Thursday, December 3, 2009

Epilogue: 091203, Oakland, CA

Hi all!

My apologies for the delay in getting the final blog entries, and now this trip summary to you. Whenever I have extra time on my hands, I have a tendency to get distracted, and futz around (procrastinate). On the road, I was much more efficient, hardworking and focused toward updating the blog, because I had very limited time; funny how that works. Anywho, here’s the sum-up of the experience: It was great. Thankyouverymuch! What’s that? Oh, all right.

Overall, it was a wonderful experience, and an accomplishment I can be proud of, as it was something I actually did, myself. But, it was a LOT of work, discomfort, and pain – sometimes straining my physical self to the point of crying out with the effort (Yarghh!) Before beginning, I knew conceptually that, yes, it would be hard, that there would be times when I would be physically miserable, that I could be maimed for life, or even killed. But to see the wonders of this country that I have always wondered about, to have the adventure of a lifetime, and to see for myself, what I might be able to accomplish – those were the rewards which enabled me to start and to keep going – that, plus the promise of the industrial grade bragging rights. I learned a few important concepts while on my journey – nothing really new that I didn’t already know conceptually, but were made much more real and useable to me:

1. I could accomplish something huge, given enough time, persistence and patience.

2. The pain I endured to make progress was indeed nasty, but once it was over, it was over, and the gains I made in progress, experience, and knowledge made all that pain and effort, worth it.

3. It was good to know, ahead of time, the obstacles coming up, be they tall mountains, bad weather, rough roads, etc., so I could prepare for them, mentally and/or physically, or plan ways to avoid them. Oftentimes, though, when all the preparations that could be done were done, or if there was no other way to avoid the problem, I had to say, “I can’t let that stop me,” and just plow through, keeping Point #2, above, in mind. Sometimes, I *would* get stopped, and was forced to make less palatable choices, but there was always a way to move forward, even if it meant going backwards, or enduring more pain.

4. There are a lot more good people in the world, than there are bad. And some people are *really* good. Inviting me to stay with them, giving me money just because they admired my efforts so much they wanted to take part in supporting me, taking me across non-cycleable bridges or impassable construction zones in their trucks – just a lot of help and support from total strangers – it was amazing. The worst people I met on this trip (besides Mr. Pecs, who was over the top) were usually young males in trucks or muscle cars who would bark like dogs to try to scare me as they passed. I don’t startle easily, and I oftentimes had my earplugs in, anyways, so not once did I give them the satisfaction of reacting to their alpha ape-howls. It must be a combination of adolescent poor self-esteem and having too much power without a constructive outlet that almost forces them to behave in this manner. Hopefully, they’ll mature.

And, here are some observations I made while I was out there:

DRIVERS: Ninety-seven point five percent of the drivers whom I encountered treated me with respect and care – taking great pains to be sure they did not disturb me as they passed – oftentimes putting themselves at risk from head-on collisions to give me plenty of room. The great majority of drivers actually gave me more room than I wanted or needed. Being on a tricycle (three wheels), I was not nearly as subject to the dangerous cycle-sucking vacuum generated by passing vehicles, so didn’t need quite so much ‘special treatment.’ In fact, I became a bit annoyed by the ‘antics’ of some drivers who would move an entire lane away from me, even though I was on a more than sufficient shoulder. I began to call this the ‘Galahad Syndrome,’ where it seemed the drivers were more intent on trying to prove how nice they were, rather than merely passing me safely. I’m fine with granting a driver the opportunity to prove their own wonderfulness, corny though it may be, but some of them would do it even if there was oncoming traffic! And, (I’m assuming) to prove their coolness, many of them would drive ‘nonchalantly,’ and not rush back into their own lane, but would casually do so, causing near misses and high levels of consternation. People.

ROADS: The quality of roads varied greatly, especially from state to state, and even from county to county. The best, most consistent roads were in Florida, but they’re practically flat as a pancake, so it’s a lot easier and cheaper for them. The worst, I’d have to say, were Georgia (a consistent lack of shoulders), and Maine (not only no shoulders, but some of the roads themselves were literally falling apart). Most of the rest of the states averaged out as having mostly decent roads. Oregon’s coastal cycling route was second to none. New York State also had some really nice roads. Nobody was perfect, though. When roadways became too narrow, the great majority of drivers behaved very well. There were a very few minor exceptions – a shout here, a shook fist there – I think someone tried to spit on me once, but missed. Nobody ever threw anything at me, which was a miracle. Oh, I take it back: when I was in French Quarter of New Orleans, someone tossed a shiny bead necklace on me from a balcony above, which I took, but eventually left on a post by the side of the road.

CAMPS: Stealth camps can be found just about anywhere, though their acceptability depends a lot on what you’re willing to tolerate with regard to noise, cleanliness, safety, and critters. I would never pick a site I thought might be in a bad neighborhood. I tried to pick spots that had gravel, or grass, or (my favorite) that were cleanly paved. Whenever possible, I avoided dirt, unless it was clean and dry. If it wasn’t too cold, had no chance of raining, and there were trees or poles available, I would use my hammock.

TENT: A bivy sack must have a dependable wire frame to keep its mosquito netting off of you – otherwise, the mosquitoes will bite you through the netting. Also, a bivy sack is only good if the weather is some degree of cool or cold. If it’s hot and humid, they’re *very* uncomfortable. I found my quarter dome tent worked much better than my bivy sack in all conditions. It did a better job of handling wind and rain, and allowed enough space to be more comfortable, to doff and don clothing, and to eat, drink and read. So, while a bivy is lightweight and compact, a small one-man tent packs nearly as small, and is much more useable.

COOKWARE: I didn’t really need my camping cookware. On a less tightly scheduled tour, it would have been fine, and early on in my trip, I did use it. After getting further along on my route, I realized I couldn’t take the time to cook, and so ate exclusively from restaurants and mini marts.

FOOD: At first, I cooked for some meals, but I stopped doing it fairly early on as the weather became warmer. I found I didn’t want hot food when the weather got hot. Also, I didn’t have a lot of extra space, so couldn’t carry bread, jars of peanut butter, potatoes, lettuce, etc. I found I could have a more balanced diet by just going to restaurants for a burger and fries (admittedly not the healthiest of fares), but practically everywhere I went that had a population base of greater than 2000, I could almost always find a Subway sandwich shop, and would get a sandwich with ‘all the veggies,’ which was quite healthy. Mini marts supplied me with mostly empty calories (meat and cheese sticks, sodas, candy bars, hot cocoa, pastries, etc.), but some of the stuff was good, like trailmix, fruit drinks, or apples and bananas. I initially kept a lot of those expensive power bars on me in case of (food) emergencies, but that never happened. By the time I figured out that I didn’t really need them, 2/3rds of the trip was already over, so I ate up my surplus, and only kept one or two on hand from then on.

DOGS: I had nearly a dozen dog incidents. Most of them were of the ‘bark ‘n chase’ variety, with a couple more that were annoyingly friendly (couldn’t get rid of ‘em). The ‘bark ‘n chasers’ varied from single dogs, to small packs of dogs; some were quite ferocious sounding. I successfully handled all of them the same way: I’d first slow down and stop, not looking at them, but just calmly looking straight ahead. Some of them would run away once I stopped; others might stop several feet away, and then start looking around as though they’d lost sight of me. Some would bark and growl quite ferociously, but whether they did or didn’t, I would do the same thing: slow down, stop, sit calmly, and make no eye contact. After a short wait, I’d start up slowly, again. It was rare, but if they started to chase me more, I’d stop again. After one or two stops, they’d get the idea that I was not prey, and let me go on my way. Dogs were not a problem.

Here are some of the statistical summaries:

--Total distance pedaled: 12,614 miles
--Total Hours in the Saddle: 1,374.25 (approx 57.25 days)
--Total altitude gained: 438,000’+ about 15 Mt. Everests from sea level to peak! (There were a bunch of times when I forgot to reset my altimeter watch, and so lost the ‘altitude gain’ for the day; maybe I'll figure it out more precisely for the book)
--Trip Expenses: ~$7,600 This covered everything - food, equipment purchases, tolls, ferry rides, etc.
--Initial Equipment Expenses: $4,744
--Grand Total: $12,344
--Number of hosts (31) (relatives in italic):
Auntie Elsie, Los Angeles, CA
John & Janet G, Las Vegas, NV

Paul R, Lake Mead, NV
Angel Lucy, Hurricane, UT
Chris & Spencer, Alpine, AZ
Trey, Sonora, TX
Walt T, Austin, TX
Stewart D, Houston, TX
Becky & John W, Lafayette, LA
Ray & Emily, New Orleans, LA
Billy, Moss Point, LA
Cho, Pensacola, FL
Stan, Clearwater, FL
Cynthia (hotel room!), Miami, FL
Art & Luigi, Miami, FL
Lynne D, Jupiter, FL
Kim D, Cape Canaveral, FL
Clint S, Ruckersville, VA
Steve & Karen M, Silver Spring, MD
Julie & Mike G, Atlantic Highlands, NJCarol M, Boston, MA
Tony & Marjorie, Brunswick, ME
Scott & Katie G, Rochester, NYWanda & Terry, Hurdsfield, ND
Ron & Joyce G, Bismarck, ND
Scott & Rachel H, Rexburg, ID
Bob & Leslie M, Boise, ID
Leo & Linda L, Payette, ID
Joe & Joanna S, Seattle WAPaula & Dennis B, Sequim, WA
Pat & Pete H, Arcata, CA
--Number of flat tires: 16
--Number of tire sets: 4
--Number of centuries: 6

--States/Provinces visited (in sequence)*: CA, NV, AZ, UT, NM, TX, LA, MS, AL, FL, GA, NC, VA, MD, PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, NH, ME, NH, VT, NY, ONT, MI, WI, MN, MAN, MN, MAN, MN, ND, MT, WY, ID, OR, WA, OR, CA

*Totals: 32 US states, 2 Canadian provinces – states/provinces entered into more than once not counted in the total.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
(If you have a question, email it to me, and I’ll add it to this section: donsaito@yahoo.com)

1. Why did you do it?
I’ve always been curious to see the different parts of the country I’d never been to before, and wanted to see the various regions intimately, yet still be on a very restricted budget. I knew I couldn’t experience the peoples and lands as closely as I would like while in any kind of motorized transport, and I’ve always enjoyed cycling as a mode of transportation my entire life. When I got laid off from my job with the University of California, I had money saved up, and now had all the time I needed to do it. So, I decided to take this golden once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (while I was still young and strong enough to at least try), and went with it. I knew a lot of people cycled across the US one-way, but I wanted to attempt something a bit tougher, so I came up with the “around the US” route. To help define the task further, I added the goals of “hitting the extreme compass points of the contiguous 48 states,” and of seeing fireflies for the first time in my life.

2. How fast/far would you go?
On flat terrain with no wind, I would average from 10-12mph; my fastest speed was 45 mph going down a very steep, long road after finishing the Blue Ridge Parkway. My average distance would vary with the terrain, but generally speaking I would average 40-60 miles in mountainous terrain, 60-80 miles in semi-hilly terrain, and 70-100 miles in flat terrain. Most of my handful of 100 milers (6 of them) were achieved on mostly flat terrain, in the middle of summer when the days were long, although my record furthest day (118.73 miles) occurred mid-October – I cheated by riding both day and night, a total of 22 hours and 28 minutes. As an attestation to a combination of my physical conditioning and the comfort of the trike, I then stayed up an hour longer with ease to chat with my old friend.

3. What would you eat?
On typical mornings, I would eat mini mart choco milk or hot cocoa with a packaged pastry or two; usually a berry or cheese Danish and/or a muffin. When I was in Dunkin Donuts territory, I would often get a bagel w/cream cheese, sometimes with an additional donut, and hot cocoa. For the main meal of the day, I would usually get a footlong Subway sandwich with drink and chips (a ‘meal deal’), eat half of it, and save the other half for the next day’s lunch. Sometimes, I would get a Burger King hamburger with fries and soda. For ‘dinner,’ I would often just get a bag of Fritos curly or chili chips and a soda, which I would eat while reading whatever book I had at the time. Sometimes, if I didn’t get ‘dinner,’ I’d just munch on trailmix and drink Gatorade. I also would get bananas and apples, which some mini marts carried. For snacks, I would get meat and cheese sticks, Pay Day candy bars, M&Ms Peanut candy, and Nature Valley breakfast bars. Sometimes, these would temporarily replace more regular meals, if a mini mart or restaurant wasn’t readily accessible. I drank almost no water, preferring instead either Gatorade, sodas, or fruit drinks. Not too often, but sometimes I would eat at regular, sit-down restaurants such as Denny’s or mom ‘n pop places. I would always look to see if the restaurant had wi-fi and/or electrical outlets near the tables. One of the justifications for going to a sit down restaurant was: I could check the weather, review my route, or charge my electronics while at the same time eating – thus saving time.

4. What was the best/worst place you’d been?’
That’s an impossible question to answer. Each of the best/worst places had their own unique characteristics that may have been affected by many different factors present, both internally and externally. So, for example, if I was physically straining to climb over a beautiful mountain pass in Arizona, or if I was on an endorphin high while traversing the vast suburbs around New York City, my perception of these places would be quite a bit different than what might otherwise be expected. There were amazingly gorgeous views along the Pacific Coast, but there was also great beauty and a sense of mystery and history in the old buildings of New Orleans; both very different places, but impossible (for me) to say whether one was ‘better’ than the other. I can give a list of highlights, though:
-- Pacific Coast – gorgeous views
-- Los Angeles – familiar stomping grounds; visited with my Auntie Elsie; saw sci-fi movie The Watchmen at the theater
-- Death Valley – unusual geological formations and grand vistas
-- Las Vegas – over-the-top casinos; unbelievable what gambling money can create; great food
-- Zion National Park – incredible views from astounding heights
-- Carlsbad Caverns – vast, underground caverns with amazing formations and ‘bottomless’ pits
-- Deserts of the southwest – starkly beautiful, with star-studded night skies
-- Survived a heavy west Texas desert thunderstorm while on Interstate 10
-- Austin, TX – a river through town that has tons of big turtles; Texas state capital
-- Southern states – fireflies!
-- New Orleans – most haunted city in the US; has a definite spooky aura to it, which makes all the parties and celebrations seem like a gay cover, a thin veneer, to hide something not nice, beneath. I liked it(!); took the Haunted History tour; also took the Cajun Encounters alligator tour; also visited the New Orleans aquarium
-- Didn’t see that much of Mississippi or Alabama; nothing much stood out; the weather was often nasty, too
-- Verbally accosted by a cartoonish bully who was apparently a law enforcement official in Cross City, Dixie County, Florida
-- Florida swamps with alligators; snorkeling in the Florida Keys; first extreme compass point (southernmost); the Kennedy Space Center
-- Georgia kind of stunk; beautiful region with lots of trees, but ultra hot and humid; shoulderless roads
-- North Carolina – start of the Blue Ridge Parkway – very beautiful but torturously hilly for 464 miles; at least the higher altitudes made it somewhat cooler; witnessed a truly mysterious phenomenon
-- Virginia – still on the BRP, still beautiful, still torturous
-- Washington DC with impressively dignified buildings
-- Philadelphia, PA – more impressive historical buildings
-- Visiting my little sister and her family in New Jersey; saw Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince at the theater
-- Visited the Museum of Science in Boston
-- Reached the second extreme compass point at Quoddy Head, ME (eastmost)
-- Survived more very hilly (but very pretty) terrain in New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York State
-- Visited with my nephew, Scott and his fiancée Katie in Rochester, NY
-- Entered Ontario Canada through Niagara Falls; first time ever seen the falls, and first time ever been to Ontario
-- Re-entered US at Sault Saint Marie and passed west though Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota – never been to any of those states before
-- Went to the third extreme compass point at the Northwest Angle in Minnesota (northmost) via Manitoba, Canada
-- Experienced the vast crop fields of North Dakota
-- Went through the beautiful desert plains of Wyoming
-- Visited Yellowstone National Park for the first time and saw Old Faithful
-- Saw the eerie, volcanic landscape of Craters of the Moon National Monument
-- Survived the sub-freezing temperatures of eastern Washington State
-- Visited with my old grade school friend Joe and his wife, Joanna in Seattle, WA
-- Made it to the last extreme compass point (westmost) at Cape Flattery on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State
-- Saw the incredible redwood forests of the Oregon Pacific coastline
-- Visited with my cousin Pat and her husband and son Pete and Parker in Arcata, CA
-- Made it all the way back to the South Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge in two weeks less than I thought the trip would take

5. Trice QNT by ICE (Inspired Cycle Engineering)
-- Why the trike?
>>I’m getting old, and my wrists are prone to the nerve pinch of having my upper-body weight resting on them, as what happens when I ride a bicycle. This causes my hands to go numb after about 10 miles, so doing thousands of miles was out of the question.

-- Why the Trice QNT in particular?
>>The ‘NT’ stands for ‘narrow track.’ I picked it, because I wanted to fit on the side of the road, better, and to be able to fit through narrow openings (doorways, gates, traffic barriers, etc.) and indeed, it made a difference in many situations.

-- How much weight did you carry?
>>I weighed ~135 lbs, the trike weighs ~40 lbs, and my gear + food and water weighed ~80-90 lbs, bringing the total to ~250 lbs. Oofta!

-- Trike Advantages/Disadvantages:
>>Very comfortable. I could ride it pretty much as long as I wanted (once up to 22 hours) without putting stress on my spine, but

>>I couldn’t use gravity to help push the pedals down, but I could push my back against the seat to provide extra leverage when going up hills. The stress to my knee joints could become painful, though.

>>Going up tough hills, I could go as slowly as I wanted without having to balance, and I could stop at any time to rest – then easily start up again.

>>You would think that being so low, cars would have a hard time seeing me, but not once during this entire trip was that a problem. Being a bit unusual, I actually drew a bit of extra attention from drivers, who would mostly pass me with a wide berth.

>>My ‘wind profile’ was less than a bike’s, so I was less affected by headwinds, and so could go downhill faster than a regular touring bike. Also, having such a low center of gravity helped keep me stable at high speeds.

>>Having three wheels made dodging road debris more challenging. Also, on sharp, fast, curves, I had to brake more than a regular bike might, losing precious momentum.

>>I found that I didn’t need to worry quite as much about having my trike stolen, because a) it had clipless pedals, so anyone wanting to move it would have a tough time; b) it was an unusual item, so it would get noticed wherever it went; c) it was too heavy and unwieldly for one person to lift; and d) it had weird controls for steering, changing gears, and braking.

>>Being in a reclined position, the Sun would shine into my eyes in the morning or evening, depending on which direction I was going (east or west). I had to invent a Sun blocking attachment to my helmet to protect my eyes.

>>Also, being in a reclined position, a regular zippered rain jacket would pool water on my stomach, and then drain through the zipper into my clothes, underneath (eek!) Near the end of the trip I found a lightweight kayaking pullover jacket with no zipper and sealable neck and cuffs. This kept me drier, but I didn’t get a chance to fully test it.

-- How well did the trike hold up?
>>Not one broken spoke, probably because the wheels are 20”, so the spokes are shorter and therefore harder to break.

>>Had to replace the chain and rear gear cluster/cassette after nearly 8000 miles (probably needed to do it earlier).

>>The gear changing mechanism (deraillure) went a bit funky after a near accident in New Mexico, and I had some slight trouble adjusting it, but got it to be pretty good. That lasted a long time, but eventually got worse again. By the time I got to Maine, it got really bad; hardly any of the middle gears would shift properly. I didn’t know how to fix it, so I just lived with it until I got it to a trike mechanic in New York State. Even after that, it wasn’t quite right, but it was good enough to see me all the way home.

>>Each set of Schwalbe Big Apple tires lasted an average of about 3000 miles; I went through three sets, and ended on a fourth. I eventually figured out that I could have stretched the distance-per-set to 4000 miles.

>>Speaking of the Schwalbe tires: they were a bitch to correctly mount. Without soapy water as a lubricant, the tire bead would almost always get pinched, causing a hump on the tire, which could be felt with every revolution. There seemed to be only one way to fix it: by having soapy water, and by overinflating the tire with an air compressor (as found at most gas stations) to push the pinched tire bead out, and then deflate the tire to the desired pressure.

>>For roughly the first half of the trip, I regularly got flat tires. Then I figured out a pretty bulletproof combination of products to keep flats from happening at all. First, your tires can’t be too worn down; then, install tire liners (such as Mr. Tuffy or Stop Flats – flat, flexible strips of dense plastic that go inside the tire, between the tire and innertube); and finally, self-sealing innertubes that have goop inside them which automatically plug up small punctures.

>>I accidentally bent the left-side steering tie-rod slightly, which caused the two front tires to go out of alignment (toe-in). This caused the front tires to wear faster than normal. A simple adjustment fixed that.

>>For roughly the last 3000 miles or so, the trike developed a squeak that I couldn’t locate. It would only occur when I rode over rough or bumpy surfaces, and it happened whether it was loaded with touring gear, or not.

Again, if you have any other questions, please email me, and I’ll add them to the FAQ – how nice! (donsaito@yahoo.com)

Items I ended up with:

Starboard Rear Pannier:
(top to bottom, left to right)
1- pair of regular pants
1- regular long-sleeve shirt
2- long-sleeve lightweight wool shirts
1-mid-weight long-sleeve wool shirt
1- neckerchief/face mask

1- pair swim trunks
5- pairs underwear
1- handtowel
4- pairs wool short socks
1- thin mini-towel (never used)
1- spare reflector triangle
1- reflective cycling vest

1- 100' length of nylon cord (never used)
1- MSR Firefly camp stove w/instructions, cleaning kit, and aluminum shields
1- spare innertube
2- pairs of cycling pants
10- pairs of chemical heat pads
1- camp pot and pan
2- bottles of camp soap, w/cleaning pad, lighter, handle, and vegetable steamer
1- AA battery 2-hour recharger w/power supply
1- pair of binoculars
1- 3-way electrical plug
4- aluminium tent stakes



Port Rear Pannier:(top to bottom, left to right)
4- pairs of gloves (med-warm, warm, lightweight, extra warm)
1- bottle campstove fuel
1- headlamp
1- water-resistant jacket
1- United States passport*
1- small backpack"
1- bag of toilet items: fragrance-free shampoo, Bactine ointment, Neosporin ointment, SPF 30 KINeSYS fragrance-free spray-on sunblock, Afrin nasal spray decongestant, Shoe Goo, lip balm, nasal inhaler
1- pipe whistle
3- mini-markers (red/green/blue)
1- safety razor
1- packet of Bandaids
5- spare 20" spokes
1- bottle of Avon Skin So Soft
1- camera to TV connector
1- Garmin Foretrex 101 GPS unit
1- book (for reading at night or during downtimes)
1- HP Mini notebook computer w/protective sleeve and power supply
1- mini roll of duct tape
1- helmet cam video recording unit including recorder, camera, and camera cable
1- digital still camera battery recharging unit and cord
1- bag w/spare batteries for phone and digital camera
1- connector cord for CC Witness radio
1- AC adapter recharge unit for Bluetooth cell phone headset
1- spare set of earphones"
1- USB 4GB flash card
2- 2GB SD cards for digital still camera and helmet cam recorder
1- bag to hold small electronics
(not shown) 1-AC adapter recharge unit for cell phone
1- pair waterproof pants
*I actually kept this in the food compartment of the top-rear rack pack
Port 'Banana' Pannier:
(top to bottom, left to right)
1-lightweight felt jacket
1-6' inflatable mattress pad
1-set of tent poles
1-heavy-duty plastic mat/rain guard for top rack-pack
1-roll of spare trash bags
1-REI quarter-dome one-man tent w/fly
3-hammock set-up ropes
1-Moskito Hammock
1-bag of aluminium tent stakes and parts
Starboard 'Banana' Pannier:(top to bottom, left to right)
1- REI synthetic fill sleeping bag
1- Collapsible folding mosquito headnet
1- knit cap
1- 6'x5' ground tarp
4- spare ropes
1- garbage bag to keep sleeping bag drier
Rear Rack Pack (w/two fold-out panniers):
Topmost compartment:
(left to right, top to bottom)
1- spare large wire tie for undercarriage chain guards
1- plastic bag for spare cycle shoe cleats, spare master links, screws, etc.
1- hand operated air pump
1- 4 oz bottle of chain lube
1- 2 oz bottle of teflon lubricant
1- Topeak Mini 18 Multi-Tool
3- tire levers
1- small crescent wrench
2- cycle shoe plain-sole inserts
1- Planet Bike Superflash rear bike light
1- mini pepper spray
1- 3-color LED flashlight
1- CO2 tire inflator
6- CO2 cartridges
1- tire inflation guage
1- roll of fluorescent tape (for making flags)
1- spare earplug, metric screw, and odd bits
1- bag of spare rubber gloves, more earplugs, and innertube segments (for emergency brakes)
3- boxes of Super Patch, innertube repair patches
1- bag of spare iPod covers, napkins, and odd bits
1- spare lighter
1- 4GB USB flash drive (2nd one)
2- spare velcro straps
1- pen, lip balm, campstove lubricant, mini LED light, and 3 spare strings
Food compartment (mostly):
1- plastic rain cap for helmet
1- combination cable lock (sat on top of rack pack)
1- spare Stop Flat tire liner
1- butane gas canister (for lighter)
1- spare bungee cord
1- shoe horn
1- Andean wind flute
1- set-fork/spoon/knife
1- metal mini tripod
1- pair chemical glow sticks
1- Joby tripod
1- mini sewing kit in a tube
1- hacky sack
4- Gatorade powder packs (make 1 qt each)
2- Power Bars
4- Gatorade powder packs (make 1 pt each)
2- Meat 'n Cheese stick packs
3- Nature Valley breakfast bars
1- Pack of M&Ms Peanut
1- Pay Day candy bar
1- quart bottle of trail mix (approx 1/3 full)
1- electric toothbrush + dental floss
1- stick of Glide Anti-Chafe creme
1- electric razor
1- scrubby pad (another)
1- handtowel (aka "croth" - "crotch cloth")
4- battery holders, two of which have 4 AA rechargeable batteries in them
1- 120GB external hard drive
2- Subway sandwich bags (used as waterproof sock protectors)

The yellow jacket underneath (Kokatat) was stowed in a fold-out side-pannier of the rack pack, as were the electric shaver, anti-chafe stick, plastic shower cap, bungee cord, and trailmix bottle. The shoehorn, battery packs, and external hard drive shared space in a small, flat pocket at the rear of the rack pack.






51 comments:

RobR said...

Don-

Great account of the trip-you must have a really fat notebook.

One nit to pick, but as an astonomer, you've got it coming; the 438,000' elevation gain is impressive, but to make to the moon and back, that would have to be 438,000 miles!

obi_donkenobi said...

Hi Rob: Ack! What was I thinking? Thanks for that catch. Now I'll have to think of something else to compare it to. ;~Don

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MJJ said...

Very nice, Don!

I bet you have a spreadsheet with all the data carefully tabulated, and that you generally kept track of "time in the saddle." Do you have a "total saddle time" statistic?

(That's probably what Clarence said but I can't read that gibberish ;) )

MJJ said...

OH, my, now I see what Clarence is really about.

Oh, my.

obi_donkenobi said...

Hi MJJ: Yep, I have have an Excel spreadsheet with all the stats in it, including "Time In The Saddle," but haven't calculated it. I'm unfamiliar with how that might be done in Excel, and just need to spend a little time to figure it out.

Yeah! How about that "Clarence!" ;~Don

obi_donkenobi said...

Hi MJJ, et al: Okay, I figured out how to add up the "hours in the saddle," and posted them. ;~Don

MJJ said...

So did you immediately divide 12614 by 1374.25 to get 9.2 mph average?

Some good book titles:
"I circled the United States at 10 MPH!"
"How to see the US of A on 10 MPH or less!"
"Phileas Fogg may have averaged 15 MPH but he did not have to deal with Mr. Bigg Pectus!"

Okay, they're just titles, not necessarily GOOD ones.

obi_donkenobi said...

Hi MJJ: Not bad, not bad! Here's a few more: "Mean GREEN Cycle Touring," "Around the Country in 259 Days," or "The Masochist's Tour Guide to the USA." ;~Don

六福村 said...

臨淵羨魚,不如退而結網。 ..................................................

tomthel said...

I keep coming back to this blog, hoping to find an update. It seems to me that lots of people would want to know if you sold your trike or still ride it a lot, if you got a new job, if you're planning another trip, if you now hate triking or would become a permanent trike trekking bum if you could.
Maybe you have another blog and I'm just too inept to find it?

MJJ said...

That is so funny! I was riding my bike home from work in the rain today and was thinking of Don, and wondering how things are going.

Drop us a line, Don! The groupies anxiously await!

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認清問題就等於已經解決了一半的問題。..................................................

Kurt Ziegler said...

Hi Don,

Even after 2+ years your blog helped me plan my own trip. Thanks for the great detail.

Incidentally my daughter Zoe and I spoke with you briefly while you were on tour at West Yellowstone. We were waiting to start the Old Faithful ride. Zoe was impressed that you were on such big ride with the same trike as Dad's. Might have helped pave the way for our own trip. Thanks for the inspiration!

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