Today I picked up the final piece of the puzzle. I got my new bike! It looks great, rides great and I am about as excited as can be. After several months of research I, with the help of the great guys at The Path Bike Shop (http://www.thepathbikeshop.com/), have got a custom bike put together that I hope will be able to stand up to everything the world can throw at it.
I'll spare the technical details, but suffice it to say, the bike is built to be bomb proof. Steel components, internal gearing, dirt jump rims; everything is solid and tough. The bike is heavy and won't set any speed records, but it should be able to rack up the miles over any surface and keep on trucking.
All of my camping gear is purchased and now the only step left in preparation is testing it out, which I will do with a trial run out to the mountains. Once I have gone through that final phase I will have to christen my trusty steed with a fitting name, and I will give a comprehensive list of my equipment and my assessment of the utility of each piece.
The only hang up after all of this is the price! Yikes, the gear alone ran me a little over 5 grand! But, I wanted quality equipment because as my dad said, I will be thanking heaven for every penny I spent when I hit foul weather.