Thursday, May 14, 2015

Adventure is Adventure!

One of the things that makes an adventuresome trip across America more palatable is the prospect of traveling on a new bike. I ordered the bike a couple of months ago, and it is set up and ready to go once I get to Astoria, Oregon. Two people have already commented on my new bike after seeing it in Bikes and Beyond. One said it looked "wicked," which I assume is meant in the positive slang meaning of the word. My old bike, the one I've been training on, is a steel-framed Bianchi Volpe, made for touring. But it is several years old, and to fix it up for a long (3500+ miles) ride would require a de-rusting, a new chain, a new cassette, a new chain ring, new cables, new handlebar tape, new wheels ... in short, new everything, from the ground up. It was great for training, because I've gotten to push steel up the hills, and try to keep up with all the carbon-fiber framed bikes with electronic shifters, which only makes me train all the harder. I'm just too competitive. Gotta keep up. First, let me show you what my new bike doesn't look like. On this morning's ride, we came across these two adventuresome souls:
Note the fat tires on the bikes. Not clearly visible, the large amount of luggage they are hauling on their self-contained bicycle tour of the world. They have been on the road and working to earn their way for two years, and traveled through Europe, across Asia (through China), around Oceania. They arrived in Hawaii last night, and after relaxing in Hawaii for National Bike Month, they will be off to Alaska for the next phase of their journey. I'm not great with names, but I believe it is Roberto, from Mexico, and Anika, from the northern part of Germany. Anyway, maybe more on them in a later blog post, and if I got the names wrong, I'll correct it later. The point is, they have 100 kilograms of stuff to lug around with them, including their bikes (and they still manage to cycle at a pretty good clip!) That means that they are each pushing over 100 pounds up and down the hills. By way of contrast, here's a hint at what I'll be riding this summer:
With pedals added, my Trek 720 will top out at somewhere around 22 pounds ... maybe more by the time I load my day's provisions into the snap-on panniers, but that is stuff I carry with me anyway. It has an aluminum frame, with a carbon-fiber fork that is designed to dampen the vibration from the road. I'll swap out the seat for my leather Brooks saddle. Then I'll settle in for a long comfortable ride from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean. All the way, I'll be humming Woody Guthrie's American anthem, "This Land is Your Land." The Trek 720 (not to be confused with the old Trek 720, which was a mountain bike), is called a "Light Touring" bike. Configured for the long haul, but responsive, especially on a tour where most of our gear is being hauled in a van. I'll introduce the van later, since I'm sure it will become nearly as good a friend as my new bike is destined to be. Tomorrow night, the Hawaii Bicycling League will be hosting a "Pau Hana" party (after work) to celebrate the end of Bike to Work Week, and our two intrepid cyclists will be there sharing their story. I love bike adventures. That's why I'm going on Bike Trip America, although it will be more like a walk in the park, when it's compared to an arduous multi-year journey around the world. But hey, adventure is adventure!

1 comment:

  1. I'm loving your blog Don. As a Warm Showers host I have had 3 sets of guests so far this year, from Australia, from New Zealand, and just leaving this morning a young fellow from BC. All have wonderful stories of their adventures which I thoroughly enjoy listening too. They are inspirational. I only hope our adventure, and my GMC Suburban support vehicle will live up to your expectations. See you in a few weeks!