The Interweb Travelling Journ-log

Biking Down the Coast of an Overly Sensitive Soul

Archive for May, 2009

35 hours on a train. I can’t wait.

Posted by atparish on May 29, 2009

We’re leaving for the train station at about 8 tomorrow. I’m full of worries about the bike, how much stuff I brought, the people I’m looking forward to seeing, and the people I’m leaving behind. Just had one of my homebrews from November and I must say it’s aged nicely. Helps keep the worries manageable, too.
Cheers.

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Leaving on a jet train

Posted by atparish on May 26, 2009

Going away party Wednesday at 6pm, Angels Point overlooking Dodgers Stadium.

Leaving the next morning.

New passport rules go into effect June 1st, and ONE OF US is passless. So: leaving Thursday morning gets us to Seattle at about 9:00pm on Friday. Then there’s a three-hour bus to Vancouver, which gives us almost 48 hours to get back to the good old U.S. of A. before we’re BANNED FOR GOOD.

Worth it? Arguably. Definitely a little crazy. Oh well. Rock and roll.

Adios, suckers.

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T-minus Something

Posted by atparish on May 22, 2009

We were trying to get into 42Ride, some kind of promotional ride from New York to LA which would generate some cash money to plug the holes in my hemorrhaging wallet, but we snoozed and lost.
So, apart from getting a decent jacket, I think I’m ready to go. Maybe we’ll leave next week. Call you soon Kate.

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Thrift

Posted by atparish on May 11, 2009

So I haven’t had a job in a year. I’ve been living off my savings, tax returns, charitable donations, and credit cards. It’s not so bad, once you get comfortable within the soul-crushing pit of despair that is Living With The Parents (maybe laying down a nice rug and throwing up a couple of Bob Marley posters). But, as I constantly reassure myself and my grandparents who persist in asking, “When the hell are you gonna get off your ass and get a job,” the amount of debt I’m going to incur is minimal considering my anticipated earning potential.

Or, if I allow myself to remove those rose-tinted glasses, hyperinflation and societal collapse will easily take care of my modest liabilities. In the meantime, I’m just stimulating the economy. Right?

Anyway. The point is I’m doing this on a budget, and have purchased less than “Expedition Grade” gear for this adventure. We’ll likely never be too far from the greasy tentacles of Civilization, so I don’t expect to have many unresolvable or catastrophic problems. If people did this kind of thing on crappy bikes from the 1980s, I figure I’ll be fine. I might as well use it as a way to see what’s really worth the money, and relay that information to you, the noble reader.

So, here’s my list of crap parts:

  • 2008 Fuji Touring bike – $600 on sale at Performance.
    • Stock wheels that have already broken a spoke.
    • Stock rack, supposedly made by Blackburn. Feels pretty legit.
    • Stock Shimano Tiagra integrated shifters with another set of in-line brakes levers. I’d prefer bar-end shifters to cut down on all the wires in the front, so I’d have room for a handlebar bag of some kind. But oh well.
    • Stock crankset with an unnecessarily large gearing. I doubt I’ll ever need to use my largest chainring. I’ve gone into two bike shops totally intent on replacing the crankset and been talked down by salespeople.
    • Stock tires, to start out. I’ve put about 2000 miles on the bike, and the rear tread is worn down a fair amount, so I’ll switch the front and rear tires before the trip.
    • Cheap alluminum seat tube – $25
    • Cheap Delta threaded stem – $16DSC02198
    • Nashbar front rack. It has a funny angleĀ  because it’s not adjustable at all, but I just couldn’t drop another hundo on a Nitto or something- $15
  • Clothes
    • Swobo short-sleeved wool jersey – $50 half price at chainlove.com
    • Swobo wool t-shirt – $40 half price from Swobo
    • Minus-33 wool long-sleeved shirt – $30 on ebay
    • Target Cycling Boxer-briefs – $10 for 2 pair
    • REI Adventure boxer-briefs – $12
    • Canari bike shorts – $25 a year and a half ago
    • Nike arm warmers – $10 a year ago
    • Old BG gloves that are going to disintegrate entirely on this trip, and a new pair from Rivendell for $15.
    • Sock guy socks – $10 for 3 pair at the SD bike swap meet.
    • Columbia convertible pants/shorts – $40 at REI, my only pants for this trip.
    • Wool beanie that my family had, which means it must have been found at a thrift store or on the ground.

Now, I did buy a new Brooks B-17 Special and a pair of new Ortlieb Bikepacker Plus panniers, but I only paid about $90 for each. The saddle is usually $130-150 and the bags are a solid $200. Sometimes, the internet is amazing.

Lance has some considerably nicer shit, including a quiality camping stove and tent. I’ll let him catalog all that if he feels like it.

So the big test is going to be to see who has a better time of it, yeah?

Still have to try to find a coat that is both warm and compact on the cheap. Craigslist ho!

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Introductions

Posted by atparish on May 9, 2009

Hey guys, I’m going to keep a “Web-based Log” about my silly adventure cycling the Pacific Coast Trail from the Canada to Mexico. Now, depending on a number of things, we might not exactly make it to those actual borders. But so what. I don’t care, and neither should you. Right now it’s looking like wordpress is the coolest place to host it.

I’ll be riding with my Best Bud, Lance, whom I’ve known since 6th grade. There aren’t many other people I’d want to share a tiny tent with after long days on the bike, girls included. What can I say, he smells great. And his pillow talk is top-notch.

It’s still unclear how often this is going to be updated, but Lance does have an iPhone for shooting off small posts and whatnot, and there will be internet cafes along the way. I’ll try to post substantially at least once a week (with pictures, if the camera holds up). There may be some “Tweets” involved as well.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Fenchurch

“How far is it?”
Probably 1900 miles or so, depending on how often we get lost, whether we do any backtracking, or IF WE EVER STOP.

“How long will that take?”
Also depends. You could do it in like a month, I bet. But we’re going to take our time, stay with some folks we know for a while, and not race home. My best guess at this point is about 3 months. But who knows. It’s not like anyone has a job to get back to or anything.

“When are you leaving?”
By the end of May, hopefully. Soon enough. You should shower us with gifts, good luck charms, and all the sex you’ve been holding off on ASAP.

“Can I help Team Yous Guys by providing sleeping space, sponge baths, and beers as you roll through my town?”
Why yes, that would be most appreciated, and will earn you many karmic brownie points. We’ll be in touch with folks we know when we get a better idea of how long it’ll take us to get down the coast.

“How much does your bike weigh?”
A metric shit ton.

“What happens if…”
We die and the world keeps turning.

Stay tuned for the next post: “Thrift”
And maybe news of a going away party or two. Make sure those tear-away pants are clean and well-oiled.

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