Friday, August 3, 2007


I'm going to carry a couple of electronic gadgets with me--though a laptop will not be among them. A small computer would be handy for posting, uploading and editing photos and the like, but the weight, complexity and risk of damage are too great--not to mention the expense. Heck, I'm even going to forgo a cell phone. We've been hemorrhaging money lately. Time to put a tourniquet on that wound right now. Obviously, I'm going to have a digital camera. After much research, I decided on a Canon PowerShot A540 with 4x optical zoom at 6 mega pixels. The reputation of this line of cameras is well established. I like the slightly larger size and the fact that it uses AA batteries, which can be purchased virtually anywhere. I've got a few sets of rechargeable AA's and a light-weight Sony recharger because of the longer life for these types in contrast to alkaline. If I don't use the screen too much, I should get a week or more out of a set before I have to recharge.

My other toy is pictured at the top of the post: a Creative Audio MuVo mp3 player--2GB. This is a fantastic unit, literally just a bit larger than my thumb--as you can see. I've got about 35 CD's on it with room to spare. For a bit of mood music or plowing through endless flats of Kansas and eastern Colorado, this should come in handy. It has a voice recorder and, best of all, gives about 18 hrs. of play for ONE AAA battery. The majority of the time I don't listen to music while riding. It is safer and, to me, more pleasant to just be in the groove, but some stretches have superb visibility and extreme tedium. On these roads I'll use a few tunes to help me through the miles. The unit works just like a thumb drive and plugs into USB ports--sweet.


Michael Heggen said...


I know you've been trying to apply a tourniquet to your wallet, but you might consider one of the smaller lightweight and flexible solar panels from Brunton.

I just recently bought a SolarRoll 4.5. I've tried it out on local rides and been very pleased. I just bungee it to the top of my TailRider and charge as I ride. It even makes my tail slightly more aero, I think. The real test will be in a week, as I will be a week-long supported tour (but without power).

Looking forward to dispatches from the road. Hope you have a great tour.


p.s. Sorry the Oregon Coast was a bust. When you get the urge to come north again for a bike vacation, drop me a line. There's nice touring in the Willamette Valley, as well as points east.

Scott Wayland said...

Hey, Mike: I'll look into the panels, but for now I'm sticking with my little charger. I'll be hitting enough places w/outlets to keep my batteries topped off. If I carried a laptop, I'd probably go the solar panel route for sure.

We have not written off Oregon. We would really like to tour the Willamette and the Columbia Gorge, probably in combination. We'll certainly be in touch. I think our next big tandem tour will be something along the Continental Divide next year.