Montanas Vacias PREP Log

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  • Hey to myself,

    I am finding myself in the situation to having signed up for Lael Wilcox' Montanas Vacias womens ralley, on a whim, just after having fought off Covid.

    Now I am into a constant state of mild panic and excitement/ anticipation of this epic adventure. ( and my thought soften travel to the fear of just having to give up since it is an insane challenge of elevation/day)

    I am going to be using this log to dump all the prep thoughts in a digital space/ to-do list in an effort for them to not keep me up at night. I NEED my rest.

    Lets get going

    Things to order/ get hold off

    1. 34t chainring ( chainreactioncycles)
    2. Tail-fin bag and rack ( off the website directly)
      2.a Dual Bottle cage
    3. WAHOO heart rate monitor
    4. New tyres (yet to decide which ones as I have 650b, clearance to 42mm)
    5. Handlebar pack?
    6. Dynaplug / extra plugs
    7. Sealant for Tubeless set up

    Things to do/ Set up

    1. Change tyres to tubeless
    2. Tail-fin rack with dual bottle cage on one side
    3. Large cable ties for fork & Downtube (carrying sleeping bag etc) ( downtube= Extra water)


    1. Shorter Stem for Cannondale
    2. QUOC Shoes, if toebox accommodates
    3. New Handlebar bag?

    So far I will tick off ordering the Tail-fin and the chainring today, I will also plan some long distance, higher elevation rides like

    1. Brighton OFF road
    2. NOgravel North route #1
      3.NOGravel North route #2
    3. Brighton and back, road

    4. 2 day ride with a bivvi night to check set up in early April

    etc. (tbc)


  • Interesting thread! Subbed.

  • Phew,

    Today I was ready and prepped to go for a longer ride ( laps Clockwise in RP) BUT 10meters from the house i heard "POP" and one of my front spokes just caved in at the nipple and ripped out :(
    Raced to SeaBass C and they'll sort me out. However due to the front being a Cannondale Slate lefty, it will take them till the end of the week to get this sorted.
    That meant I took my 8bar fixed to RP today (62k) and tomorrow I'll take my Pinarello.
    Not ideal, as I wanted to get my ass used to sitting on the cannondale but better than nothing.

    Apart from training:
    I ordered and am waiting for the following:

    -WTB Resolute 650b in 42mm, I cant fit anything wider so they'll have to do, having ridden quite a few different terrains ( South Downs, Isle of purbeck, Epping in deep Mud, Surrey & kent Off road) I am confident that I will be fine handling and managing descents on these tyres. Will deffo spend some time getting used to them though, to see the grip and how much I can extend my trust. ;0]

    -HOPE 34t Chainring ( for all those easy gears , 12000m climbing, eeeek)

    -Crankbrothers 17 Multitool with Chainbreaker. I have multi tools but none of them has the T-25 hex that I need for the Cannondale.

    -Spare Chainlinks for 11 speed. ( just in case)

    Additionally I also tried the QUOC Shoes in smallest size (She ordered two pairs to be safe) from a mate and they are way to big so will not be able to purchase these for the trip. Toebox was big enough though. Shame.

    I also found out that the Tailfin pack and rack that I would want ( the set up I want) costs close to Ā£370. That is a mighty price, currently still tempted to get it as I know it is reliable and mega easy to pack. This will come in handy when you need to pack up shelter and get going early in the morning. Ill post once Ive made up my mind.

    Other bits that I want to add to the list of things I need to get my hands on are

    • Sealant ( tubeless innit)
      -Dynaplug ( spare plugs)
      -Another pair of Rapha Cargo shorts, to swap.
      -Performance T-shirt with Fast drying but comfy material ( Sustainable brand too if poss)

    As soon as I get the tyres and chainring I will add and upload an image.

    Thats all for now,


  • What's the alternative to the Tailfin if you decide not to get it? Normal pannier rack? Seatpack? PDW bindlerack type thing?

  • Hey @Belagerent!

    Good question. At the moment I haven't found anything comparable. I did have an alternative set up once with a rear rack and just a dry bag and straps, did the South downs way with that, but tbh it was quite challenging as it kept wiggling loose and I had to readjust.
    If therebis an alternative where I don't need to worry about that, then that would be great.
    I am also realising that I never mentioned what bike I am riding, but its a cannondale slate solo, so it only has mudguard mounts.

    Let me know if you have any alternatives that I could consider. šŸ˜Š

  • Could you try a Carrdice Bagman and then put extra support struts on to it? I guess you may have the same issue as you had with the rear rack on the SDW but cost would be a lot less than a tailfin!Ā­/bagman-support-struts/

  • Sounds like you know a lot better than me to be honest. Are you trying to use a rack type situation because you don't have much space between the wheel and saddle? Previously mentioned PDW bindlerack is the only other thing I know of

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Montanas Vacias PREP Log

Posted by Avatar for Eosnme @Eosnme