Thursday, June 30, 2011

Anticipation is a significant part of the pleasure

Two of the five sets of maps created by Adventure Cycling, arrived today. St. Augustine to Statesboro, GA, (287.5 miles)and Statesboro to Wilmington, NC (349.5 miles). Always enthralled by maps, looking at these task-specific documents serves only to stimulate my desire to be off!

The Safari is now equipped with SKS P45 fenders, Ortlieb BackRoller Plus panniers and a Topeak Road G pump. I've chosen to become intimately familiar with the gear that will keep me moving northward and I wonder how I must appear to casual observers. Cyclists I encounter riding the local Hawthorne Trail routinely acknowledge my tourist equipped bike. I regularly fill the panniers with more weight than I am likely to carry when I go grocery shopping and the bike handles well. Front panniers are probably a necessary addition since I intend to be as self-sufficient as possible. Having that additional mass on the front wheels is a little daunting. How does a bike handle then?

Thirty years ago I'd anticipate making Gonzo runs from Atlanta to PA. Where would I stop? How few stops would be enough? Would I have mechanical problems? Now, not only am I anticipating going northbound, but returning south via the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. Deja vu sans internal combustion?

With more than 1000 miles on the Safari I know I it will do whatever I ask of it. I hope to answer the question "What's someone your age doing planning a thousand mile bicycle trip?" "Uh. two thousand. I have to come back."