, heading South and, at times, we will bounce over East to the Sea of Cortez and back West to the Pacific. Once my time is up and I've arrived in LA Paz (after completing the Cape Loop) I'll catch the overnight bus heading North and take it back up to San Diego. Funny how we will spend 6+ weeks riding down through Baja, only to be a 24 hour bus ride from Tijuana.
This trip will be a special one for me as it is my longest (and toughest) tour to date. Total mileage will be around 1,850 and I aim to complete the route in 6-7 weeks. Of course, it's easy to talk when sitting behind the computer screen. When push comes to shove, let's hope I'm pushing and shoving!
I've been patiently building my Piolet, sourcing all of the correct parts and components to make this rig the optimal choice for traveling through the tricky terrain of Baja. Everything from my 11t-50t 11 speed cassette powered by the infamous Gevenalle GX to my Cigne Stem; the Dynamo Generator Hub and Sinewave Beacon Headlight.
Last weekend I had somewhat of an epiphany which led me to immediately pick up a project that came to a halt in the summer of 2015. My cousin and I were sampling large saddle bags but we could never seem to get over one particular hump with the attachment system, that is until the Volie Strap popped into my head a few days ago. These coveted Ski Straps are a simple solution to attaching a variety of items to the bicycle. I use a pair to keep a 64oz growler snug to an anything cage on my down tube. As you can see below, one XL strap, keeps my bag tight and snug to my Saddle Rails.
I've sampled about 20 of different styles of the saddle bag and so far none can compete with the fit and function of this specific version. The Voile Strap, paired with the closure webbing system and the optional 3rd strap; make for a surprisingly secure and stable fit. I'll use this bag to hold my two person tent. You heard me, I'm taking a full tent! Footprint, rainfly, bath, poles and the stakes + guidelines. As you can see, I even have room for extra clothing; why? Because a party shirt is always a nice touch. It has a tendency to cheer up the group when the vibe is low after many hours in the hot sun.
Second on my list of ideas was to sample what I'm calling the Full Wedge. This frame bag (so far) fit's like a dream on my 2016 Small Piolet, 1995 18" Specialized Rockhopper and a 2016 Large Surly Troll. This bag follows the RRB motto of "one size fits most!" With its adjustable Velcro and frame sizing set at MTB geo; this bag is ready for adventure. I can hold either 4L of water or 2-3 days worth of food.
The hope is that this bag will be versatile enough to fit all of the bikes in my stable and many more to come! During my travels, the Full Wedge will serve as a vessel for my 2L water bladder and a quick access point for my ride snacks. The main zipper opening takes you to the full frame bag pocket, and the non-drive side zipper sleeve is ideal for your phone, paper maps and other flat/slim items. We anticipate these products being wrapped up early 2018; so if you're interested, good! Keep that interest while we refine and test these bags.
That's all folks! Bagdad signing off and reminding you that "it's not about the destination, but how much you can carry there."
Till next time