August 2017
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Day August 21, 2017

concrete 3

Today’s concrete shots. I’ll keep doing concrete shots until I’m bored, and as that happens I’m getting the gear ready for the ride, after all the replacements. This stuff is only interesting to riders, and then sometimes not. Depends on the personality type.

This is a small pile of random stuff, picked to make a nice square flat photo

Dollar bill for scale. So just a few pounds includes

1) Arcteryx Goretex minimum shells, pants and jacket. Incredible size and weight for performance

2) Aerostitch compressor. A work of minimalist art, a no-frills unenclosed engine

3) Sea-to-summit body towel. Very very marginal towel. If you can shake off 95% of the water, it can deal with most of the rest. It’s never been great. Not much bigger than the wallet, above, so fine

4) 3 rolls of compressed MEC toilet paper I re-compressed. Picture included for color

5) 200 enamelled maple leafs for kids, will disappear in a month like always

Now, cables and webbing that are long and a pain

I label cables with metal-rimmed tags, and stay stocked up on rubber bands on the road. This is how solo riders go crazy.


Earlier in the year I went down to the US to talk to Helge (surely the most experienced distance rider alive) and extract valuable beta about the route ahead. It’s cool being handed down stuff by the pioneering ADV generation, in the same way as I had a coffee a couple of days ago with a woman, well travelled, who wanted to talk gear and stuff for her first adventure ride, in Laos.

In the same way I went down to see Helge earlier, for information, I went down to see Dan a couple of days ago. Long-story-short I flew down to Seattle and rented a car from there, about 185 miles (my bike is at Alyxmoto)

To Dan’s from the Seattle/Tacoma airport (it’s no YVR!), the green line

Lots of Americana in central and eastern Washington

Top subject on the rental car radio, on the drive, is ‘Canadian smoke” from the monster fires in BC, being blown south. When I got to Dan’s it looked like this. It was thick and smelt of burning

So Dan and I pulled an 8 hour shift working on OSM maps, GPS systems clean-ups, with only a short break for lunch. He’s the man, the top expert on GPS systems in the serious traveller, a tester for Garmin, and has consulted for Furkot for 2 years. In real life, he’s a retired engineer. I rode with him and Helge from L.A. to Guatemala. Dan has 100,000 overseas adventure riding, including riding an HP2 in Africa.

We talked about Garmin.

He didn’t defend them when I pointed out the shittyness of the experience with these assholes. As I’ve said before they’re the ride anti-Christ

But there’s extremely good news. A replacement for Garmin Basecamp that looks very good. Dan gave me an introduction to it. Wow, is it ever different. I’m going to use it in planning mode here for a while before I talk about it.

Just a random Furkot screen below. Also nice to toggle in and out of OSM vs satellite.

eclipse at 49.2, -123.2

I wasn’t going to bother with the eclipse. I hadn’t realized that Vancouver would get a ‘significant partial’ until someone said so in an email chat last night.

Well, it was pretty cool because the light did darken a little bit. Not sure what anyone else from YVR thought, but my estimation was down about 20%.

I made an eclipse viewing box according to an instruction video linked by CNN’s website. It’s not pretty, but it’s made exactly to specifications. It sort of worked.

This is the second consecutive product-on-concrete-floor shot on the blog. I promise there’ll be a third, contextually, tomorrow. No idea yet of what.

Delorme illegal in India


Which I use to produce a nice live track, like this (light blue line)

Is illegal. Just heard from Garmin (who as of last year own Delorme)

I knew that satellite phones were illegal, but this confirms SMS via satellite as well. Damn.