Monday, July 7, 2014

Planning for the Lap of the Lake 1000K: Almost There!

The upcoming Lap of the Lake (LOL) 1000K has been on my thoughts for a long, long, long time. I was originally scheduled to undertake this challenge in 2010, but was sidelined by an accident on the NJ 600K that resulted in a fractured arm. To make up for this disappointment, I clipped in for the Endless Mountains 1000K later that summer, which had an even less favorable outcome. 

It has been a long, steady climb back, but I finally feel ready to take on the 1000K distance again and with this confidence, my larger goal to complete PBP in 2015 seems a bit closer as well. The fact that LOL is completely unsupported adds a layer of planning and adventure to the picture. While my standard rear saddle bag probably has enough room for most of my needs, I decided to purchase and install a rear rack to allow for a pannier to serve as a “drop bag” with a change of clothes and extras like additional tubes and a spare tire. I found a great Tubus rack known as the Logo Titan, which is made of titanium and is really quite light yet holds a considerable amount of weight if needed. 

In addition to the rack, I decided to buy a redundant battery-powered tail light since it's hard to be too bright from behind. I settled on the B&M Toplight, which like the rack is made in Germany and the two fit together like hand in glove.

In order to take full advantage of the many wise (or crazed) minds planning for this event, I created a Facebook page several weeks ago called the "LOL Planning Task Force" and invited everyone I knew who was interested in the ride to participate. This has been a great way to get to know a few folks before we hit the road together. One rider even went so far as to create and share GPS tracks with everyone. The craziest story, though, for sure involves one rider who's taken the opportunity to ride from Chicago to the start of the event in Ontario, NY in a trip she's referring to as The Dumbass Tour.

This past weekend, I also posted my packing list as a Google doc and received some wonderful suggestions that will make my ride even more enjoyable. You know, stuff like the "personal hygiene kit" that I neglected to list. If you see that I'm missing something, please let me know in the "comments" section below. I can use all the help I can get. Some days it's hard to remember life before social networking.

There really is something thrilling about riding around a very, very large body of water. Many cyclists look at natural phenomena like this the same way mountain climbers look at huge mountains. It's there, I've got to do something about it. If things don’t work out, there’s no shortcut home and (with no support vehicles to speak of) it will be necessary to keep on pedaling. I'm luckily riding with two friends, one of whom has ridden this route twice before, so the enormity of the goal is not causing me panic.

I could not be more excited.


  1. I checked your list for spare chain links, and it's there. I needed them on my latest 1200. Good luck George!

  2. Thanks! I've not needed one yet, but if I leave it at home, I'll conjure up chain trouble for sure. I actually bought this one for LEL! I've also got spare cables in there since I broke one on my last 600K. Now, I just need to learn how to repair all of this stuff. Having the parts is one thing . . .

  3. I've been following Susan's Dumbass Tour on Facebook - good stuff! Hope you all have a great time.

  4. Oh and I have that same rack on my Enigma -it's brilliant. Also have same one in steel on my Cross Check.

  5. Hi Rebecca, Isn't Susan insane!?! Looking forward to catching up with her tomorrow and riding a bit with her around this big old lake. Glad to hear you like the rack. It seems just perfect to me. I love the look and the options for hanging the pannier are very sensible. I especially like how nicely the B&M Toplight rounds out the picture. Onward!