The Best Laid Plans…

I should have known that posting about my desire to get in a longish ride on Saturday would somehow jinx those plans.  Instead of getting out on a what was an unusually nice January day, I woke up to the mother of all head colds and spent the day in bed.  I probably slept 20 out of 24 hours.  I’m finally starting to feel a little better…just in time for the temps to dip back into the 20’s for this coming weekend. 

Based on some good advise and my limited funds, I ordered a Big Agnes Skinny Fish mummy bag that was on clearance from REI, and it showed up yesterday.  Since I lay mostly on my right side with that arm extended, I ordered a right hand zipper, thinking that I could always open it up that way if I get claustrophobic.  But after playing around with the bag, I don’t think I’ll have that problem.

Even though its a mummy bag, Big Agnes cuts their bags…big.  My challenge was finding a long.  Their cutoff for regulars is 6′, which just fits me, but not my two sons if they want to use it.  What I found is that a lot of the regulars get heavily discounted in the off season, but few of the longs.  Still, I believe I made out pretty good for a 20F bag, thinking that I’m a cold sleeper and the ratings are a bit optimistic, it’ll work as is down to 35F.

There’s plenty of room to roll around, the zipper is well built but requires patience, the fabric and workmanship appear good, and it has that cool system for inserting a pad and pillow.  and the fill is made from recycled material.  Speaking of fill, I went with plastic for price, easier care, and less moisture absorbsion.  That makes it a four pound bag, and its a little big when compressed, but I think the tradeoffs are minor.  It comes with a stuff sack and a simple compression sack.

The next purchase will be a pad: Big Agnes, Thermarest, Exped, insulated or not, pump or not, inflatable or foam or composite?

I found an old but nice Carradice Super C bag, which boosts my storage up to 57 liters – more than enough.  There’s a guy who has come up with a cheap quick release hack for switching saddle bags that I want to try since I seem to be gathering quite the collection of Carradice items.

The X bike is sporting a new pair of skins: 700c X 32 Paselas.  I want to keep that bike “lite” for fun riding, and I wasn’t happy with the Schwalbe Marathon Plus’ and how they were a bear to get on the rims.  If one of the boys is riding it and flats out, they’re SOL.  So Ted at Pedal Pushers had a pair of slightly used tires, and I had a set of lighter rims from the Sloth.  The tires mount without tools, and viola!  I think this bike has finally found it’s personality.  I’m going to keep the Y2000 rims with the 29er knobbies handy for any trail riding; and the Schwalbes are going on the DC19 rims as spares for the Trucker.

Now you’d think I’d have pictures of all this goodness, but I wasn’t able to score a memory card for my new/used camera until last night.  Did you know it’s getting hard to find cards with less than 4 gig?  So I promise to take some shots here before too long.

Finally, with all the rain and wind, we lost our power for a few hours last night.  While the woodstove kept us toasty, I scored some major geekdom points by parading around the house with my headband mounted LED lamp.  Kind of took the romance vibe off with all the candles sitting about, but what can I say?

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3 responses to “The Best Laid Plans…

  1. I have a Thermarest something-or-other. It’s probably about 6 years old and does what it’s supposed to do; it rolls up small, doesn’t weigh much, and nearly inflates itself while I’m putting up the tent. On the down side, I’m too heavy for it. If I could sleep on my back I’m sure it would be fine.

    In my humble opinion, if you have a Big Agnes bag, you should seriously consider a big, thick Big Agnes pad.

  2. I’ve used a thermarest (a big for car camping and a small for bike camping) for a few years. I got a big agnes blow-up style mattress on closeout from rei back in December and it is awesome. Takes about 3 minutes to blow up, and I probably sleep better on it than in my bed. Only owned for a month so I can’t say how durable it is, but the valve is brass and I didn’t see any complaints in the comments before I bought.

  3. —and it packs up about the same size as my smaller thermarest.

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