Thursday, August 8, 2013

Starting Points

I want to be this ready right now. (via India Mike)
Every time I think about this trip, I want to pack immediately. I feel like I could rush out the door tomorrow, largely just to avoid this whole planning period. This part seems hard. Here's what keeps my mind spinning on a regular basis:

Which direction I want to ride. This is the first thing I should know, yet I remain indecisive. East to West will ensure that the sun will be on my back in the morning and the late afternoon sun will be in my eyes. I can handle that. I've also heard that it's a bit easier headed west. But what does easier really mean when you're looking at 5,000 miles on a bike? I think finishing the trip riding into Boston would be phenomenal, but in the past leaving it behind and watching it disappear from an airplane window feels good too.

I had big plans to complete a half ironman next summer and I'm already wondering if bringing running shoes on this trip will seem like a hysterical joke when I try and pack them next May. At this point, I can barely run 3 miles off the bike after a 20 mile ride. How will I be able to bike all day and then go for a run? What state would I even register for a race in? I have no idea where I'll be.

All the gear. I get excited about gear. New bike, panniers, tents, racks, lights, solar panels(!!!). There are so many things to attach to your bike, it's exhilarating. It's also the biggest time suck. There are so many price checks and sales to wait for. So many comparisons and reviews to read. Do I need a tablet/netbook, garmin, camera, and a phone that can all be charged via a solar panel? Probably not, but I definitely like to think I do.

The route. I don't even know what to say. I have to map out 5,000+ miles of bike friendly roads. Those roads need to connect to breweries that are in the dead center of unfamiliar cities, in industrial parks, or out in the middle of nowhere. I know there are sites out there to help, but saying it's overwhelming would be an understatement. How do you plan a route?

At this point, four major topics into my bike adventure daydream, I've gotten so worked up that I've made myself nervous. Is this too big of a trip? Can I even manage the planning aspect, let alone the part where I move my legs in small circles for thousands of hours?
And then I came across this via
Luckily, when I need a break, I can do what I always do--go for a ride and come home to a beer. Then I'll remember that's all this trip is about; a bike ride and a beer. How very simple and satisfying, I'll say to myself. I should do this every day, I'll think. And that's how I got here in the first place.

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