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Monday, September 13, 2010

Preparations

We've been running around like crazy with last minute preparations. I think we've been to REI at least a dozen times in the past week (a huge thanks to my former co-workers for the gift card, by the way! So useful!) picking up stuff we'll need: spokes, brakes, cables, chains, etc, as well as about 100 blinky lights, handlebar bags, bungie cords, camping stuff, and other necessities. Hopefully the number of necessities we'll remember will far outweigh the necessities we'll forget.

We also got the maps in the mail today from Adventure Cycling, which is a huge relief. We were afraid we'd have to get someone at home to ship them up to Maine for us.

You want to be as sure as you can that you have everything you need on a self-supported tour. You don't have the comfort of a support van to drive you to a bike shop when something breaks, but there's definitely something to be said for carrying everything on your bike and truly supporting yourself. We've been trying to glean as much information as possible from other long-haul cyclists (see links) - advice on what to bring, what to leave at home, what to expect, etc. Luckily, there are quite a few very useful blogs out there in the ether of the internet.

Departure date from Texas looks to be September 16. We'll drive out to Florida and hang out with Ed's family for a few days, then pick up a rental and make the drive up to Maine. It's amazing how we'll take 2 or 2.5 days to drive the route (more or less) and almost 2 months to bike it. Think about how much more we'll get to see at 12 mph instead of 70. I can't wait!

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