Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Quick Update Before Things Begin In Earnest

In my first year in Canada, I met a bunch of people with varying degrees of cycling experience, and did my very best to get them all to ride more. Those who I successfully convinced became my closest friends, and those who I failed to convince stayed as regular-level friends. I have a complicated multi-tiered friend system, don't read into it too much.
One of these friends became the only other roadie in the area that I knew, and so was therefore my only riding buddy when I decided that I couldn't be bothered to wash my bike after a day in the mud. We spent a lot of time riding, and quickly moved up to doing 3+ hour rides together. She had endurance from years of doing long long hikes, and I had the endurance from doing 3+ hour rides for years.  By myself.
After a while, she started talking about how she wanted to do some longer rides. Jokingly, I suggested we do a ride to my house in Colorado (approximately 3,000 km away). I immediately regretted this when, without missing a beat, she took me up on my offer.
And so began a number of years of logistical bullshit in which we prepared to do a bike ride from Squamish, BC, to Steamboat Springs, CO and back (~6,000 km round trip). The reason I call it 'bullshit' is because we would have begun sooner, but she had work and I'm legendarily lazy, and so did little to prepare in any way until recently as what I would call "too late" approaches. As of this posting, I have less than 12 days in which to get my shit together, and I have not done nearly as much preparation as she has. I've prepared for the physical part, since riding is all I do with my free time due to my notable lack of friends, but I'm still lacking on the "bike-packing" side of things. I do not know how I'm going to carry all the crap that I'll need, and as far as that's concerned, I'm not even completely sure of what all of that crap even is. Sleeping bag, pad, and clothes come readily to mind, as well as a solar-powered charger for my phone so I can track my rides on Strava like some kind of nerd. Oh, and I should bring a knife. And toothpaste.
In short, in 12 days, come hell or high water, prepared or not, I will embark upon an unreasonably long bike ride with a friend of mine that will span 2 countries, 6 (or more) states, several thousand meters of climbing, and many micro-climates in which my water-proof gear will be put to the ultimate test. Maybe.
We will begin September 1st, and will give ourselves take two months to accomplish this sizable endeavor, hopefully returning to Squamish near Halloween. This should give us time to take a semi-leisurely pace, although I'll be disappointed if we average less than 160 km (~100 miles) a day. The flat days won't be of concern as much as the mountainous ones, of which there are many.
This is because this friend of mine, who remains unnamed in this post for no reason in particular, made the mistake of allowing me, with more than 15 years of cycling under my belt, to pick the route for the trip. Because of my unnatural love of riding up hills, I trawled through Google Earth searching for bits of road that looked twisty and interesting because a) straight roads are mad boring, and b) twisty roads usually indicate climbs or descents. I then connected these bits of tarmac spaghetti with the most interesting sections of non-mountain roads I could find, and then presented my route to her. She decided that my decisions were good enough and made no comments or revisions. I look forward to both complaining and listening to complaints about the route.
I also begrudgingly got a twitter finally. I'm sure there are others out there who have held out longer than me, but they're either 80 years old or even more anti-social than me. You may ask how anti-social I am, and I would respond by saying that I'm the most anti-social person I know. You could then ask "Well how many people do you know?" and I would reply "Not many, which pretty much proves my point." Surely you would then have to concede to my stunning logic.
I decided on twitter because it will be easier to update people to my goings-on(s) throughout the day in small, digestible chunks rather than trying to type out blog posts at the end of the day on a touch-screen cell phone keyboard. That way my parents won't worry, and both of my friends can keep up with my shenanigans.
Also I have Strava, and there's even a widget right here on this blog; you don't even have to go to the website to track the progress! You can if you want though, and I'll be updating that biz every day to keep those who want to know in the know.
Oh, and on the twitter front.... follow if you want @Safety_Third. But... I'm not gonna force you. That's too much work.


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