The Night Before Leaving

Tonight I’m in a city called Trinidad, on the eastern edge of Colorado. As most of you already know, tomorrow morning I am embarking on a 1600-mile bicycle trip, to a city called Elmira in the state of New York. I’ll be on the road for about 33 days, and I hope to average about 50 miles of biking per day. This is pretty ambitious compared to my last big trip in 2009, when I rode 500 miles in 14 days (average 35 miles per day), but unlike 2009, I will not be climbing up into high desert and through a mountain range. Instead I’ll be cruising down into the Great Plains and then zig-zagging my way through lots of farmland. Eaaasy stuff, right? Right! That’s the spirit.

I have some trepidation about this trip. It’s a big jump into the unknown. The route is only known to me as a squiggle on a digital map, and I have no true idea of how hospitable the land or the people will be.

Here I am in the tiny little motel room, reattaching my under-seat rack, and all the other little widgets I had to remove for transport:

Here I am in the tiny little motel room in Trinidad, reattaching my under-seat rack, and all the other little widgets I had to remove for transport.

I expect the weather will be cold, and possibly rainy, but that’s not going to stop me. I’ve got some new waterproof gear in my bike bags. I’ve also got lots and lots of audiobooks, if the endless rows of corn start to drive me nutty (or grainy).

Here’s a picture of most of my clothing, with the exception of my big blue sweater. Mira the Cat is posing as a size reference.

Here's my clothing for the trip, with Mira The Cat for size. The plastic bags on the left contain a raincoat and rainpants. Notice how the sweatpants are pre-stained with bicycle grease. It's what all the cool kids wear.

You can follow my progress here, as I blog aggressively at you from various parts of the country, using the enormous tangled pile of gear pictured here:

All my tubes and wires and careful notes! Well, no, just wires. This pile of technology - excluding the banana, which is very old tech indeed - is what's coming with me for the trip. The little speakers are specifically for playing relaxing music in motel rooms.

Wish me luck! And, I’m sure I’ll be calling some of you on the phone in the ensuing days, to proclaim things like, “I’m in a field!!!” or possibly, “I just saw a bunny rabbit!!”, and other such important and vital things. I will also, of course, be reachable via blog and email and SMS and other internet buzzwords.

Time to get some sleep, so I can get up early and begin poking things with sticks..

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