Monday, May 16, 2011

Day -6

If it wasn't already blatantly obvious to you, I'm doing a bike tour this summer from Bellingham, WA to San Diego, CA. I'll be following the adventure cycling route for most of the tour, which follows highway 1 and highway 101 (and other roads) all the way along the coast. I leave in 6 days.

I decided to go on the ride back in October of 2010. I was toying around with interesting looking routes on Google Maps and happened to draw one along the pacific coast. I wrote a blog post about the awesome route and attempted to recruit people through the post. After a few people showed interest in coming, they realized they just couldn't do the ride with me, so I'll be doing the tour alone. It was just a random idea. I wasn't incredibly confident that it would happen, but didn't count out the possibility that it would. Of all the times in my life that I could have chosen, now was the perfect time. So it didn't seem that far-fetched for me to actually do it.

Not long before I wrote that blog post, I was reading stories a guy I knew in high school wrote on Facebook about his time in South America. After going to an English school he spent several months just going around the continent, exploring the land and meeting the people. He had stories where he was in great danger to be arrested in a foreign country, he spent the night in a jail one night (because it was the nicest place the cop could offer), he sneaked into Machu Picchu, and met several people along the way who helped him and his friend. It sounded like a real adventure. I wanted an adventure of my own. An adventure with hardship that I would have to press through, with fun times, and boring times. To put it simply, I wanted a real adventure and whatever comes along with it.

I started reading books and everyone knows that once you start reading, you're unstoppable (which is why we should never teach apes to read). I read the story about the first winter ascent of Mt. McKinley. The hardship that they went through was unbelievable. A man on the team died, but they pressed on. They ran out of food while being stuck just below the summit for several days. They all had frostbite and lost several fingers and toes. It really amazed me that they would go through so much trouble for this, but the adventure kept pulling me in.

So I really wanted an adventure and I decided a bike tour would be an appropriate adventure for me. I'm not sure exactly what I want to get out of the experience, but I was challenged by a friend to have a goal for the ride. So I'm working on realizing what I want to get out of the ride.

I have spent a lot of time and money preparing for this ride. Sometime I'll list off all the stuff I'm bringing and 85% of that stuff I have bought recently. Aside from Mines, this is the biggest monetary investment I've ever made. I've gotten so used to buying stuff that I hardly think about it anymore. So at the very least, something I will have gained through my bike trip will be the ability to sympathize with shopaholics.

Training was something I was determined to do because I absolutely did not want to start riding 50-60 miles a day cold turkey. So I've loosely followed a training plan that went from 13 mile rides 5 days a week on flat ground up to 30-40 mile rides 3-4 days a week on flat to mountainous ground. I definitely strayed from the training plan I found on the internet, but I at least can say with confidence that I can ride 40 miles in a day, and another 10-20 miles should be doable. And if you didn't realize, 30-40 miles actually takes a while to ride, so I have logged many hours on the saddle that could have been used to watch TV. So you can understand how difficult the time commitment has been for me since I can't miss my favorite shows, Glee and Desperate Housewives. I've also had to make the sacrifice of stuffing large quantities of delicious food into my belly so that my calories burned equal my calories eaten.

So I leave in 6 days on Sunday, May 22 at 9:40pm. I plan to write blog posts along the way, approximately once a week. If you're stuck in the stone ages of the internet and don't use Google Reader, rest assured that I will be reminding you via Facebook whenever I write a post. If you don't have Facebook, you should subscribe via email on the right hand side of this page and you'll get an email whenever I write a post. If you don't have an email, go to once a week to see my new post. If you don't have the internet, I'll happily use my typewriter to re-write the post and mail it to you via the Pony Express.

Of course, all this is dependent on whether or not Jesus comes back on May 21.

1 comment:

  1. Yay I'm really glad that you're doing it and a bit jealous too. I think this is what your trip will mostly be like: