|Trace The Mitten|
Over the years I have gotten better about doing this. For many years I never did anything. I used the dirt as a badge of effort and excursion. I was shallow. No one notices the condition of your bike anyway.
Why clean your bike? Cleaning a bike will make it work better and last longer. Maintained parts last longer and this saves you money.
On my recent tour I wanted do mostly camping. For Fathers' Day I bought a tent on sale from Walmart. My one man tent was good except I could not sit up comfortably. My 2 person tent was bulky and heavy. This new tent was more compact and lighter. There would be space for my gear and I could sit up.
On the first use I was pleased with the space. All the gear fit easily and I sandwiched my mummy bag diagonally. My full thermarest provided insulation. Everything was great.
Upon laying down I was not pleased with my pillow, which was my fleece in a wad. Some folding provided a better surface. The next night I used the inflatable pillow. Ahh, but then I felt the discomfort of an unsupported lower back. Putting a clothing bag under my knees flattened my back comfortably.
Even from all those adjustments, I was not comfortable. I woke up a lot and I could not go back to sleep. My Jawbone fitness wrist band measures my sleep and it confirmed a poor night sleep.
It would take three more nights before I slept well. I remembered that before my first multi week tour I had slept in my mummy bag and used my pad on my bedroom floor. I realized that experience had helped transition to camping on the ground.
One of my tour partners, who had completed several cross country tours said ,"Completing the tour was not only a matter of cycling, but mainly getting a good night sleep." I had not understood that until now.
I realized another thing about camping during those first couple days; I am sitting up in the tent probably two hours a day. I had to unpack and repack. I had to arrange things. Any more I do not spend much time on the floor and sitting cross legged. I now gained a better appreciation why I should spend time on mat exercises.
I will need to keep these things in mind when I do my next tour.