Sorry about the lack of posts in the later part of our trip. With the repetitious nature of camp life, the innumerable coastal climbs up to rocky vistas, the nearly infinite pedal revolutions, it felt like there wasn’t a lot worth saying. There were certainly some exciting tidbits, though, which I’ll post soon. First, some statistics:
Final mileage: 2459.5 ( 3958 km) *
Average Daily Mileage: 65 miles (104 km)
Time Elapsed: 78 days
Total Pedal Revolutions: Easily a million.
Mechanical Failures (Lance): 0 broken spoke(s), 0 flat tire(s), 0 ruptured frame(s), 0 funky derailleur(s).
Mechanical Failures (Andy): 3 broken spoke(s), 1 flat tire(s), 0 ruptured frame(s), 1 funky derailleur(s).
Total Items Lost/Stolen (Lance): 1 wool t-shirt, 1 wool long sleeved shirt, 1 ortlieb pannier, 1 pedal wrench, 1 book, 1 moleskine journal, 1 camping towel, 1 pair wool underwear.
Value Of Said Items: $400 (plus the obviously priceless journal)
Total Items Lost/Stolen (Andy): 1 pair gloves, 2 individual socks
Value Of Said Items: $20
Items Lost to Fucking Raccoons: 3 packets ramen, 1 can potted meat, 2 bars cliff, 1 loaf fancy bread, 1/2 loaf enriched wheat bread, 1 jar organic peanut butter with flax-seed, 1 jar skippy super chunk peanut butter, 1 waterproof stuff sack, 1 bag oats.
Items Lost to Fucking Skunks: 1 packet ramen.
Items Lost to Fucking Birds: 1 cloth backpack, 1 jar honey, 5 eggs.
Items Lost to Fucking Cops: 1/2 bottle beer, dignity.
Times Struck By Automobiles (Lance): 1
Times Struck By Large Men (Lance): 1
Times Struck by Objects Thrown From Automobiles (Lance): 1
Times Pulled Over: 1
Times Fallen (Andy): 1
Total Times Blown It (Andy): 5 and counting
Times Had to Get Off And Walk It: 1
Total Sunscreen Used: 10 oz
Times Exhaled Into Inflatable Mattresses: 2000
Gorgeous Sunsets: 53
Amazingly Starry Nights: Only 2
Epic Views from Atop Huge Hills: Dozens
Gnarly Roadkill Avoided: 3 deer, 8 coyotes, 1 eagle, 5 raccoons (fuckers), 3 dogs, 4 skunks, 10 squirrels, 7 quails, 11 unidentifiable.
RVs that Passed Us Way Too Fucking Close: 7
Beer Consumed: Bucket upon bucket full.
Bourbon Consumed: Bottle upon bottle full.
Money Spent: Much too much.
*An approximation, given that my odometer runs a little low and wasn’t on the full time. This route is really only about 1900 miles long, but we took lots of side trips and spent lots of time riding around cities.
So, dear friends, we’ve done it. And you know what? It was easy. Sure there were a couple of days when we knew we had to ride far (75+ miles), but there were usually convenient campsites at regular intervals that allowed us to go on for as long as we felt like. The hills, while occasionally huge and long, were rarely all that steep. And it’s not like we climbed the Rockies or anything. My lowest gear was somewhat too high, but that just meant that I had to go faster uphill. One or two rest days every week are a good idea, but those usually coincide with city visits. We were never far enough from civilization to require us to carry much food or water.
What I’m saying is: You should go on a bike trip. If you want to do a short one, ride down the Oregon coast in the summer. It’ll take about a week, there will be strong tailwinds helping you out, and there are $4 campsites every ten miles with free showers that you never need to reserve. Do it with someone you’re sleeping with, too. That’d probably be a lot of fun.
Other recommendations: Don’t bother with additional front panniers, unless you’re really going to be leaving civilization. If you have a suitable bike, it’s no big deal having an extra 50-60 lbs in the rear. Buy gloves that give you funny tan lines, like the ones from Rivendell. I’m such a fan of the cross-hatch pattern burned into the back of my hand. It looks like I have a disease.
I can’t help but wonder if I’m in the best shape I’ll ever be in. I sure look good today. I’d better go hit the town and flaunt it while I can. Cheers.