Tuesday, September 30, 2014

One of Those Days

Maybe the headwinds were pushing you down or you felt like freshly misted produce all afternoon as dark clouds followed you around.

Either way, we've all had one of those days where it feels like everyone is out to get you and there's no escape.

Something new that I tried today was a visualization technique.  After assembling all my favorite things (book, tea, etc.) I ran a bath (well first I had to scrub the bathtub because of the cats and their fecal feet prints (okay scrub the bathtub twice)) and then I took a bath...

Which was great, but my brain was still combating the calm and not quite shutting up.

So I pulled the cork and let the tub start to drain and pictured in my mind each of the days issues spiraling down out of my brain and down the drain.

I stayed until I felt confident every issue had left the premise.

And good gravy did my perceived attitude feel uplifted!

I'm going to repeat this on particularly bad days since baths aren't practical for every day and typically reserved as a "luxury", but I've got to say it was extremely helpful in centering amidst the toxic mind garbage of the day! 

Not quite as calming as a long bike ride...but pretty darn close :-).

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sleepy Time Tea!

And now my diligent studies, aimed at figuring out what makes us tick, proves I don't need to feel guilty for drinking my sleepy time tea at 8:00 p.m. (thank you www.deepakchopra.com). 


Sunday, September 28, 2014


"It's not what you look at that matters, but what you see." -Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014 Titanium Spork Poker Cider Mill Ride

The inaugural Titanium Spork Cider Mill Poker Ride is in the books!  It was a beautiful day filled with donuts, coffee,  cider and lots of pedaling!

Part one departed from the area nearest River Bend Park and followed the Macomb Orchard Trail thru the woods to Blake's Big Apple.

Since Blake's is quite a large venue, knocking it out of the park early in the day prevented exposure to immense traffic and the treat of short lines and extra warm donuts.

The first set of cards was dealt and onward marched the brave donut consuming soldiers to stop two, Hy's Cider Mill just off of 37 mile road.

Hy's seemed to be a hidden treasure as far as cider mills go, there were no lines and the donuts were so fresh they set your finger tips on fire!

At this stop, I also stumbled upon some licorice and seedless jelly, perfect for storing as a potential winter delicacy as the colder months approach!

Wasting no time, the next set of cards were dealt and the riders took off towards the Stoney Creek Orchard & Cider Mill.

It's amazing how almost overnight the leaves turned and even though the temperatures didn't indicate fall in any way, the roadside colors screamed it's arrival everywhere you looked.

The Stoney Creek Orchard & Cider Mill hosted a nice set of real toilets, no port a johns for the sugared up poker players this time around! 

In addition, there were shaded picnic tables to bask in the glow of car-ra-mel (you have to say it like Nathaniel from "Enchanted") apples and granola bars.

Strong in their donut eating principles, the riders selected their cards and returned to the pavement for the fourth destination, the Paint Creek Trail Cider Mill.

As luck would have it, the fourth installment sported some enticing lunch options and a passionate one man band.

Declaring their need for something protein based, the riders ate solid foods, selected their fourth cards and then closed in on the final destination...Yates Cider Mill.

This time, the crowds were bountiful and wait times in line were estimated from 30-45 minutes.  However, the fudge line was non-existent and riders who chose to indulge, were treated to the Frankenmuth Fudge, just like those that attend the Emmy Awards!

As the fifth and final cards were pulled, the coveted Titanium Spork was awarded to the rider that managed to squeak out a decent albeit random hand that was collected throughout the day.

And so, the inaugural Titanium Spork Cider Mill Poker Ride came to an end. 

It had all the ingredients of a spectacular fall ride and will leave large footsteps for next years event to follow!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Watermelon Lemonade & Goodbye to Summer

Upon exiting work and pedaling my way home, I tried to take in the scents of fall that have been lacing the airwaves over the past few days.

However, today everything was all about the last bits of summer.

According to the bank, it was a high of 87 and if it weren't for the clawing chill lashing free of the shadows, it would seem like we were still in the middle of summer.

To celebrate the passing of the seasons, I'm saying goodbye with the burning down of a watermelon lemonade candle as evening falls.

Over the past few days I've been pedaling to and fro running errands and going to work, so I'm presently stoked to be bringing on the weekend!

There are fun things involving titanium sporks on the horizon and I cannot wait for them to unfold (more on that later).

This particular story is about a story that I just finished.  Given my curiosity about adventure, I have been making my way through quite a few tales and stumbled upon this book by chance at the library.

It is a true story about a man, his tiny but brave dog and some 4,000 footers (mountains).

I was wary we were getting into a "Marley and Me" situation, but "Atticus" and "Tom" have their own unique tale to tell and even if you can't delve into the story, the pictures are amazing!

I would recommend it for one of the upcoming crisp fall nights!

Now if I lost you at the mention of a spork in the road,  stay tuned because that little story will be coming this weekend!

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Long Awaited Day 3

The wind picked up considerably as we approached the shore of Milwaukee.  In fact, I started gripping my helmet to my chest in an effort to create some sort of warmth as the air pierced through my riding clothes.

On the bow of the ship, a young family clambered up to the railing and the kids squealed as the shore grew near.

The proud father picked up their toddler and held him up into the air his left hand resting just under his belly and his right sandwiched against his bum.

For a fleeting moment I feared the wind would catch him and send him flying through the air, but from below the captain sounded the horn and it sent them scattering away from the railing so all was good again.

The ferry slid into port and I clambered down to the lower deck to collect my bicycle.  She seemed to have suffered no sea sickness and even made a friend in the form of a ladies steel framed cruiser.

As the four of us waited our turn to exit the belly of the ship, we discussed our travels.  The lady and her cruiser were headed towards Osh Kosh to visit family and I towards Chicago.

When I told her my route, she chuckled and said I wouldn't be seeing the greenery of Michigan over here as it would be cityscape all along the shore.

That bummed me out considerably, but I figured she just misunderstood my route.  Wisconsin is green and full of cheese...right?

Finally, feet and wheels on Wisconsin soil, I began my final quest towards Schaumburg.  There were 82 miles between the hotel and I and not a lot of daylight to burn.

And as my route began to unfold, I realized the nice lady had been right. 

There was a lot of flat, dusty blah and some dry meh and then some more dusty blah as I flew along the county bike paths heading south.

I could not see the lake or any real shrubbery.

As the miles progressed, I started feeling a bit wary as I passed through certain sections.  It was a little sketchy and I kind of wanted to take my whistle out.

However, getting to my whistle meant stopping and I really didn't want to stop and stand around.  So I kept pedaling with all of my might.

About this time, I felt a little forlorn and lonely and decided to bust into the Katy Perry playlist I had downloaded for free from Google Play Store.

There's just something about bubble gum pop that makes something sketchy appear comical.  Add in a little disorientation from lack of proper hydration and you create the hybrid monster that I morphed into as the miles flew past.

Then, somewhere between "Fireworks" and "Double Rainbow", I ran out of water and my panic started clawing it's way back in.

There hadn't been a water fountain along any of the county pathways and I still had a good forty miles ahead. 

I started bobble necking at each crossroads, looking for a gas station or convenience store, but there was little in way of convenience decorating those streets.

And then....

From out of nowhere...

A gorgeous dog park appeared on my right just off the path, complete with a fully functioning water fountain!!!

So happy was I!

I pulled over and quickly filled my bottle (from the people fountain, not the puppy fountain (the puppy fountain totally had a "scent")).

Elated by my sheer luck I bounced back into my "Katy Coma" and worked it into a new gear all the way to the Illinois border.

Where suprisingly, things shifted into an "everything is green & pretty" environment.  My spirits were lifted and I began to enjoy the route again as I zig and zagged from subdivision to subdivision, side street to main road.

There were even some road cyclists out and I waved at them like they were long lost compadres.

They just nodded politely or ignored me, which I didn't take personally, I knew I was just really excited to see someone else in bike apparel!

And as the sun began to plummet towards the horizon, I found that I was just a mile away from the Renaissance Schaumburg.

I had made it! I was at my destination and it felt amazing!

As I rolled up to the driveway, I jumped off of my bike and gave an internal fist pump into the air.  This had truly been an adventure and I was deeply satisfied with all that I saw and encountered.

It would take a few days to be able to come off of my "natural" high of arriving in Schaumburg.  Which worked out perfectly because by the time I came down from my high it was time to ride into downtown Chicago to catch the train.

And then I was elated all over again as I rode in the "real" bike lanes and visited all the picture perfect landmarks that make up the downtown area.

In truth, on my way back on the train, it felt like it had been weeks ago that I departed on my trip.  Each segment had  so much to offer that it had made the entire adventure seem so enriched.

And so, on the train ride home, I pulled out the amtrak route map and began highlighting all the places my bike could go

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Disney Princess? Day 2.5

Last night, I had a nightmare that someone stole my bicycle right out from under my nose. 

I was at the movie theatre with my parents and had rolled my bike into the lobby while we purchased our tickets.  For a moment, I turned my back to pay and when I turned around she was gone.

Panicked, I tried to move towards the spot I had left my bike, but everything was moving in slow motion and I couldn't move my feet from where they were glued to the floor.

Then, suddenly there were all of these other bicycles being pushed around the lobby.  I kept trying to seek out my bike, but none of these other bikes fit the bill.

I awoke panic stricken, ready to discuss with husband, how best to go about rebuilding my fat bike for transport.

Thankfully, it was only a vivid nightmare, which I believe is a direct result of sleeping so many nights with my bicycle at the foot of my bed.  

Not having it at arms reach since arriving home has to be the only explanation for such a bizarre dream.


So where did I leave off?

Oh yes...getting into the elevator at the Shoreline Inn.

I stepped into the elevator and dragged my bicycle in with me.  We rode to the top floor and with a cheery "bing", the doors receded.

The hallway was richly decorated in ornate wallpaper, antique light fixtures and thickly padded chairs with claw shaped feet.

I felt slightly guilty rolling my dirty bicycle down the hall and double checked to make sure I wasn't leaving a trail of dirt behind me.

I found my room and slid the key card into the door handle.

As the door slowly swung open, I was dumbstruck by the beauty of my room.  For the next twelve hours, this would be my temporary home.

A short hallway led into the main sleeping quarters.  Upon the wall an oil painting hung, rich with swirls of color, accented by a thick golden frame.

The sleeping quarters held a king size bed made up in white linens and an army of fluffy down pillows across the back.  The bed frame was a black wrought iron affair that matched the theme of the hotel.

Against the north wall was a mini kitchen complete with microwave, keurig coffee maker, refrigerator and sink.

The southern wall was made up of floor length curtains that partially blocked a sliding door. 

Setting my bike delicately against the wall, I moved to the curtains and pulled them back to reveal a view of the harbor.

Sliding the glass doors open, the sounds of the live band playing below drifted up on the warm breeze.

Everything about this room was the perfect end to my long day in the saddle.

I quickly sent out an array of "arrived safetly" text messages and then went about the process of cleaning up.

Originally,  my intent for this night in Muskegon involved going for a walk along the lake and enjoying the sunset.  However, as I made my way through the tasks of washing my clothes, showering and reapplying clothing, I decided on a less adventurous path.

According to the website, "Hotel Chatter", the third most common item people do while staying in a hotel room (that they don't admit to) is "walking around nude".

Now, I prefer to always be ready to vacate the premises in case of fire or emergency, so I'm not going to declare that I was walking around nude.  I will admit that in my relaxed status, I did enjoy the freedom of breaking out my new merino wool "dainties" and spiderman t-shirt for lounging around in in my uber fancy suite.

This was a vacation afterall...

With a fresh cup of tea in hand, I sat upon my giant bed and reviewed my route maps for the following day.  I really had no idea what the last portion of my travels would have in store for me, but I was really excited about the ferry ride.

As the music became more lively downstairs and the evening air chilled, I slowly gave in to sleep and passed out on my giant bed.

The next morning, I awoke and rushed down to see what kind of breakfast the Shoreline Inn had in store for me.

As soon as the elevator doors opened, the smell of bacon and waffles overcame me.

I walked over to the breakfast nook and removed the lid off of each silver serving tray to find eggs, bacon, biscuits, waffles and fresh syrup.

My stomach let out an appreciative growl.

Loading up my dish, I retreated to my room and ate breakfast perched like a princess on my delicate white wrought iron chair.

As the sun rose outside, I gathered my gear and bid my fairy tale room adieu.

Downstairs,  the morning concierge bid me a good day with a wave and I rolled out of the parking lot to make my way along the lake.

Following the shoreline, I grew more and more excited as I neared the port for the Lake Express.

Years ago, I traveled to California with my Aunt  Maureen to visit my Aunt Roxanne and Uncle Danny.  We went on an excursion to see whales in Mexico and while I knew this ferry ride would not involve any whale sightings, I was still excited to be out on the open water cruising along.

The check in process was quick and painless, I declared my pepper spray and emergency knife,  but wasn't detained for either and then they slowly started the boarding process.

After tucking my bike in downstairs, I shot straight up to the sun deck and staked out territory overlooking the stern of the ship.

The sky was clear, the water smooth as silk and I was bubbling over with joy at being there at that moment.

As the ship pulled away from the coast, I marveled at the endless sandy beaches and the beauty of Michigan.

After we cleared the canal, we started to pick up speed and the wind began picking up as well.  I hunkered down on the deck and laid on my back to watch the sky overhead, half napping as we plugged along towards Milwaukee.

This is about when I realized I left my lunch, leftover pizza from last night, strapped to my rear rack.  I wondered how it was fairing down below and hoped it would still be edible when we hit the shore...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I See Fields! - Day 2

The atmosphere was dense and sticky when I awoke the next morning.  Curling clouds of fog laced the parking lot and blocked out the horizon.

I collected my clothes from their location in bathroom purgatory and found that two out of three items had submitted to their fate and dried over night.

The third article, my shorts, still had a feeling of being slightly wet.  I attempted to dry them with the hair dryer, but found it only made the room smell of burning chamois so I opted to bag that set of shorts for the time being. 

Worse case scenario,  I would rewash and hang them out again that evening.

I picked my way through the hotel to the complimentary breakfast and loaded up my plate with fruit, scrambled eggs and some suspect sausages.

I crowned my dish with a bleached white, flour enriched bagel and returned to my room to eat and take in the morning news...err...in all honesty...to take in an episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".

Oh...how that Buffy got herself in and out of those tangled webs with Angel...

It took me back to the days of getting ready for school, eating breakfast half in a daze, watching Buffy re-runs and wishing I could be going anywhere but school.

Well...this time, I was definitely going to be going somewhere that wasn't school.  I never would have imagined back then that I would be riding my bike across Michigan.  Oh the places we will go...

After packing up the rest of my gear, I gulped down the last of my in room coffee and exited stage left.

This morning was actually the Labor Day holiday and I expected to ride into parades or some sort of small town celebrations, but either my timing was off or everyone else was experiencing second Sunday.

Either way, my first thirty miles went by in silence as I routed through each of the small townships that lined my path.

I pit stopped at a McDonalds/Gas Station combo and watched awe struck as the sun broke out from behind the clouds and lit those golden arches ablaze. 

Nothing says good morning like a McDonald's truck stop bathroom.

At this point the wind had started turning into something of a crosswind, but I geared down and spun away with my legs as I waited for my gps to tell me when to turn off my current stretch of road.

For some reason, this current stretch seemed to go on and on and on...

It was like covering the flats of the Macomb Orchard Trail.  Flat, scenic, but just enough mind numbing dullness to make your butt fall asleep.

I opted to combat this with a little tunage and turned on my playlist.  Please note, it is awesome:

Guardians of the Galaxy, "Awesome Mix Volume 1"

"Hooked on a Feeling" - Blue Suede
"Go All the Way" - Raspberries
"Spirit in the Sky" - Norman Greenbaum
"Moon age Daydream" - David Bowie
"Fooled Around and Fell in Love" - Elvin Bishop
"I'm Not in Love" - 10 cc
"I Want You Back" - Jackson 5
"Cherrybomb" - The Runaways
"Come and Get Your Love" - Redbone
"O-h-h Child" - The Five Stairsteps
"Escape" - Rupert Holmes
"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" - Marvin Gaye

The sun would fade away and leave me, alone on a bleak asphalt road and then it would burst back out again and make colors dance across the rows of corn and soybean fields.

Gravel, pavement, gravel, pavement.

I road a straight line for over twenty miles as I hedged in on Grand Rapids.  Not wanting to give in to my minds desire to turn left or right at upcoming stop signs, I focused instead on thinking about what it would be like if this were a hilly road.

How much cursing would I be doing if this was a steep climb into thin air?

On a country road in Michigan, my greatest challenge was a tingly bottom.

And then, my gps lady said, turn right.

I was ecstatic!

As I basked in the glow of my accomplishment of turning right, I noticed the wind was picking up and the sky was growing darker.

All appearances pointed to a storm rolling in.  I pulled to a stop and fished out my jacket and sorted out my rain covers for my Thule panniers.

Now, I have been in many a storm on my bike. 

This particular incident was like sitting under a bathtub faucet, fully open, with the wind brow beating you back and forth.

Thank you X-1 headphones for making waterproof equipment!  I didn't have to hesitate for a moment or worry about interrupting my gps lady.

Not really wanting to stop and get chilled, I slow rolled forward and continued to slog through into downtown.

Within ten to fifteen minutes, the storm was over and I was on the other side of Grand Rapids heading out of town.

However, I appeared to be in a "sketchy" area and I started toying with the idea of pulling my whistle out.

Irrational fears make you paranoid.

And then I hit a slow climbing gradient that made me forget all about things that were sketchy and instead, I started thinking about how right I was to be thankful there were no mountains in Michigan.

Just keep pedaling, just keep pedaling...

Soon, I hit the Musketawa trail and it was like embarking on the final leg of running the bases.  Twenty one miles of tree lined pathways leading me right into Muskegon.

I day dreamed for a segment about what to have for dinner, what the hotel would be like, what my slightly damp shorts might be smelling like since I locked them in my bag.

The sun came back out and enveloped the richess of the leaves turning colors as they were falling to the ground.

I spent a full five minutes telling myself to stay focused on the present and to take snapshots of this day in my mind instead of worrying about what the next day might bring. 

So often I find that my focus has wandered away from enjoying the present, that I have to remind it to embrace the significance of what is happening here and now.

And then I burst free of the Musketawa trail and entered into the Muskegon area.  I routed my way through the streets and decided to stop for a pizza for dinner on my way to the Shoreline Hotel.

I strapped my prized dinner to my rear rack and completed the last two miles of day two, neatly rolling up to the front foyer of the Shoreline Hotel.

Straightening out my helmet, I walked into the lobby and proudly stepped up to the desk to check in.

In my peripheral vision,  I saw an antique water dispenser filled with chopped up fruit.  The glass was sweating beads of deliciously fresh cold water droplets and I practically started salivating while looking at it.

Just be cool...just be cool Dana.

I completed the check In process and checked my step as I casually rolled my bike over to the dispenser.

Hand shaking with excitement, I filled up a cup and slurped/gulped it down.

It was the best water I've ever had.

Nonchalantly, I discarded my cup and walked over to the elevator.  I was going all the way up to the top and it looked fancy...

To be continued...

Day Two Stats: 

Mileage 110
Hotel Cost: $122.09
Food: $5.99 Little Caesars

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Shoving Off - Day 1

When I was a little girl, my mom took my brother and I up to the rec center to sign up for tee ball.

This was completely voluntary on our parts, whether we did or did not want to play was completely up to us.

Panic stricken at the thought of doing something I knew nothing about, I adamantly shook my head "no" and told my mom I did not want to play.

The sick feeling of drunken butterflies in my stomach led me to believe nothing good could come from this "new" thing.

So, I didn't sign up for little league and my brother did and the summer progressed.  My brother received a uniform, his own trading card and after games his team would go out for ice cream.

It led me to believe that I got hosed by those little drunken butterflies.

But that hard learned lesson did not make them go away and whenever I prepare for something new or outside of my comfort zone, they always come back.

As I rode away from my home on the first day of my trip, I felt a little blue.  I was going to miss my husband, my animals and my family.  Maybe in the end it would have been better to have begged and pleaded with someone to ride along with me so I wouldn't be lonely or intimidated by the mileage ahead.

This feeling lurked about my shadow as I pedaled past the areas I know all to well.  Clinton River Trail, the Pontiac Loop (where some crazy ass lady almost swiped me with her car...I hate riding through Pontiac), Bloomfield Trail...

And then I started into a section I had only ridden on once before and then into completely unknown territory. 

Which surprisingly made those butterflies start to drop away.

The further I progressed on my route, the happier my spirits became and soon like a good pack of rolaids, my enthusiasm for the path ahead squelched those butterflies (but I still did miss my husband, my family and my animals).

And like bread crumbs, puddles filled the pathways and streets as I moved through each Township, indicating the presence of rain moving in front of me, my private little storm cloud clearing out the trail.

Amazingly, the route I put together was made up of primarily just rail trail paths on this first section.  I had very little road riding until I started creeping up on my destination (a small town outside of Lansing called Dimondale).

The sun was shining, traffic was minimal since it was a Sunday evening and before I knew it, I was already rolling into the hotel parking lot.

In an effort to make myself a bit more presentable, I've gotten into the habit of trying to smooth out my fuzzy tennis ball hair when I take off my helmet.  I went through the routine out in the parking lot of the hotel prior to entering.

The concierge was very pleasant and quickly checked me in with minimal gawking at my disheveled appearance.

After rolling my bike to my room (I have to say I love the sound of my hub echoing off the walls of places it should not be), I immediately took a shower....and it was glorious.

Then, as I was preparing to leave the room to hunt down dinner, a funny thing happened.  

The power went out.

I walked over to the window and threw back the curtains and outside was a torrential down pour.  The wind was blowing so hard that the garbage cans in the parking lot were sliding across the pavement.

Talk about timing!

I hadn't been checked in for even twenty minutes, if that!

Panicked at the thought of not getting dinner, I switched into my rain pants and jacket and made my way across the parking lot to the onsite Wendy's.  

I had a date with some prefabricated chicken nuggets!

By the time I walked there to get my food and then start back, the storm had already passed. 

As I trudged across the pavement avoiding giant lakes of water, holding my prized nuggets, I felt like I had gone out and rustled up that food with my bare hands.

I returned to my hotel room to find the power was back on :-) and set up my little meal on my bed.  As I ate an episode of "Bones" playing on the television, I stared out the window in a dazed state of euphoria.

Tomorrow I would venture further west, my destination, the coast of Muskegon.  My hopes for the roadside scenery were high, but for now, I cleaned up the remnants of my meal and prepared a cup of tea for bed.

Trip Stats:

Total trip distance today was 115 miles 

Total cost was $74.95 for the hotel room and $7.20 for my dinner

Total time in saddle was somewhere around 9 hours (Strava kept seizing and segmented half my ride while not recording some sections...geez....technology)

Friday, September 5, 2014

This, The Final Night

The mark of a good adventure is the sadness that comes with its end.

Tomorrow I make the final leg of my little bike excursion and head to Union Station to catch the train back home.

The past few days have been spent attending conference classes and my brain is craving the freedom of the road once more.

So, what exactly was this little mini adventure?

A few weeks ago, an opportunity came up for me to attend a conference in Chicago. 

I immediately thought, "How awesome! A conference in Chicago, I've never been there....I wonder how many miles away that is...."

As it turns out, approximately 358 miles if you go south from my front door or 314 if you head straight across Michigan to Muskegon and nab a quick ride on the Lake Express Ferry and then head south along the coast of Lake Michigan and then you head a little inland as you cross the border to Illinois and then....well you get the picture!

What a perfect way to practice solo bike packing and to test the waters around whether this was a type of riding that I would even enjoy!

What was even better was that the conference coincided with the week of Labor Day, so it would only require one personal day to connect the holiday weekend with the conference start up.

Double awesome.

Now for the hard part...how do you pack light when you need to bring both business professional attire and your gear?

Now, no one came up to me at the conference and outed my potential fashion impairments, but I'm sure the show ponies galloping around the convention center felt I missed the mark on fashion.

Either way, my rule for everything I packed was that it had to be able to perform at least two jobs and weight next to nothing.

In the end, I ended up packing as follows:

1 Pair of Columbia Everyday Hiking/Travel Pants (which were super comfy and somewhat business casual looking)
2 Pairs of Bike Shorts (One set worn, One packed)
2 Sports Bras (One Worn, One Packed)
2 Pairs of Socks (One Worn, One Packed)
2 Pairs of Dainties (Underpants)
1 Pair of Shoes
1 Pair of Bike Shoes
1 Hat
1 Helmet
1 Bike Headlight
2 Batteries
1 IPad
1 Phone
2 Charging Cords
1 Book
1 Journal
2 Short Sleeved Shirts (One Worn, One Packed)
1 Long Sleeve Merino Wool Base Layer
1 Light Weight Jacket
1 Rain Jacket
1 Rain Pant
1 Cable Lock
1 Can Pepper Spray
1 Whistle for Perverts
1 Large Knife to try and not hurt myself with...I mean for safety
1 Bag of Miscellaneous Snacks and Tea

I didn't obtain an official weight of my gear as mounted to the bike, mainly because I didn't want to fixate on the poundage as the miles started adding on.

"Thirty pounds of crap....ugh...why did I ever think I would need shoes on this trip...stupid, stupid, stupid."

Instead, I was hoping that by leaving that information out I would be able to just ride like I always carry all of my worldly possessions with me.

When I get back home, I will definitely be weighting everything so that for future reference I know how much more I can handle, but for now, I would estimate it was a total of at least one hundred billion extra pounds...haha.

So now we know the game plan, the foundation of supplies and the destination.  Next up will be the content of A to B to C, but first I need to catch up on some of my beauty sleep :-)!