It’s Memorial Day weekend and that means bicycle touring season is officially in swing. If you’re still in need of a little nudge to get your bum off the couch and into the saddle cycling across America, head on over to America ByCycle.
The enthusiastic duo behind the site, Los Angeles-based journalists Ryan McAfee and Michelle Cassel, recently biked across the USA on the TransAmerica Trail.
Here’s what you’ll find on the Adventure Cycling Blog:
A “shake-down” is a term that the AT hikers use when they get rid of unnecessary items to shed some weight and lighten their packs. The hikers take weight very seriously, and will go as far as ripping the pages out of their hiking books as they finish each page. Ryan and I desperately needed a “shake-down,” since we were both carrying around 90 pounds of gear, and we’re about to attempt the hardest climb in the TransAmerica trail. It couldn’t have been a more appropriate time to ship some stuff home.
Both Timber and Denim were there to assist us with the “shake-down,” but I think it was also for entertainment. Timber was laughing at all the ridiculous stuff we brought. “You brought a full size can-opener?! Get rid of that shit, go visit ‘Yard Sale Larry’ and get a P38. It’s a tiny can-opener that weighs less than an ounce.”
Item by item, pound by pound, Ryan and I painfully threw things away. Fire starters, clothes, a recorder, a sleeping pad that wouldn’t stay inflated, three books, and Ryan’s 7D Canon camera (there was no reason to be carrying two cameras) were some of the items thrown into the pile.
When it was all over, we weighed everything on Craig’s scale. Amazingly, we were able to “shake-down” around 21 pounds of equipment.