After several multi-day trips on my lightly-loaded 44-lb Fargo, I decided I needed an attitude adjustment. When I built up my Fargo in 2015, I placed a priority on comfort/reliability at the expense of weight. I never weighed the final product, but I know it was well north of 50 lbs. I have now realized I need to lighten the load which led me to write this a few days ago:
Whereas, it is generally accepted among “roadies” that a “century” is equivalent to running a marathon … (I don’t necessarily agree; I suspect a marathon is tougher than a 100-mile bike ride, but I’ve never done a marathon so I’m no expert.) But, for the sake of argument, let’s say it’s true.
Most will also agree there’s a big difference between riding a road bike 100 miles on silky pavement and 100 miles of riding/walking/pulling/dragging your 50-pound mountain bike over gravelly/rocky/muddy/boulder-strewn “roads” on never-flat terrain. But, just for the sake of argument, let’s ignore this distinction and assume the two are equivalent.
Since I’m from Louisiana and ashamed to do math in public, let’s say your goal is to finish the Tour Divide in 28 days and round the length of the course to 2,800 miles. In order to successfully accomplish your mission, you must average 100 miles per day for 28 days. In other words, you must do a marathon a day for 28 days straight! (We all know it’s much, much harder than that, but once again, for the sake of argument …) (And while we’re at it, let’s ignore the fact last year’s top 3 all finished in less than 15 days meaning they averaged double-marathons for 14 days in a row!)
Needless to say, that’s an impressive challenge worthy of a world-class athlete. (And I’m no world class athlete!) This comparison is not meant to discourage, but it is meant to add a degree of respect for the task at hand.
I have seen with my own eyes a Divide racer’s bike placed on the scales at Absolute Bikes in Salida. The scale read 30.93 lbs. It belonged to Matthew Lee.
My bike is 34 lbs with no load. I road it about 1/2 to 2/3 loaded the other day and it was 44 lbs. Let’s just say by some miracle or complete suspension of the law of gravity, I manage to make my bike weigh only 46 lbs. That means I’m starting out carrying 15 lbs more than Matthew Lee (who I do consider to be a world-class athlete)!!!
Combine that with possibly the most important piece of gear I own — my body — I easily am carrying 15 extra lbs. Add that to the 15 extra on my bike and I am still going to look you in the eye and tell you I’m gonna take on young, incredibly fit world-class athletes in a 2,800 mile race through the mountains and I’m gonna spot them all 30 lbs!!! Just picture me climbing a mountain pass with three 10-lb sacks of potatoes on my back.
So, I’ve got to make my bike and body lighter.
To make my bike lighter, all I need is lots of $$$.
I can lose 15 lbs on my body. All I have to do is:
– Ride my bike.
– Eat wisely.
As a result of these two steps, I can lose 15 lbs, be more fit, more healthy, and … it costs nothing!