June 14, 2007
Preparation for a long ride
So i'm up in Portland now. my craigslist rideshare was pretty great, i rode up with a nice hippy linguist who was driving up for her 5th season in Skagway, Alaska as a wilderness guide. She had done an East to West Transam ride and she worked as a volunteer EMT in AK, so we had a good amount to talk about. Also along for the ride were two chubby and rude 20 year old dirty punk rock girls. These girls said hello when they hopped in the car, and then proceeded to read comic books, listen to slayer on their walkmen, and have really loud cell phone conversations right behind my head. Ah, the obliviousness of young punks.
I did a good portion of the driving, which was nice since i drive at a brisk, efficient pace, so we arrived earlier. I'd done the route up the I-5 before, so the scenery was familiarly pretty. For all the northern California pride i pretend to have, i barely ever left SF, which is a shame, since there is so much beautiful wilderness up there to see.
Driving also made me think about the venture i am undertaking. As the miles passed by on the little truck's odometer, i couldn't help but thinking how what i covered in one hour at 75 mph, i will be happy to cover in a whole day on my bicycle. That said, i'm so unused to riding around in cars that it felt a bit like cheating to go such a distance not under my own power, and i'm looking forward to pounding out some well earned miles.
Andrew, his fiance Etta and i were talking about that yesterday, about the disconnect you feel when you move great distances in such a short time. We agreed that this is felt most acutely when flying. I remember the first time i went to S. America, when i left one evening from SFO and the next morning i was in Ecuador. It took me probably a week for my body and mind to completely adjust to the new reality of where i was. Etta mentioned an idea from a William Gibson book, in which the author characterizes this feeling i'm prattling on about as soul lag, or the time it takes your soul to catch up with you. I liked that.
I must admit, I feel out of practice writing on here. Seems like since i returned from Colombia the second time, i haven't had as many noteworthy things to blog about. looking back over the entries of the last year, the most interesting ones were about my broken collarbone. meh.
The plan right now is to hang out in Portland with Drew and Etta until Saturday, when they have to drive out the coast for wedding. they're gonna drop me off I think at Tillamook Bay, and i'll begin from there. i'm still debating whether i should head north and go through Montana, or stay due east and cross Wyoming instead. Either way, a lot of big wide open spaces await me.
Here's a photo of my bike, the Ibis. i owe billy spaceman quite a debt of gratitude for helping me to render it roadworthy before i left SF. It is a lot heavier then any of my other bikes, but that's kinda what you want from a touring bike, sturdy and strong. I tried loading it up yesterday with all the things i plan to bring, and it felt frightfully heavy. i have all my equipment spread out on andrew's floor, and i'm trying to figure out what to ditch. the first thought is to ditch the stove, but that limits my nutritional options considerably. Probably in the end i'll take most of what i have, and then mail home whatever i realize I don't really need.
Posted by bendan at June 14, 2007 10:20 AM
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