Packing roundup

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It’s been almost a week now since my accident, and that’s one week without any cycling at all :p That will hurt my weekly average a lot πŸ™‚ I’m supposed to get my repaired bike end of this week, or early next week. I’m also waiting for the final bike, which will come very late… But more on that one later.

So, no biking as of late. In the meantime, I’m checking my packing list. Almost everything is accounted for at this time, apart from the bike, the trailer or panniers, spare parts, security stuff, food & cleanliness items, & payment methods.

All of the rest is already quite a lot of stuff !

stuff_roundupHere I have all the camping equipment on the right, clothes in front, electronics & maps on the lower right, and tools & first aid kit on top right. In terms of volume it’s already quite a lot. And it ends up just a bit below 12 kilos. That’s including the clothes I’ll be wearing, which I did not count in the previous post on the subject, but also missing some critical elements, notably a few liters of water.

So, at this stage, three weeks before departure, I’m still not completely decided about going with trailers or panniers. I’m edging towards a trailer. Once I get my bike back, I’ll go back to the shops who carry one and decide there. That’s a major weight on top of the current one. But to me the pros of the trailer outweigh the pros of the panniers.

Spare parts, I’ll decide once I take a couple classes on bike maintenance. But I need a bike for that πŸ™‚ There are a few classes around here, once or twice a week.

Security stuff will also be a huge weight. I’ve found very nice & strong (and expensive) U locks, but they’re above a kilo each.

Food & soap and all, I’ll buy when I start. It should also be a huge weight with at least 3 liters of water.

Payments methods (a credit card and a bit of cash) should be very light on the other hand πŸ™‚ But that requires a trip to the bank, planned right after mid april, when I’ll have my departure from work signed.

So what am I doing these few days ? Resting from the crash first, I have very nice bruises on both legs, on top of the small brush on the knee. The back of my right calf is almost green :p I’m also gathering boxes for moving my stuff out, and have started packing my comics. Half of them done, 15 boxes already. On top of that, I’m selling some leftover items, like a dvd player, wicker chairs, my old PC that I refurbished from scratch (and was still working flawlessly after three years in the basement – so long, old friend ! πŸ˜‰ ), a lot of cables, etc. Finally, I’m almost done on “google map route”, where I take screenshots along the road I’ll be following. It’ll make a very nice movie, that I should post during the week end.

It’s impressive how much you got to do when you’re not working πŸ™‚

 

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Adventure Cycling Maps !

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I received this morning the 14 route maps I ordered from the Adventure Cycling Association πŸ™‚ They were warning about a 60-days overseas delivery delay, but they made the trip in less than two weeks.

These maps plot very well the trip I will do through the US :

  1. San Francisco – Santa Barbara, CA
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Here I’m missing the bit between LA – Las Vegas, NV – Flagstaff, AZ
  4. Flagstaff, AZ – Cedar City, UT
  5. Dolores, CO (maybe a detour to Denver ?)
  6. Pueblo, CO
  7. Alexander, KS
  8. Girard, KS
  9. Murphysboro, IL
  10. Berea, KY
  11. Christiansburg, VA
  12. Richmond, VA (then of course Washington, Baltimore)
  13. Conshohocken, VA (then Philadelphia, New York)
  14. Windsor Locks, CT
  15. Boston, MA πŸ™‚

That makes a total of 12 states, perhaps a bit more with the small states on the east coast (small but beautiful ! πŸ˜‰ ).

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The maps are really nice and detailed with all sorts of useful informations for cyclists, including elevation, weather reports, directories, etc. They are supposed to be untearable and waterproof. I’ll see that on the field πŸ™‚

Only default I see, apart from the price (12$ each, member price), is that there is a one page addendum for each map :p This print is less than two years old though. Well, things change fast I suppose.

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I wanted to do a pic with all maps open on the ground, but I don’t think I have enough space around πŸ™‚

Journey path

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Ok so I’ll be riding from west to east. But on what path ?

It seemed obvious to me that I would be going from California to New York, more or less. I would start either from San Francisco or Los Angeles. The distance between both cities is already quite noticeable, 500 miles, or 800 kilometers, if I ask google maps. But the ocean route is supposed to be a view in itself, so I’ll probably do that as a first leg. With some time in each city and along the way, that’ll be 3-4 weeks already

From LA, the next stop is Las Vegas, of course ! I’ve never been there. That’s another 300 miles or 500 kms. Probably a couple of weeks.

Then I’ll try to hug the south of the Grand Canyon as much as possible, aiming for Flagstaff, and after that, north-east to Denver. This part is not very clear yet, but all in all that’s about 900 miles or 1400 kms. The Rockies are supposed to be easier than the Appalachians on a bike, still it’ll be a month ride.

At this point it’s quite simple πŸ™‚ I’ll catch the TransAm bike road, which links New York to Seattle, and rides south of Kansas City, St Louis, Louisville, and north of Oklahoma City and Nashville. That’s 1600 miles or 2500 kms through the Middle West. I’ll certainly make a few turns here and there and use 1 and 1/2 months to cross three time zones. Hopefully this part will be flat !

From here on I’ll be in sight of the first colonies. I’ll reach Washington in 400 miles or 600 kms, a bit more than a week, maybe two. I will spend some time in the capital of course πŸ™‚ The final stretch will include Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston. That’s 500 miles or 800 kms, a couple of weeks and at least as much visiting, so a month.

That’s my draft route, to be detailed until and after starting up. Right now I count 4200 miles or 6600 kms, and at least 5 months, more reasonably 6. If I start on early may that would lead to end october. I may have to cut some parts :p Or not, depending on how everything goes πŸ™‚