Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ready, Set, Almost...

The past few days have been very full getting ready. The new front 48 tooth chainring is installed, the bike is tuned and ready to ride and all my gear is in piles around my living room. It is truly remarkable when you evaluate the items "required" for typical daily existence vs. what is required for a bike trip. Everything weighs a ton (not including the rider!) and I have been going through a difficult editing process to get the bag weights down. As I have shopped for some of the gear I didn't already have or that I had but which weighed too much, I figured that the cost of reducing 1 lb. is about $100 when it comes to things like tents, sleeping bags, stoves, sleeping pads, etc. I am hoping to have no more than 10 lbs each on the rear panniers, about 5 lbs each on the fronts and another 5 lbs or so for the tent. The numbers are creeping up, though, as I keep adding "one more thing." I thought only a very short while about putting some fenders on the bike, but changed my mind quickly. I will probably regret not having them on rainy days, but I am going to be optimistic and plan on nothing but sunshine! I even found myself counting out vitamin pills into bags that I am going to send ahead to some stage points along with some other gear for later in the trip.

Tomorrow morning I hit the road for the drive up to Seattle area. I am delivering a car to a friend who is moving to Bellingham from SLC, will do a little work and some sightseeing over the weekend and will then depart from Anacortes on Monday.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

t minus 4 days

Soon I will embark on a journey across the northern tier of states, and Ontario in a re-generation of trust cycle. In other words, I'm getting my 235 lbs of hulk on a bike and riding across America and Canada! Among my goals is to encourage frozen hearts and pocket-books to loosen to the needs of others, returning to past patterns of generosity and attitudes to "those who need it more than we do."

My chosen charities for this journey are (more details to come on how to help on future blog posts):

The American Heart Association

The National Alliance for Mental Illness

World Vision

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

I hope that during this passage you will "ride along with me" in actuality or in spirit, and that you may from time-to-time check in with me on this blog to push me along as I (slowly!) chart my progress across the continent.

For those of you who know me well, you might understand well why I am choosing to do this journey. For those of you who may not know me quite as well, perhaps the idea is less clear. Above all, I seek to re-discover that bright, giving and regenerative part of America which has been so badly battered recently through our epoch of war, neglect, greed, selfishness, and entitlement which has for many resulted in a sense of loss and insufficiency as they struggle to regain their sense of purpose in a disjointed society. It is my hope to meet people from all walks of life along this journey with an open heart and to learn as much as I can about them, and relate, from time-to-time their stories and passions.