It’s been a while since this has been updated. So long, in fact, that the trip has already started. Whoops. So, here’s the most condensed update I can manage.
For starters, I found a riding buddy! Haha, probably should have updated that little tidbit of info a little while ago. Of course, most of you who know me likely already know that so no biggie. Name’s Marissa, a fellow photographer and bike dork. It took a bit of convincing and a heck of a lot of finagling to secure her tenure on this ridiculous endeavor but she’s here now and there’s no stopping us.
Being the bigger bike dork, gear nut, and worrier, I basically assumed the role of outfitter and researcher. Of course, we are both fairly avid procrastinators which meant that the entire last month has been jammed with mail-order packages, hours perusing EMS, Paragon, and Campmor, and lots and lots of lists that never seem to get finished. In fact, we were both still shopping and running around like crazy within 12 hours of departure. If you want to see what all we ended up with, check out the gear page.
One of the great resources I also discovered was each state’s DOT website. Almost every one has a cycling section with links to state-wide routes or proper roads to use. I actually talked with the NYDOT and they mailed me two full cycling maps for our first leg of the trip. After looking a bit, I decided we should ride NY Route 17 that roughly follows the southern border of New York and Pennsylvania. I figured I’ve driven across Pennsylvania too many time already and the maps we got offered a lot more confidence in our route. Plus, I was told they offered a lot wider berms. Fantastic!
Adding another person who was coming into the game a little late also meant that the proposed launch date had to get pushed back a bit to manage all the additional prep time. That, and I also accepted a two plus week gig in Singapore. I couldn’t really pass that up and it also gave Marissa a lot more time to sort her own stuff out. Here’s what I couldn’t pass up.
It seems a bit ridiculous what we are trying to do. I didn’t really give it much thought at the time since we were so busy and I was so concerned with getting all the supplies we might need but almost every aspect of this tour is going to be trial and error. Neither of us has ever attempted anything close to this on any level. For instance, we’ve both camped but neither of us has done it on an extend basis, at least for a very long time on our own. Almost every bit of gear that we have, from the tents, sleeping bags, and camp stove to the bike tires, racks, bags, and tools are almost completely brand new and untested. Heck, we harldy even know each other when it comes down to it. We worked together at Industria Superstudio for close to a year but we didn’t really hang out together until about 5 months ago (this is often considered a highly amusing fact among my friends). Just about the only thing that we do really have a firm grasp on is our cameras. Should be enough, right?