My bags are packed I'm ready to go. I decided to do it the hard way. That is I'll be doing the tour self-contained. I always felt GOBA was a good place to test the waters for self-contained bike touring. The days are not long and the terrain is gentle. I packed my panniers today and went out for a 22 mile test ride. 3 miles into the ride it began to rain. Not heavy but a steady rain non the less. The fairing was fantastic keeping my lower body dry. I was doing a steady pace and getting plenty of room from cars. The few major hills were no more challenging than without the added 35 lbs. 12 miles into the ride my rear derailer cable snapped. SHIT! To make matters worse my chain began to skip. I thought I had stretched the chain. I was fortunate to be able to limp the 10 miles home. I brought the bike to my mechanic. He replaced the cable and checked the chain. It was not stretched just a bad link. $21 dollars later and all is good. I'm glad I took that trial run. Don't want to break down on tour. In spite of the drama my average speed was not too far off. As always I am excited to meet up with my old friends and make some new ones. See ya in a week.