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.