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  • Writer's pictureMitch Metzger

The Value of Overnight Training

Last weekend was my last opportunity to practice an overnight in a camping-type situation. It is a good practice run to learn things about packing, and personal organization, and tent setup. I biked, mostly uphill, 42 kilometers to get to Tanay Adventure Park. The elevation gain is 1,104 meters!

I wish it would have rained so I can discover how everything works in the rain but it is so hot (98 degrees) lately in the Philippines, there is no chance of rain.

Between now and May 2nd, I will be finishing up my responsibilities at the Training Center and finish somethings here at home. I will continue my riding with full gear up until the end of April and then I will pack everything.

Mitch's tent

I am allowed two 50 lb boxes on the international flight. One box will be for the bike and one box will be for my gear. I will have one carry one luggage only.

sample bike box for international plane rides

Some things I learned from the overnight camping was:

1. Always pack your mini-towel in the same place with the shower/bathroom kit.

2. Never forget your flashlight.

3. Always travel with headlight and tail light even if you think you are riding in the day time only. If you have an encounter or flat tire that will delay your arrival, you will have to bike in the dark or if you have to leave super early the next day, you will be ready.

4. Use zip ties or electrical tape for "safety" on the panniers.

5. Keep the "cutter blade" in the front handlebar bag for easy removal for the above #4.

6. Add to the list, and bring a "swim suit-type short" for showering in public bathrooms.

7. Bring super light "rug-type" for sitting on ground or laying on ground in the middle of the day beside the highway. It's not good to "spoil" your biking uniform during the day.

8. Waterproof rear tail signs for future "rain proof" purposes. Done.

My rear signs for USA trip

9. I learned my 20,000mAh power bank is awesome. It lasts two full days, maybe longer, as far as I can see. I will continue to monitor this.

20,000mAh power bank

10. Try to be sure to eat a large meal before bed after a long day - especially high protein meal, to aid in muscle recovery for the next day.

11. Be polite and courteous when stopping at a rest stop when people ask you questions. This will be my opportunity to give them my business card, future New Testament, or any other helpful dialog or witness. The time you are resting and tired, unfortunately, will also most likely be the time of "interaction" with the public, naturally.

12. Park and/or lock bicycle as "close to the door of the tent" for easier, all night, monitoring for safety reasons. You can also "hear and see" any elements of tampering.

13. Arm protectors work much better than sun screen lotion.

14. Use super glue to outline all stickers or labels on the bicycle to prevent "peeling" or "coming off." It will serve as a nice, invisible, clear cover for the sticker/label.

Painting super glue around the edges of stickers will help them to stay secure

15. Do not pack the sleeping bag in the panniers for ease of access later. Anything you need at night, in the tent, should not have to be dug out from the bottom of a pannier. Use bungee cords to strap on the top of the rack with the tent and sleeping pad.

16. Change plan: Do not bring my small pillow. Instead, use my clean clothes, wrapped up in long sleeve shirt, as a pillow. This will save me 1/2 lb also.

17. Paint at least two of my aluminum tent stakes with florescent paint for easier seeing, or put colorful ribbon on them, because they are in a "danger traffic zone" where both myself and others will walk by. The stakes have a sharp part on them which will really cut you if you hit it will a bare foot. Dangerous.

18. Look for optional different clear safety glasses for night time riding. The ones I have are not perfectly comfortable. They are just a little too wide.

19. Order kickstand. Done!

File photo of my kickstand

20. When the weather is extremely hot, it is okay to take as many breaks as necessary. The trip will take longer but it is safer. I am not in a race. Just pull over, find some shade, and lay down/sit down for a while. After 10 minutes or more, you'll feel fine and can continue happily.

21. Zip and close all doors and screens on the tent before packing away for the next time. When setting up the tent, you have to stretch out the corners top stake it down. The layout will be more accurate if the tent is completely zipped shut.

22. Prepare proper sized (not too big, not too small) journal for all diary, note taking, entries, recording of both practical and mediation times.

My journal and basic reading material

As you can see, there are many observations and learning opportunities from making just "one practice overnight" trip. I've done this numerous times already so I'm as ready as I am going to be.

I will write again in a few days. I fly from Manila to Portland, OR on May 2nd.

On the Move,

Mitch Metzger

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