Saturday, May 13, 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

The bike and I both arrived to Florence, Oregon today. It came by FedEx; I came by Amtrak. Tomorrow I will finally tell the rest of the world what I'm doing. I'm biking to the beach (3 miles) and back (3 miles) for a 6 mile "starting day". Then the following morning (Sunday) I will hit the road for my first official day on the trail. Tomorrow is just ceremonial.

Anyhow. Let's dive into ​those FAQ's, shall we?

Q: Is there anyone that needs to be thanked?
A: Tons! My dad and his wife Linda, for helping me get EVERYTHING together. Literally, I wouldn't be on this trip without the help of my dad. I'm not even joking. My bestie Ray for lending me gear, testing everything out in Iceland with me, for words of encouragement, for believing in me despite me giving him 1 million reasons to doubt I'd ever start (I'm lazy AF). Susi for taking the day shift of listening to my insanity, and for being the protector of my cat Toby while I'm far away. My mom and more recently my BFF Eric for listening to my insanity for hours on end. And last (but not least) myself for making it this far and still pushing forward.

Q: Are you taking a specific route?
A: Yes, I'm following the "Transamerica Bike Trail". (TABT)

Q: Are you going with anyone?
A: Nope, doing it solo. Will meet tons of people along the way since the TABT race will be going on while I'm riding.

Q: Why west to east?
A: My parents live in Virginia (the state I end the trip in) and if it was in the beginning, I would have had an easy excuse to abort the mission when I stopped at their house 2 days into the ride.

Q: What are you most looking forward to?
A: The food, the people, the nature. I'm going to see 3 or 4 new national parks. I'll be wilderness/backcountry (not at designated campgrounds) camping for my first time. I'm also very interested in seeing a Japanese internment camp since that part of US history is not talked about very often.

Q: Where will you sleep?
A: Mostly in my tent. Maybe hotels 1-2 times per week to treat myself. Camping spots range from national forest, city parks, churches, fire stations, and the occasional backyard if I find nice people willing to let me camp in their yard.

Q: Why are you doing this?
A: A few reasons. I'm a control freak that wants to learn to let go of control. I want to prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. I wanted a fun challenge that pushed me out of my comfort zone.

Q: What training did you do?
A: Physically, none. I haven't touched a bike in 5+ years. I've educated myself, read about other people's experience.

Q: How long will it take?
A: I'm not sure. I'll start out slow and as my body gets stronger, I should be able to go more distance each day. My guess is I will finish between the end of July (2.5 months) and middle of August (3 months).

Q: What will you do afterwards?
A: No idea. I'm trying to not think so far ahead as part of my "letting go of control". My guess is I will want a 2 hour massage, lots of greasy food, and 24 hours of sleep in a comfortable bed.

Q: Anything you will miss while biking?
A: My cat and my daily routine. I guess I'll still have a daily routine, just not the one I'm used to.

Q: What kind of bike are you riding?
A: TL;DR - 2016 Trek 920. Long answer - Hybrid road/mountain bike, 29” wheels, 61cm frame, mountain bike gears, hydraulic disc brakes, power generator hub in the front wheel, USB built into the handlebar steam, platform pedals, front/back lights, 4 bags, 2 racks, phone mount, mirror, ottolock (was a Kickstarter goodie that showed up just before I left).

Q: What did you name your bike?
A:. Holden Caulfield; from Catcher In The Rye. Holden has a "cynicism that causes him to distance himself from other people, despite wanting connection as well. Holden is very much a character of contradiction." 

1 comment:

  1. Dear Michael,'s seems to be the first comment ;-)
    Very nice interview with yourself. Amazing project. I wish you a good start to your big adventure, be safe and good luck :-)
    I'm thrilled of your adventures on your trip. Your friend Heiko