Before we begin this brief overview of some of our equipment, we want to acknowledge those that helped us get on the road.
First we would like to thank Wilson Backcountry Sports in Wilson, Wyoming for ordering our bikes for us. Andy and his staff were some of our biggest supporters as we planned this adventure. They kept our bikes in great shape, ordered equipment we needed and always went the extra mile for us.
The staff at Fitzgerald’s Bike Shop in Jackson, Wyoming were also great supporters and made sure we had the extra accessories we needed and ordered the bike tires we needed.
The crew at the MontBell store in Boulder, Colorado patiently answered our endless questions, and let us spend hours trying on and trying out their product lines.
The REI Store in Boulder, Colorado where we dropped a bundle on camping gear.
And of course we want to thank our families and friends. They have been our biggest supporters from the very beginning of this adventure. If they thought we were crazy to do this, they never let on. Their constant contact with us has given us the encouragement and strength to make our dream retirement become a reality.
Jim’s Surly Long Haul Trucker: The Trucker is well built and handles the 50-lb. load of camping gear with ease. At speed there is no vibration or wobble. The original tires had to be replaced because they flatted often from road debris.
Sharon’s Bianchi Volpe: Bianchi’s fit me really well and I love the sweet ride of my Volpe. Stable, responsive, gorgeous shifting, handles the 50-lb. load well, with no breakdowns.
Tires: Schwalbe Marathons on both bikes. We rode many miles on crushed limestone as well as pavement and the tires performed beautifully. They offer a smooth ride and we had no flats. Jim replaced his original tires with these.
THE CAMPING GEAR
MSR: All of their products work really well for us. They are lightweight, versatile, durable, user-friendly and affordable. Love the Hubba Hubba tent!
MontBell: This Japanese company keeps evolving with their products lines. We are extremely
pleased with the performance of the MontBell gear we chose. Their ultra-light nylon accessory line is excellent.
Big Agnes: We love our insulated air-core sleeping pads. They provide the most comfortable sleep we’ve ever had while sleeping on the ground. Unfortunately the first two began to leak about halfway through our trip, and the EMS store in Buffalo, NY replaced them with no argument, and Big Agnes called us to make sure we were happy.
Platypus water bladders: We have two, 2-liter bladders. They don’t leak and they have no plastic taste.
Crazy Creek: We’ve had two of their “chairs” since they started making them and we take them everywhere. My favorite thing is to sit in my Crazy Creek chair, in my sleeping bag and read my book at the end of a long day of riding.
EMS: Great products and great service. Their Techwick base layer line is excellent.
iPhone: Jim has an iPhone 4 and I have a 3GS. Can’t say enough about how they made so many things easier for us as we traveled.
Solar Charger: This little unit by Applied Materials uses the sun to charge its internal battery. When it’s all charged up, we can charge our phones and our camera. It rides on the rear rack to catch rays all days.
Ortlieb: Front and rear panniers and handlebar bag. Easy on, easy off. Rain, shine, cold, heat, they perform beautifully.