Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Adventure Begins

Tomorrow morning I depart on what I hope will be one of the greatest journeys I have yet undertaken.  I am riding my bicycle from my house in Redmond to San Francisco.  I plan to cover about 400 miles in the first three days, after which the plan was meet up with my friend Vaibhav and to cover the remaining 550 miles at a slightly more sustainable rate. 

But there has been a last-minute adjustment to our plans.  Vaibhav is such an adventurer that he decided to spend last weekend climbing Mt Rainier.  He had a small mishap on the way back down and showed up to work on crutches Tuesday morning.  We are both clinging to hope that he’ll somehow recover by Saturday but that looks unlikely at the moment.  So I may be altering my plan a bit.

We had a route all figured out but weren’t planning to stick a hard-and-fast itinerary other than meeting up on Saturday night in Florence, OR.  But now even that meet-up may not happen … so maybe we’ll still ride to SFO, maybe I’ll meet other riders along the way and will go to SFO with them, maybe I’ll ride a loop of some sort, or maybe I’ll come home on the train after a few days.  We’ll see.

I’m not sure if I’ll blog from any internet cafes along the way, but I’ll try to take a few pictures at the rest stops and upload them to Facebook.  I will certainly have plenty of stories to tell.  My dad is going to meet me on the road the first two nights and he’ll have my laptop so maybe I’ll blog again tomorrow and on Friday.

Here is the new rig that I’m riding on this trip:


Frame: K2 Enemy (alumimum cyclocross frame, I think it is a 2004)

Drive Train: 38-48 chainrings, 12-32 cassette.  That is not a typo – there is a freakin’ pie plate on that cassette to help me cruise up the hills with a full load.  Mostly Ultegra 9-speed components, purchased at Recycled Cycles … plus some parts that I already had in my garage.

Brakes: two pairs of cantilever brakes from the used bin at Recycled Cycles

Tires: white Vittoria Randonneurs, to match the white bar tape

Luggage: rack and white Ortlieb panniers from Recycled Cycles

Camping gear: Lafuma 600 down 40-degree sleeping back and inflatable pad from Second Ascent.  Some kind of 6-pound, 2-person half-dome tent that Vaibhav got at REI.

Pedals & shoes: the same Look Keos and Northwave Tribals that I use when I race triathlon


  1. Awesome. Have a great time. I met a guy out for his first tour around Napa and Sonoma area. He was out from Denver. You look much more organized! I can't wait to do one of these.

  2. When I hit Astoria today I was all proud because I'd already covered 200 miles. Then I met a couple who had ridden in from Calgary and a dude who had just arrived from NYC. Yeah, I'm a lightweight.