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Grand Illinois Tail Bicycle Ride Key Equipment


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Camera optional? You’ve got to be kidding right? Get lots of pictures. I used a Sony 5-megapixel that had a good track record for slow drain on the batteries. Even with the 512mb card, I ran out of memory on day nine. My favorite pictures show up on this website and comprise the raw images used on the t-shirt. Disposable cameras might be a good idea too, however the nice thing about the digital is you can take another shot since you know ahead of time if the shot is going to turn out. I bought my first digital camera two days after I arrived back from a rock climb up the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains of Australia. We took some great shots, but the best ones didn't turn out.

MP3 Player

I approach physical activity differently. At least this is what my brother tells me. When he is at the gym or on the track he needs Aerosmith or Guns and Roses blaring in his ears. -Says it keeps him “pumping.” I figure I will already be “pumping,” so I try to always have the MP3 player with something of historical, scientific, or philosophic interest. A lecture series on bio ethics, the autobiography of Benjamin Frankin, or Ayn Rand’s Atlas Schrugged. I had a complete lesson plan to learn Russian. Why not learn something while you are mindlessly moving your body I say…

Small Stuff sacks

These are listed as optional but they are almost required. It is nice to have small “ditty” bags to hold the small things on your trip in one place. –a small tube of toothpaste with your toothbrush, you pens and pencil, some coins and a credit card for example.

Waterproof Map holder

This might be a good idea if you are on the road and it starts to rain. With one of these, your maps and directions will stay dry and allow you to reference them. I did not have these on my trip since I used the laminated map option. A Good heavyweight Zip-lock baggie would probably work just as well.

Map bracket

When on the Canals in the South, you can just memorize the twists and turns between trails, but when you get on the roads in the northern part or when you are going around cities like Rockford, it is useful to have the directions in front of you. I took the front reflector and turned it up into a little table, then used a clip to make a little map holder.



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