Potable Aqua water purification tablets for travel, backpack, bikepack and more
Potable Aqua water purification tablets for travel, backpack, bikepack and more

Bicycle touring supplies I never needed

The common wisdom when packing is to gather everything you need and then put half of it back. I think you could even but two-thirds back because, remember, you can buy ordinary items further down the road; and, if you get desperate, you have specialty items shipped to you. Pictured above: While I was cleaning out my bathroom, I found this. It traveled with me for over 32,000 miles on the bicycle. It finally/corroded and took my nail clippers with it.

CHALLENGE: Can anyone figure out how many calories it would take to carry this around the world? It weighs 32g. I’m not sure how to calculate all the stops and starts and elevation gains.

There have been a few additions to my kit this time round:

  • B.O.B. Trailer in addition to panniers to carry all my extra books
  • Cell phone
  • Laptop
  • Wifi finder
  • iPod touch for showing people movies and slideshows on the go, plus this thing has wifi and google maps
  • Really really really thinking of selling half my soul to buy an iPhone. This has an application for GPS tracking and can upload my route and photos to google maps instantly.
  • 1 case of books, plus promotional material
  • A stack of CDs of my new audiobook
  • A video camera
  • Keys and cords and adapters to all this stuff
  • Vitamins for my aching and aging body. (God bless me with tailwinds.)
  • And about 30 lbs of extra fat and calcium deposits in my joints and sludge in veins from sitting here in front of a computer

Things I really never needed:

  • And I think the most useless thing I’ve ever seen anyone bring was me and my full-size, regulation chess set. I lugged this thing around for two continents hoping to make new friends playing chess at coffee shops.
  • Water purification pills (pictured above)
  • GPS tracker. “Oh, look! I’m not lost, I just don’t know where I’m going.”
  • Fancy clothes, including jeans (I bought these when I arrived in big cities, then gave them away when I left)
  • Deodorant. Surprisingly, biking aired out the armpits. I also like to think that I was super healthy and didn’t smell as much. Again, I would buy some in big cities if I wanted to have a night out.
  • And much more

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More stories about the making of Falling Uphill

A sign for Glacier Air tours Squamish, British Columbia

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A story about my first flying lesson. My instructor was a stunt pilot and gave me one golden rule: “Don’t turn the plane upside down. It’s not designed for that.”


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