i took a solo ride last night since eliot is still out of town. i've got my bags more-or-less 80% packed, with everything where it will be while we're in india. the bike was very heavy and the weight was poorly distributed so there's some work to do. as it stands, i'm carrying the cameras, first aid kit, tent and books so i may have to distribute some of that over to eliot's bike. on the other hand, he's got to carry the cooking gear, food and his own stuff to boot so maybe i just power through it. the big thing to do is weigh the gear and distribute it evenly.
i also took the opportunity to test out my helmet, pants, shirt and shoes like i'll be wearing them in india. it actually worked well - i'd prefer not to be wearing a cotton shirt but as eliot says, we're going to look enough like aliens as it is without wearing shiny bike shirts. and as i say, bike gear is expensive. time to t-shirt it up, india!
overall, i'm really happy with the gear. the bags seem to be working well - the pants, while silly, are totally comfortable and airy. also, after yesterday's crash-course on mosquito-related death, i'll be happy to have legs on my pants and not, you know, hot pants. the EXstream water bottle works well although the amount of water you get at a go leaves alot to be desired. still, it is filtering on the go and when i need the water so i suppose it's a worthwhile trade. given enough time, i could fill my other bottles with the EXstream. it'll be a good time-killing camp-activity to filter water, i guess.
after a little sewing, i'll be able to disassemble my bags from the racks and reassemble them into a backpack which will be HUGE when we're trying to move through train stations, on and off busses and in cities. i'll take some pictures when i get them up and going.