The Greater San Fransisco Area

Continuing my quest to travel the world.

It has been my quest to cycle around the world for a very long time, although I have ticked off 16 countries to date, I still haven't achieved the ultimate goal of cycling the world. I cannot wait any longer for the conditions to be perfect, age is catching up with me, so it is now or never.

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia

picture drawn by Jim my Step - Father on our trip across Australia
After our trip to Vietnam in 2012.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

As ready as I can be.

I attempted one last training ride- the day dawned fine but very cold at 1° Celsius. I had so many clothes on that I didn't know where I was going to put the extra layers when the day warmed up. But the day only warmed up to 12°, so  I had the extra layers on for most of the day, it was only my warm hat I had to deal with, and I tied that to a loop on my handle bar bag. One very difficult part of riding in the freezing cold is that your sweat never dries off (yes I still sweat in the cold), so you are damp when the chill settles in at sunset. 3° with a with a wind chill on damp skin and hair is awful - Needless to say I had to call it quits then and only got in 160kms.
My god it was cold.

So training is completed, I've cleaned my bike ready for dismantling and boxing up. I've added one last thing to my bike of a thermometer. We had one for our trip across Canada and it added another fun aspect to the trip . When it was scorching hot we marvelled at high the temperature got and it helped to understand why we might be really tired. Also when it was a frigid 4° on Allison Pass - I realized it was hypothermia that I was feeling.
My 'coffee milk frothing' thermometer - notice it is only 9 degrees C.

Even though I have endeavored to keep my gear to a minimum, my panniers are full and I'm crossing my fingers that everything comes under my 23 kilo weight allowance for the plane.
Ready for boxing up.
Wish me luck.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Why aren't I nervous?

Two weeks to go till I leave for the States. Niel can't understand why I'm not nervous. I am not at all nervous about the cycling, but I am worried about having to do everything on my own. I fully confess to being old fashioned or old school when it comes to booking things - for example: I would rather look for accommodation when I get there, but these days everything is done online. So that will be hard for me. Also I'm concerned about coping with mechanical problems, although Niel has replaced and checked everything that was likely to cause me any grief. Again if I have a problem I'll have to deal with it with the help of my smartphone. I'm actually more worried about Bears, gun toting hill billes, and tornadoes than I am about the race itself.
Niel getting my bike ready for the Trans Am.

So thanks to my own personal bike mechanic, I now have new: tyres, and tubes, cluster and chain, brake pads, brake and gear cables, Jockey wheels for my rear derailleur, carbon fiber seat post and all bearings checked and regreased. I have a few spokes just in case and a rear drop out because if I broke one then that would be the end of the race as I wouldn't get another one in the States. I have a multi tool that should cover most eventualities.
The weather forecast for the weekend looks good, so I'll be out test riding my bike. It might be the last training I get before I go.
These new bits and pieces get the thumbs up.

Wow it's like riding a new bike except better it is molded and adapted especially for me. The new tyres are heavier but bomb proof and good on patches of gravel where the road was being repaired- but still narrow and responsive. The gears change like a hot knife through butter. With new brake blocks and brake cables - they felt great. The squeak I've had for months is gone with a new seat post. In fact my bike was so quiet - all I could hear was my puffing with effort. All that is left to do is change the batteries in the computer and sensor.
If you want to follow me on the TransAm I have entered under my blog name of Vespa Chick.