Planning Decisions, Tradeoffs, Compromises
Well, barely one month to go and I still have a few issues to sort out. Most pressing is my footwear situation. Currently I am looking at two options. Option 1 is the use of flat pedals and the Neos overboots that you commonly find on AK riders. These boots are guaranteed to keep your feet warm in just about any conditions and can simply be worn over your LW hikers or in my case, my Five Ten approach shoes. The downsides to this setup are bulk, moisture, and more bulk.
I am so conditioned to riding with my Crank Brothers that I am really struggling with this as a viable option. For one of my weekly training rides, I swapped out my Eggbeaters for my flats and hit the trails. I struggled mightily to find the appropriate foot placement as the rubber on my Five Tens is so sticky. I know that with some time I could sort this out, but it is just a pain. For yesterdays training ride, I was back in clips and Eggbeaters and working the think sandy beach as a psuedo 'Snow' ride. I love that combination as it just feels so natural, and very strong. The CBs dissengage very quickly and there have been very few times where I have gone over. I will admit, that getting started in grungy thick stuff can be a challenge, where you just want to find some form of solid contact before you get clipped in.
The shoes are do to hit the shelves of stores the first week of December, leaving me in a bit of time crunch.
As is the case with most expeditions, planning is full of trade-offs. On one hand you have guaranteed warmth at the expense of pedaling efficiency, while on the other you have good pedaling efficiency, but a potential for some warmth issues. In the end, warmth is the key, because if your feet are not dry and warm, you cant pedal efficiently. Still, if the Wolvhammer's could get me to the temps that I need to be at, I believe that is my preferred route.
Upcoming issues include Anchorage ground support; SPOT replacement; and Camera Storage, although for that one I think I have a solution.