My touring bike, built on a '97 Cannondale touring frame, has served me well for about 6,000 miles of loaded touring in the last year. I put it together with an eclectic combination of parts, and, after returning from a short tour, I thought I'd document it.

The 'cockpit' view is pretty unusual. I use Suntour Command shifters and a long Softride Aluminum stem. The stem has a flat top, so I've glued a map holder onto it. The shifting is not as good as Shimano, but the shifter location is ideal for me - I don't have to move my hands from the top of the bars to shift - and the suspension stem makes long hours of riding much easier on the upper body. That is a compass/bell combination in the center and a Cateye Astrale on the right

The front rack is a lowrider designed for a fork without rack mounts, but is mounted using the rackmounts on the Cannondale fork. The center photo

shows the Sigg water bottles and Topeka Combo Master Blaster pump strapped to the seat tube. You can also see the front section of my rear fender which is glued to the frame. The rear part of that fender is mounted to the rack as is a rear flasher. On top of the rack I carry a Z-Rest pad, my tent poles, and some spare spokes. I carry the tent itself (Kelty Ultralight) in the left rear pannier, along with my clothing (in a OR dry bag). I carry the tent's rainfly, my sleeping bag in another OR dry bag, and my bad weather jacket in the other rear bag. My front bags have computer and electronic stuff on one side (protected by two layers of compactor bags with a layer of bubble wrap in between)and tools, supplies (both for the bike and for me), a spare tire, a first aid kit, etc on the other side. The rain covers aren't very waterproof, but they do make me more visible. They are also handy for carrying extra stuff. The left rain cover in the picture has a bag with nine dinner rolls in it between the cover and the pannier - I had stopped at a bakery about 50 miles before I got home.

The handlebar bag holds my rain gear (Campmor rain cape and chaps), my light (Cateye HL15000b), a Xenon strobe, a camera and snacks. I carry my wallet, comb, change, and a Leatherman II tool in a plastic bag in my jersey pocket. All of this bags, racks, gear, and all, weighs about 80 lbs. It rolls on Conti Top Touring Tires (700x32) mounted on inexpensive hybrid rims built up with straight gauge spokes on inexpensive, 7 speed Shimano MTB hubs. I use a 13-30 cassette with a 32 big cog in place of the 30, and 24-37-46 rings on a Suntour XC-Pro crank. The front Derailleur is an older XTR and the rear is an XC-Pro. The pedals are currently Shimano 535s, but I may go back to my XC-Pros.