One would think a lonesome bike hermit would have desert travel down to a science.
One would be wrong. Sunburned skin on my forehead and nose is flaking off a week after the Owyhee Uplands tour. There were blisters on the backs of my hands after the first day. SPF 33 sunscreen is no match for the desert sun at a mile above sea level. Hands, arms, legs, the back of the neck, ears and noses need to be physically shaded via long sleeve shirts, pants and hats. Desert dwellers in Mexico, North Africa and the Middle East know this, and they know that loose fitting full coverage clothing actually keeps them cooler than say, cutoffs and t-shirts. The air circulates next to the skin under the garment and evaporates the sweat- that’s a pretty neat physiological design.
For my birthday Sky King bought me a Click-Stand.
I had a good opportunity to test it with a loaded bike, and I have to say it solves the problem of what to do with the bike when taking a break. The Click-Stand is a portable, folding bicycle stand which, when folded, is between seven and ten inches in length. Mine weighs about 110 grams. For ultra-light touring the Click-Stand could double as a support for a rain fly or shelter. When used as a bike stand, the maker recommends using the supplied, small bungie straps to hold the brake levers closed so the bike won’t roll off the stand. I will not contradict that, but I can say that simply strapping a toe clip strap around the down tube and front tire to keep the wheel from turning works too.
Using a traditional kickstand is possible with a loaded touring bike but one needs to be careful. The type of kickstand that is held in place by sandwiching the chainstays between two plates with a bolt through the middle can actually crush the chain stays, especially the more ubiquitous, one legged kickstand. A two-legged kickstand is better. Such a design helps reduce the potential for chainstay flex compared to that which a loaded bike leaning on a kickstand single leg can impose. Even so, care needs to be taken not to tighten the sandwich bolt too tight. And the bolt needs to be checked regularly to make sure it is not coming loose. One bonus of the two-legged design is that the rear wheel is held a little ways off the ground, making maintenance and repairs much easier.