Bike Touring: I’m doing it wrong – 11 September 2018

I’ve chosen Sunday September 16th, 2018 as the day I leave my family’s home in Michigan to begin my world cycle tour. I’m ill prepared and doing it wrong compared to most but is there a right way to do what I’m aiming to do? I know most people in the United States bike west to east and my friend and I will be biking the opposite direction, but I’d like to return by bike to my home in Michigan once I decide to end my bike tour.

My friend Nick has at least 5,000 miles of bike touring experience under his belt and I have barely over 100 miles and a few days under mine.

He recently saw my bike and noticed I installed the front fender on backwards. That’s my experience in a nutshell. Did I mention doing it all wrong? Sunday will be here in a flash and I still haven’t loaded my bike down completely, as I still don’t have my entire set of gear. I purchased the majority of the remaining things I needed last night, and it’s supposed to arrive Thursday. Nothing like waiting until the last minute.

Riding from Illinois to San Francisco!

Once I begin I’ll be riding the first 1000 miles solo. My goal is to ride around 40-45 miles a day. I haven’t been riding this summer very much and I’m pretty out of shape, so I’ll be hoping to ride into shape once I leave. I know this isn’t the best plan, but I believe in myself and the force behind humans’ ability to adapt. I experienced the adapting principle a bit when I transitioned from living a normal lifestyle to moving into a van. It took a minimum of 3 months to feel comfortable inside a home on wheels, and even longer before it felt like the safe comfortable feeling we associate with our living quarters.

In the end the van became my home. It’s going to be weird leaving behind tin walls for a smaller space and nylon to look at, but I am ready to see what I can learn from traveling and experiencing the world at a slower pace for a little while.

This week will be busy preparing to leave. I have to empty the van and tarp it up, so it doesn’t rust throughout winter. Today I’m assembling my racks and fixing my fender blunder. I should go through my clothes and decide what is actually coming with me.

I’m excited to finally be riding. This trip is long in the making, even if my ill-preparedness doesn’t show it. I’ve been wanting to explore the world and travel for a long time. I’m ready to manifest it into existence.  

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