Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Riding

So it began. It really began a couple of weeks ago when it started getting cold, but now its on. It's us versus them. Commuters versus weather. People think I'm crazy for biking in this kind of weather, I think drivers are crazy for going out in this (you don't see bikers backed up all over the city). I should send a thanks out to all the patient drivers out there, I really do appreciate the space and not being hit. I've been able to keep the rubber to the ground so far which is a pleasant accomplishment, although I have good experience crashing on my own so I know how I will react to it.

More bike trip planning is underway. Lindsey and I have been reading other touring bikers' stories since Friday in an attempt to work on the perfect packing list for our trip. The first critical piece of information we learned was about the headwinds on the West Coast, apparently they blow south(ish). Had we stuck to our original plan we would spend most of our trip biking into the wind. Since we opted out of riding through North Dakota for the same reason we decided to change the direction of our trip so we'll be going South to L.A. This took some major trip planning work and also means I will not be attending the wedding. In addition to that, I will also be riding the train from Minneapolis to Seattle alone with two bikes (Sounds like the start of a cool hipster murder mystery). I would like to thank the person at Warm Showers for the information about the wind on the coast.

I think I discovered the perfect pizza tonight. I leave the crust a little thicker than normal and leave out the red sauce. From there I put on mozzarela, artichokes, red onions, garlic, oregano and goat cheese (and of course salt and olive oil). Delicious, just in case you were wondering what I had for dinner (last night I had a salad).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Route

So it looks as though we have our route set in stone.  The only question is do we want to stop in Seattle, WA or keep moving on up to Vancouver.  Suggestions?  As far as accommodations go I'm thinking we'll be mixing it up with camping, staying with people we may know along the way and maybe staying with some people we don't know.  We'll be finding these people on Warm Showers, and if anyone knows people along the route, let us know if you think they may be interested in hosting us for a night or two.  

This link from Adventure Cycling shows the routes we'll be doing the Pacific Coast route but we'll be starting out of L.A. instead of Imperial Beach, CA.  

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Beginning of the Beginning

As some may already know, Lindsey and I (Joe) are planning a West Coast bicycle tour for next summer.  We are going to try to keep this updated with how the trip planning is going for everyone to follow and ultimately try to keep people updated while we are on our trip.  We'll track everything here from packing lists to route choices and equipment purchases.  

As of right now we both have our panniers and touring racks which we picked up yesterday.  We both got the Ortlieb Back-Roller packs which each hold 40L, I believe the racks are Axiom Journey and have a load capacity of 70Kg.  We found the packs at the Hub Bike Co-op in Minneapolis for $150.00 and the racks were $34.99, not a bad find.  

I've also found the bike I will be touring on, a late 90's Bianchi Brava.  This was a find on Craigslist in which I contacted the seller about 20 minutes after the posting and the transaction was made not much later.  I had been watching the list for a while and decided I wanted a steel framed bike, as that is my general preference.  Its a solid frame and nicer components than what would normally come stock on the Brava.  

Lindsey is still looking for her bike of choice, the smaller frames are a little harder to come by.  Currently watching for a 49 or 50Cm. steel frame with solid components in order to avoid excessive upgrade work on the bike, although it would be a blast to fix up its just not the greatest way to save money.   

I'll post more on the route next time and also try to get some pictures up.