This is sort of a recovery week in terms of training so I've had time to go over some gear. I feel really confident in terms of my gear selection (other than in 2008). Gear is not what has kept from making it to Durango. The one item that I tend to go back and forth on is the bivy. The other day I went back to the lighter model but I'll make that swap a few more times over the next few months. I did move the bed roll to the front this year and I'm much happier with that setup. It impacts the handling a heck of a lot less. I do still have some mountain feedbags that Eric made for me but I'm so particular about how the cockpit looks that I have not decided to use them yet.
I installed a new Ardent (2.4) tire a few days ago and have been playing around with air pressures but finally found the ideal pressure for the load and riding style. I love this tire.
I always have a few Esbit tablets for emergency when I do a long ride but during something like the Colorado Trail Race, I do not bring a stove and I do not rely on backpacker meals. I may take one for the long haul between the Hot Springs and Silverton but we'll see. The one thing I generally find myself craving is coffee. A while ago I bought an insulated bottle from Kleen Kanteen. It's a bit heavy but it will keep coffee or soup hot for about 8 hours so I am strongly considering bringing it. I hope to hit Breckenridge in the evening of night 1 and I can't think of much better than to be able to take 16 ounces of hot coffee along with me for the night hike up the 10 Mile Range. My carbon cages don't allow the bottle to fit real nicely so I dug through some boxes and found an old Cateye cage that works perfectly after hacking off the curved portion designed to fit around the neck of a normal bottle.