Saturday, October 1, 2011

The longest ride of my life...

Yes, the bike ride starting tomorrow is the longest of my life. The bus ride up here felt like the longest bus ride ever, but I'll leave that part out. I'm here... Tent's up. It's all good.

The redwoods were RIDICULOUS, but since I'm riding through them tomorrow I'll save the exposition for then.

I'm hoping this is one of my few times seeking outlets to charge my gear... The dynamo has me so hopeful for me-generated juice. Hopefully (a) it works, and (b) does not shred my tire. The bike mechanic seems skeptical of anything good happening if there's anything other than road touching tire. I'm thinking it's gotta work, mainly for my pedal power fantasy of only needing to hunt for outlets tonight, pre ride. So there's that.

Songs of note on the ride up:

Undertow, Ivy
So Little to Give, Creeper Lagoon
Hard to Explain, The Strokes

I expect slightly higher tempo songs maƱana - wish me luck.

But first - beer. And dinner. Probably in that order...

Location:Kenmar Rd,Fortuna,United States

Solar Living Institute

We've stopped for our scheduled lunch at the Solar Living Institute about 2 hours north of SF in 101.

It's cloudy.

Is that ironic, or is that Alanis Morrissette ironic? I think it's true irony... but it might be more black fly in your Chardonnay-like. Hm.

Off to the lecture. Maybe the solar dude knows.

View from the Golden Gate

Next time will be from a bike next Thursday!

About that bus...

Are you superstitious? I'm not, and I'm kind of glad for that. Apparently our original bus from SF to Arcata is blown up, broken down, unable to move... Something. It's "berry berry mysterious" but I'm happy to take the word of the Climate Ride folks... I'm on a need to know basis and it's fine by me.

So with some time to kill and my Orange playing New Jersey Community College* I'm across the street at the Kezar Pub enjoying some local beer. It's noon on the east coast: no judgment, right?

*sorry Rutgers fans... Too easy.

Day 0

We're loading up and getting ready to drive up to Arcata. A lot of diversity in terms of bike styles - should be fun to see everyone set up to roll tomorrow morning!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Free day in SF

Not to go all Hemingway with a dearth of details but it is what it is:

I drank coffee and walked around a bunch. The sun was warm. And I ran with the bulls down Market Street.*

*no, I didn't.

I will not be crossing this bridge* on a bike. I just don't have a good view of the Golden Gate from here... Pretend it's orangey red and we'll call it even?

*the Bay Bridge for the uninitiated.

BART with bike!

Paying for a cab powered by fossil fuels strikes me as anti-anti-climate change. (nevermind i went to IAD by car... Shhh!) Mass transit from SFO via BART is 8 bucks(ish) and gets me needed weight training exercise.

No, I haven't convinced myself this is a good idea either...

Update... Looks good, except it's pretty obvious it was on the bottom. Exhibit A:

Thats my rear cassette poking through protective layer 3... Thank you cardboard!

Made it to Dulles...

You know what's a bit terrifying? Handing your bike to someone who doesn't particularly give a damn about it...

Said au revoir to Kimberly and Louis out front... I'll see them in a week in SF!

Oh goodie... Security at IAD. My favorite...

See ya in CA...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

All packed up... my flight is WHAT time?

The bike bag - bubble wrap and all
If you ever want to know the current airline regulations and fees for oversized baggage, give me a yell. I know how they roll, and trust me they love playing hide the ball on the actual price.

So, for Virgin America (love them, by the way... how many airlines can you say that about?) the trick is... yes, they take your bike. But it costs $50. HOWEVER, be sure to keep the bike bag below 50 lbs, or they start asking for first borns. Frontier... about the same. A good airline for flying with bikes too.

Duct tape is your friend
I managed to stuff a bike bag and a large duffle with all of my gear, snacks, clothes and assorted miscellaneous stuff for 10 days of combined traveling, biking and being in northern California. A few of my big ticket items:

- Bike with an electric generating dynamo... because plugging into outlets are for suckers.
- An iPhone and an iPad because I apparently cannot be disconnected from 2011 even for a moment... unless there's no cell signal or wifi (a high probability in parts of Mendocino county at minimum)
Orange rain jacket and a lot of supporting stuff
- Newly waterproofed gear - weather reports... um, yeah... notsogood. notsogood. Rain probable the last 3 days it looks like. I'll be rockin orange in support of my alma mater on the way up to Arcata (Go Orange) and some red, white and blue for my 3-0 Buffalo Bills as I pedal the roads listening to them on Sunday morning...
- Coffee, an aeropress and an immersible water heater... except I need to plug that in (curse you dynamo for not being 110 volts!)
- Lots and lots of Nirvana on the iPhone (see above). I'll need them to get up some of the hills...
- And much, much more. 83 total lbs. in fact.

More from the SF side of things... I have a free day Friday to do my thing and get organized. Saturday is the ride up... Sunday we roll.

But I have to be up at 4am tomorrow... so, good night.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting packed

Hard to believe it's almost time! More to come as I pack up more tomorrow - lots to prepare for weather-wise. Looks like a wet ride for sure midweek, which should be a challenge. Waterproofing my gear is a priority tonight!