Costa Rica Planning

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It’s been a while since I wrote on this blog; I figure a two week bikepacking trip in Costa Rica will be a good place to pick back up.

Why Costa Rica?  It seems like a perfect storm this year.  My new job has a great vacation policy (5 weeks PTO, yeah!), I got to see most of my extended family on Thanksgiving, and I was getting a travel itch.  I carved out a little over two weeks at the end of the year for a vacation – now where to?

I considered the South-Western US low desert, Baja, Morocco, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.  Novelty, expense, beauty/climate, and logistics were the biggest factors.  Most of these places have been on my hit list for a while, especially Morocco and Ecuador.  Since this is my first bikepacking trip: light, fast, hopefully offroad, I wanted an easy introduction and Costa Rica fits the bill this year.

The setup will be a Felt F65x aluminium frame cyclocross bike w/ carbon frame.  I have some 33mm tires with nice knobs on the front and back.  I’d like to go a bit wider for sandier riding though I couldn’t find anything thicker (will look harder in the next few days) and am somewhat concerned about the narrow rims not clinching properly on thicker tires.  I had a larger 10-speed cassette (32t) installed in order to reduce my gearing (I did a test run a few weeks back up to the Crystal Cove campgrounds and I was in low gear pretty much the entire time with my stock cassette, not recommended).  The cassette switch required a new rear derailler which came in very expensive from the bike shop – I had them purchase and install it.  Next time, I will purchase separately and learn to install myself.  I don’t want to check how much they marked up the components but I probably should just have spent the extra $ and got a hardtail 29er for the trip.

Bags are purchased from Revelate Designs; excellent design and craftsmanship.  A “small” frame bag for the triangle, a medium seatpost bag, a handlebar bag, a small bag on the top bar, and a small multi-sport backpack.  Really, this is a lot of space and I think I went overboard based on my first test run.

 

 

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