I live in the Hampton Roads area of Southeast Virginia and work in the electronics support field. I grew up on bicycles. So it’s no shock to my longtime friends that I still ride. I consider 1987 as the year in which I really dove into cycling. Since then, I had been a licensed racer (three years), a year-round commuter (ten years) and I had ridden several centuries before hanging up the bike in 2003. I returned to the saddle in 2010 after a hiatus. Striving for self-sufficiency, I quickly developed a reputation for being an overpacker. I carry snacks, tools, parts, extra clothing (winter) and first aid supplies. Click here for a video explanation of why I chose “Captain Overpacker” as my site name.
Since 2010, I’ve ridden dozens of centuries, both supported and unsupported, and I had enjoyed riding in the BikeMS and Tour de Cure charity rides. My longest ride was during a brisk 1100-mile Tour of the Southeast. I rode over 4500 miles in 2012 and over 5300 miles in 2013. I joined “Randonneurs USA” (RUSA) in October 2012 and completed an R-12 series in 2013. I attempted a Super Randonneur series (200km, 300km, 400km, and 600km) in both 2013 and 2014. I learned a lot of hard lessons.
I developed a balance disorder in 2016, with early signs going unnoticed as early as 2013. I can still ride a bicycle, but I feel unsafe while riding in groups or on long drives, especially with vehicular traffic nearby. As a result, my rides are far less frequent and I’ve faded from the bicycling scene. Unfortunately, randonneuring is out of the question. I still support select bicycling events, either as a SAG driver or in my communications platform… sometimes both. I was weeks away from allowing this website to expire when a good friend invited me to participate as a support member of her budding bicycle touring company. I’m unlikely to tour as a rider, but I will support her and her riders. This site may transition to a bit of a “behind the scenes” site for me.
I hope to start doing so more riding myself someday.
Hi, Scott, I am subscribing to your blog.
Thanks! Perhaps I’ll have something really interesting here someday. 😉
Hello Scott, The Blog looks great, Jacob made the move to a bent, when you gonna make the leap =)
Thanks, Wayne! I’ve considered a recumbent tricycle for a long time. For now, I have other financial goals and plan to make the most of my current bike.
Funny, I just bought a Jetta Sportwagon TDI a few weeks back. I will have to check out your blog on the TDI.
There’s a vast difference between your TDI and mine. Mine’s old school, noisy and smokes a bit when I floor it. But it’s been a great car for over 15 years and 415,000 miles! The main website is at http://www.StealthTDI.com/
I too have a Domane 4.5 and I am interested in doing some upgrades. I was thinking about doing the crank and brakes to Ultegra like you did. I saw your comments on amazon and found this website from you dialog with a commenter. Looking forward to reading your blog and learning from your experience with your Domane.
Small world there. I have followed your Stealth Tdi at Freds Tdi for years and here you are a randonneur as well. I copied in the link to our Rando club.
Nice website! Your “Super Randonneur in a week” series looks like hell on the legs… and SLEEP! HAHA! I’m still in love with my TDI. It’s looking a bit haggard these days. I hope to repaint it soon. Take Care. -Scott
I have added your blog to my blogroll. I am considering RUSA this year, but it just depends on my mood I think.
Thanks for the visit, Vic! My area has a new RUSA club and will host its first full SR series. It’s REALLY flat here. So I’m hoping I can achieve SR status this year or next. I’m addressing on some fatigue problems before I can ride throughout the night. I’ll start the series in March and see how it goes. Take care…
Thanks for the post. I’ve looked at the CrossRip, as well as the Trek 720 Disc
and 520 Disc
The 720 being more comparable with the CrossRip. I’m sold on the idea of steel for touring, but I also commute and use the bike for my sole transportation. I had concerns over the carbon fork holding any kind of usable weight, but after seeing your rig, and the 720 Disc, I’m a bit more comfortable with the idea.
How much weight do you carry on your front rack, and do you find the ride of aluminum off-putting over long distances? I was looking at a Salsa Vaya 2 (Shimano 105 components and all steel) but I keep leaning towards Trek. I’m not ready for long, unsupported touring at this point, and I need something utilitarian for short to medium trips being somewhat loaded, but not maxed out for weeks of living off the road.
Has the compact crank proven sufficient with hills, and hauling gear? I’m told I “need” a triple, but with all the drivetrain stress, complications, overlap…. I like the simplicity of a double, but hesitate at floundering for a low gear to complete a hill.
Any input/opinion would be appreciated. I like your setup and happy trails!
Thanks for the note. Let me see if I can answer your questions: The 720 is close to the CrossRip. However, the 720 has shorter chainstays, which increases the risk of striking your heels on panniers if you have large feet. Longer chainstays help provide stability and (perhaps) comfort. The 920 has longer chainstays, perhaps the longest of all Trek bikes, as well as hydraulic brakes (at the cost of adding bar-end shifters). You might want to also consider the Specialized AWOL. It comes in a few trim levels. I’m attracted to its tall head tube, but not its long top tube. If I really get the “steel bug,” I may buy just an AWOL frame and move my CrossRip components to it. Until then, I find the aluminum to be comfortable enough, especially on larger tires. I’ve been riding my carbon-fiber Domane in brevets. I like the comfort. But it would be tough to ignore the CrossRip if rain is in the forecast. The fenders are awesome!
The compact crank has been pretty wonderful. Shifting is good and smooth. I run out of gearing above 28 mph. But, by then, it’s time to coast on that bike anyway. Try limiting yourself a 50x13T gear combo for a ride. That’s the same as a 42x11T combo and will give you an idea of what I mean by “running out of gears.” On the low end, though, I have a 26x28T for hilly rides and can swap to a 26x32T combo by mounting an 11x32T cassette for the mountains. I don’t think I’d switch to an 11x36T cassette because I like tighter gear spacing. BTW, the 920 features a 42x28T crank. So manufactures may be beginning to embrace the 2×10 setup.
Weight on the carbon fork – The Arkel front rack is rated for 30 lbs. The stuff I show packed on this page (https://captainoverpacker.com/2015/04/15/preparing-for-my-first-bike-camping-trip/) put each pannier at 13 lbs. The handlebar bag weighed about 9-10 lbs. They may have been something else because I recall estimating that I had 40 lbs of gear hanging from the front of the bike. But I KNOW I didn’t exceed the rack’s limits. Sometimes I wonder if the carbon fork will tolerate the load. If I break an eyelet, then I’ll brush it off and order a Surly steel fork. Until then, I’ll ride more and worry less. 🙂
I have read most of your articles and I really like it!
You have Ixon IQ premium lights mounted well to your bicycle. Can you tell me the model name of the part that is mounted in stem?
Thanks in advance!!
Jun – Sorry to have overlooked this. I use a pair of Topeak Bar Xtenders. You can have a look at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FIAVN8
Really like your site because you make so much out of the Trek Crossrip which I own, too. It’s a fine bike which gets me anywhere I want.
In was wondering if you could please help me with a problem: I’m trying to attach a low rider rack to the bike. I do not know whether Trek uses different standards concerning the screw holes in America and Europe as I live in Germany. While I have no problem using a 5 mm screw to attach the upper part of the rack to the fork, I cannot find a screw that fits into the small screw hole next to the dropout.
Could you please tell me which size the screw has that you have used to attach the low rider to the fork next to the dropout? I tried american #10 screws, 4 und 5 mm european screws. Nothing fits. 😦
Thanks in advance – and happy riding all the time!
Dirk – Sorry to take so long to respond. I needed to find the time to check everything. I didn’t document the exact size and pitch of the bolts. But I can tell you that they’re the same size and pitch as the ones that are used in the low-rider mounts on the fork as well as the rear rack attaching points on the frame. I double-checked by removing bolts from those locations and threading them into my dropout eyelets. It appears on size fits all.
It’s possible that your threads need to be cleared out by running a bolt through them. I have a vague recollection of needing to do that the first time to clear out any paint that might have dried in threads at the factory. Good luck! -Scott