It seems that everything is starting to pile up a bit, but I keep plugging away and try to keep things manageable. Work has been fairly easy, but I always feel rushed. I’m on the Campus Improvement Team and they keep trying to get me to do stuff unrelated to my job assignment. Coming up with good ideas is pointless because I’ll be the only one that will want to do something and I don’t want to do more stuff.
With AZT 300 right around the corner, I can officially say I’m not totally ready to “race” my bike for 300 miles. I am ready to do a fast tour and with the rides I’ve had this spring, I think I can still go under 3 days. Worries? Yes. Especially with my feet, ass, and eyes. Eyes you ask? My left eye has been giving me issues with being real weepy, especially when I’m fatigued. It got really bad with our massive dust/wind storm last weekend. I’m really looking forward to getting out on the AZT, especially the section on Mt. Lemon. I’ve yet to go up there and I hear it’s some burly riding. The burliness of the trail seems to be the biggest issue for most. As you can assume, it doesn’t really bother me. It’s all we’ve got here in El Paso, and ALL of my long mtb rides have been with my bike loaded up to about 45 lbs. I’ll probably be slightly heavier than that with a full load of water. If it doesn’t get too hot, I should be ok with carrying the amount of water I’m able to carry. My filter checks out and I’ve got tablets as well. It would be nice to not have to pump, but if it get’s hot, it may be unavoidable.
I’m pretty much set on my personal gear. I just ordered my sleeping pad. I went long and luxurious with a full size Thermarest NeoAir. All I need to make is a Tyvek bivy with the scrap Tyvek I found on a construction site. Debating whether to build it with a bug net and zippers with a cover for rain, or just go with the bug net only. I’m trying to get my sleeping kit to under 3.5 lbs. Not bad for someone as long as I am.
I just finished up a set of sweet bags/harness for my buddy Don. He’s got a Yeti 29er and needs some motivation to hit the road for a night or two. He’s been eyeballing the same route I’ve been checking out for a few years behind the Guadalupes. Water was a huge concern out there, but Don’s scouting drive from the edge of El Paso to Dell City, TX passed plenty of guzzlers and pump fed tanks. That’s only the first 60 miles or so. I’ll get to that eventually.