Thursday, October 2, 2008

More Stuff About Death Valley

I've had a couple of questions about what to bring to The Hot Place; that's probably enough to warrant putting up a blog post, so, in addition to what MC just posted:

First off, it can't be repeated enough: Hydration is everything out there - 100ยบ and 15% humidity will pull the water out of you even faster than you think. Living here in humidland, we just don't have a frame of reference for this. Check out the pictures of people from last year - that white crust is dried sweat. You won't even feel all that hot - your sweat will evaporate so fast it'll do a good job of keeping you relatively cool, but you gotta be putting the water back in pretty much constantly. You want to make sure you've got water with you all the time on Friday, the day before the ride. If you feel like you're in the bathroom every half hour on Friday afternoon, you're on the right track. A water bottle that you can carry with you comfortably might be a good idea, especially if you do one of Friday afternoon activities that will take you away from the Ranch.

Along the same "wow it's dry here" line, some skin lotion will feel nice.

For my feet, well, I'm wearing sandals to travel, and other than my bike shoes that's the only footwear I'll have along. A couple of years ago, I did the hike (from Zabriskie Point back down to the valley floor via the washes and gullies in the valley wall - VERY cool hike) in sandals, and was fine. I'm wearing jeans for the travelling, too, and that'll be the only pair of long pants I bring,
too, unless the weather points to some cooler evening and mornings in which case I'll bring my ultra-sexy purple fleece sweatpants. Up top, well, I find myself pretty dang well stocked with JDRF t-shirts, so, there you go. Furnace Creek Ranch ain't a formal kind of place.

For riding, I'll have arm warmers and knee warmers along, just in case. It can be chilly before the sun starts doin' its thing. If you bring some of those, label them in some way, like sharpie marker on the tag or something to ID them as yours. That'll increase the likelihood of getting them back at the end of the day. Also on the bike, in addition to the normal ride stuff (tubes/CO2 carts/tire levers/whatnot), I'll have a little tube of sunscreen and some chapstick with sunscreen in it.

Don't fergit yer sunglasses! Or yer swimsuit! Or yer camera(s) with extra memory cards and batteries! And, when we stop in Pahrump for the famous "supplies," you technically don't have to buy just alcoholic beverages; it's a full-size grocery store there.

One other thing: the airlines are pretty universally charging extra for you to check a bag. In order to avoid that (and to avoid the horror of lost luggage), I'm planning to avoid a checked bag at least on the way out. On the plane, you're allowed a carry-on bag and a personal bag. The carry-on bag has to be smaller than 45" in total size (length+width+height) and has to fit in the overhead compartment; the personal bag has to be smaller than 36" in total size, and fit under the seat. On smaller planes they might take the carry-on bag at the boarding gate and stash it in the cargo hold, then you reclaim it at the door when you get off the plane - that's pretty slick.

So, we've got a lot of serious Death Valley vets on this team - I'm sure there's plenty more good advisin' to come from them!


J D Stone said...

Yea, I've got a pair of those "sexy" sweats too. It's finally happening, Yipee!!

club-velo said...

Good Lord J.D. are yours purple too?

The mind reels........

ZipMike said...

Katies entry about food back in July was good advice in preparation for DV -

club-velo said...

One more note..the copy of "Death Valley Tales" that showed up today mentioned a rear blinky light. Although I don't recall ever needin' one out there before I shall be prepared!

Have we decided between white or black dinner jackets for Friday night's meal?

J D Stone said...

Dinner jackets are to be blue, as in our blue T-shirts that promote West Michigan Team!! That's what I'm wearing.

Linda TP said...

Can anyone fit me in their carry-on?
I had so much fun in Asheville, I can't imnagine how much fun will be had in DV!