The past few days have been very full getting ready. The new front 48 tooth chainring is installed, the bike is tuned and ready to ride and all my gear is in piles around my living room. It is truly remarkable when you evaluate the items "required" for typical daily existence vs. what is required for a bike trip. Everything weighs a ton (not including the rider!) and I have been going through a difficult editing process to get the bag weights down. As I have shopped for some of the gear I didn't already have or that I had but which weighed too much, I figured that the cost of reducing 1 lb. is about $100 when it comes to things like tents, sleeping bags, stoves, sleeping pads, etc. I am hoping to have no more than 10 lbs each on the rear panniers, about 5 lbs each on the fronts and another 5 lbs or so for the tent. The numbers are creeping up, though, as I keep adding "one more thing." I thought only a very short while about putting some fenders on the bike, but changed my mind quickly. I will probably regret not having them on rainy days, but I am going to be optimistic and plan on nothing but sunshine! I even found myself counting out vitamin pills into bags that I am going to send ahead to some stage points along with some other gear for later in the trip.
Tomorrow morning I hit the road for the drive up to Seattle area. I am delivering a car to a friend who is moving to Bellingham from SLC, will do a little work and some sightseeing over the weekend and will then depart from Anacortes on Monday.