I have a camera—a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera—that takes really crisp, high-resolution photographs. Camera folks regularly name it camera of the year. It's a pleasure to work with: full-frame, articulating display, quick shutter speed. Paired with my lens of choice, a 28-300mm NIKKOR, it takes some really lovely photographs. But, despite all the really gorgeous places our bike trip around the world is sure to take us, it won't be coming with me. Here's why.
A few years ago, I bought a bike. Outfitted with shiny chrome Campagnolo components and strong, lightweight Reynolds steel and a hidden superpower in which, with just a few loosened bolts, the frame actually separates in half and tucks away neatly into a checkable bag, it was a do-it-all bike that I hoped would be my one and only for decades to come. Except, it wasn't. Here's why I'll be switching to the Salsa Marrakesh for our ride: the things I like about it, and the things I really don't.
Touring with a cell phone can be a hassle. Monthly cell phone plans (at least in the States) are expensive, prepaid plans a bad deal, and swapping out local SIM cards when traveling from country-to-country a real annoyance. Project Fi, a new(ish) service offered by Google, makes traveling the world with a single cell phone (and single SIM card) a breeze. (As always, this isn't a sponsored post—just some good stuff worth recommending).
When traveling by bike, downtime is important. Whether a mid-afternoon break, a rainy day, or a long, dark night stuck in a tent, reading can help to pass the time, give you something to do, and—if you have the right books—teach you a little something about the country you're pedaling through. Great as books are, they're heavy, mostly single-use, and encourage deforestation. They're also pretty useless in the dark, requiring a headlamp and batteries. Enter the backlit e-reader.