This was almost entirely fully-loaded. The only thing not in there is my tablet and charger (fairly small), my toiletries (very light) and food.
To simulate having food, i put 2L of water in my water bag (inside one of the panniers). If i go fully into the desert, i will probably need both 2L in the Nalgene bottles and 2L in the bag, plus food. In most places, though, i guess i will not need to carry a full water bag, since there should be plenty of water sources around.
Anyways, i went about 40km, mostly bike paths and back roads, with some gravel and singletrack (mountain bike slang for a rideable hiking trail). No big hills. Everything stayed attached. It was okay. Even small hills are tough.
I am feeling a bit better after almost falling off the edge the other day.
Basically from now until August i just need to do a few more of these trial runs, fine tune my gear, and stay doing a good enough job at work that the door will stay open for if/when i want to do some more hours in the future. If i can just make it through till then, i will be okay, because then i will be on the road, and absorbed with seeing new things and staying alive instead of sitting here being a basketcase.
The PM says they're talking about reopening the border mid-August, which would be grand. America's COVID numbers are rising again, though, which might throw a spanner in the works. As of today Canada has a higher vaccination rate than America - and that's for both shots. We passed America's one-shot rate 2 months ago. I'm not sure if that's good news or bad news for the reopening.
Of course, all this reopening chatter is Poor People's Problems because the air borders never closed. People who can afford to fly been going back and forth the whole time.