Saturday, January 23, 2010

Riding my bike

I’ve decided to put all my worldly possessions in storage and ride my bicycle for awhile. I’ve ridden several long distance bicycle trips in the past but this is the first time I will ride a bike on a continental scale. I don’t have a “set in stone” itinerary. The plan is to ride from the Seattle area, down the west coast, following a well known bicycle route ( US 101 ). At San Diego, I will take a few days off, and then point the front tire to the east, and follow the southern border, ending in Key West around New Year’s. From there, I will head up the eastern seaboard and then west, back to Seattle. I may decide at any point to stop, or if I’m having fun, I might ride to Alaska and then down into Central America ( I really like the idea of riding my bike in.... Yucatan, Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, or deep into South America). This is going to be a bike ride, based on a very loose schedule and subject to change at the drop of a hat, or a change in the weather. My name is Dave, and I’m 46.

Velo Orange 60mm Smooth Fenders

My bike is a 21 year old Trek 950 mountain bike (they made’m good back in 1989). This was at a time when Trek made all their bikes in Wisconsin, before they sent all production to Asia. The bike is in excellent condition and I paid a lot of attention to the wheelset, because if you’re going to have any trouble on a long bike trip, chances are the wheels will fail first. On a previous bike tour, I learned that the hard way, and broke several spokes, and that experience taught me to always make sure the wheels are bomb-proof (or as bomb-proof as possible). Mavic 721 rims, with 36, Swiss DT spokes connected to XT hubs, and rolling on Schwalbe Marathon (1.5in wide) tires should run straight and true for quite awhile. I will tow a Bob, which is a single wheel trailer that has an excellent reputation. The Bob trailer was invented by a mountain bike rider (in Boise Idaho I believe) who wanted to take camping gear on single track trails. I bought mine about 2 years ago, and have pulled it over 3000 miles. In addition, I have Axiom panniers ("pannier" is bike-nerd-speak for “saddlebags) on the front rack. I’ll be providing more detailed breakdown, of the bike, components and gear during this journey.

This is an older picture without the Axiom panniers

I will be totally self-supported, carrying camping and cooking gear, and all other supplies. I also have with me some luxury items listed here.

10 X 25 binoculars and Peterson Bird Identification Guide
2.5 gallon solar shower
hammock (home-made)
mp3 player

Please bookmark this page, or if you have a gmail (or Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, AIM, NetLog or OpenID) account, feel free to follow this blog. You can select to receive emails when I update. When on the road, I will seek WiFi hot-spots or other connections to the net. I will attempt to update this journal on a regular basis, hopefully more than once a week.

Thanks and see you on down the road.


(I guess since this is the first post, I should throw out the "welcome mat")