Whew! Been a while since my previous post. Today is May 1st. Very early May 1st, 2:16am. I have five other people sleeping in my apartment right now. My childhood friend came to visit with her 4 kids. All fantastic kids with terrific energy. Tomorrow we are going to start off the day at the Brooklyn Banks. The world famous NY skate spot. I used to go there over 20 years ago as a kid. Luke the oldest is 16 and wants to tear it up. Then it's off to Long Island to my Godson's Communion.
Yesterday, which was just hours ago was my last day at Hastens. My three month bike journey with my friend Rich, AKA: RVK/Route Boy(Pronounced with a Jamacian accent to sound like Rude Boy) Came up with that today after he showed me the first few days of our route. Don't know what kind of sentence that was right there. But anyways the adventure begins in exactly 9 days. Going to meet at Mud on 9th street and 2nd ave and begin from there. It's a special East Village haunt for both of us. The milk I just bought expires on May 9th. It was symbolic at the time.
So if you have a bike and want to cruise up the west side hwy to the George Washington Bridge with us, please do. Whatever, just a good meeting spot to start the expedition. If you don't have a bike and you would like to be there, show up.
What a whirlwind this past couple of weeks. This has been quite an undertaking. Just saying your going to do something like this. Then giving it a voice. Literally telling people about the idea and then following through with it has been wild. Again, it all started a while back in conversation. Then a text was sent last month. Now only weeks later it's crunch time.
Getting the bike and all the gear. It's all about researching and then trial and error. Figuring out what to take and what to do with the rest of your life that you are leaving behind for three months. Then mapping out the route and wondering about how it will all unfold. Along with every other thought and emotion that you can imagine. Asking yourself, am I really going to do this? Do I really want to do this? What the fuck was I thinking? This sounded like a good idea and it was fun to talk about and here it is.
Just going to pack up and pack it in and ready to begin. Get on the two wheeled monster and figure it all out as we get down the road one mile at a time. This bike is ridiculous. Getting heavier and heavier by the day. As well as wider. But like Rich says, "The thing rides like the Cadilac of bikes."
I've got all my bags for the bike. As well as a GPS system. Going to be key to stay on the right track and not make any wrong turns with unnecessary miles. Now this week I have to make a few more purchases. Have to pick up a tent, sleeping bag and some more bike wear. Need the padded shorts for the long days on the saddle. Speaking of which I picked up a classic Brooks hand crafted all leather saddle with springs called the Special Flyer. If you haven't heard of them you've been living under a rock and I suggest you climb out and buy a bike and get a Brooks saddle. Just a suggestion! Check out the video on their website if you care too. I really dig old school handcrafted things like this. Not a cheap saddle by any means but a worth while investment for you biggest contact point.
They say there's where you should invest in the bike. The contact points. The seat, your shoes/pedals, tires and the handle bars. Yesterday I just had some new tires put on as well. Schwalbe (Pronounced SCHWALBY) Marathon XR's. On all three sides of the tire there is Kevlar. Helps to prevent flats. If I can avoid problems like that, again another worthwhile investment for this once in a lifetime opportunity. My shoes I picked up a few weeks ago. I purchased some Keen sandals that have clipless pedals. Clipless means that you shoe and pedal clip together. This way you get maximum use out of every movement. They seem to be a great fit for this trip. They are open, waterproof and supposedly odor and fungus free. If it's cold wear socks. If it's hot and sunny just put on my feet with some sunscreen. The handle bars have a padded tape on them and seem pretty comfortable. I'm prolly going to pick up some gloves as well. Just have to shop around a little bit for those.
Also going to purchase a solar powered IPhone charger. A company called Solio makes them. May be days camping with no electricity and I want to blog and stay in touch with the outside world. My phone may not work everywhere. But the GPS should.
I figure I'd throw some logistical and bike information into the blog. This is a cross country bike trip. There is a ton of helpful info on the web about bike touring. From blogs that others have kept during there trips. Which discuss everything from equipment to places to stay and routes and on and on. I don't know what more I can read.
I'm getting sleepy, it is 2:45 in the am. But I've meaning to blog for a few weeks now. Just been overwhelmed to say the least. As excited as I am about this trip I'm also trying to get everything squared away on this end to make it as liesurely and enjoyable as possible. So much more I want say and share. Have a million great thoughts and ideas and fun interactions happening in my life right now. It's these times in life where you are stepping off a precipice, this amazing spirit and sense for adventure just exudes from your being. So I thank you for participating in this journey with me. Your time spent reading my blog along with your questions, thoughts and input are really going to help keep the pedals turning. I look forward to sharing this adventure with you and anybody else you share this with to come along for the ride.
Remember: Be yourself, everybody else is already taken.