Friday, May 30, 2008

Back to Cortland

So, I've unofficially begun my trip. At about 4 this afternoon I arrived in Cortland and Josh and myself have begun our final packing. Lets compare- Ross' total packing (save the clothes on my back)....

Now, lets compare that to what Josh is bringing....

OkI guess that doesn't look like a ton. But keep in mind that box behind him is coming too. Anyway it's like twice as much as me. Especially considering we're carrying all this shit on our bike.

Anyway, so here's the breakdown on my gear-

Casual Clothes-
3 t-shirts
3 pairs boxers
one pair khaki shorts
one pair sandals

Biking Gear-
2 pairs biking shorts
3 biking t-shirts
5 pairs socks
one pair biking kleets
2.5 liter water bladder
1L nalgene

Comfort clothes-
one hoodie
one pair sweatpants
one pair gym shorts

Camping gear-
Tent (big agnes seedhouse 2)
Tent footprint
Sleeping bag (20 deg, down bag)
Small Pillow
Sleeping pad
Stove (The Pocketrocket!)
Mess Kit

SPOT Satellite Tracker
Rape whistle/knife~
Small first aid kit

So that's what I can remember off hand. Josh has a fair bit more, but I don't have the time or patience to list it all out. Maybe if I figure out how to add file attachments on the blog I'll post his four page itemized list.

By the end of Monday I should have all of our body composition data compiled and pictures of pre-biking fat Ross up here. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

See Spot. See Spot Run. See Spot Fall. Track Spot!

Excitement galore! I can tell you've all been waiting days and days for this one...

Ok, so lets do a quick wrap of last post- I got my panniers to fit on my bike thanks to the great work of a local bike shop employee. Jeff, you're the freaking man, I'm buying you a house or a boat or something. So, that solves the "transporting gear" issue.

On to bigger and better things. Have you ever been sitting there thinking "Man, I wish I could follow Ross' EVERY move on his bike trip!" Well I know you have! And for that, I have a super special device. It's called the Spot Satellite Tracker. It's a wee little orange walkie-talkie looking thingie which can track/send messages for me anywhere on this fancy globe of ours. It works by satellites, which for those of you who don't know are magical houses in the sky which shoot lasers all around. And that's how we get TV and movies. Here's a picture in case you don't know... Ooooo fancy.

On a more serious note- here's the link. Forewarning though, I'm still working on the details of the system (how it tracks etc) but you get the general idea.

So lets see, what else has happened. Well, I shipped my bike out to Seattle, and it's due to arrive on Monday, the day before I do. Huge pain in the ass though, UPS quoted my shipping price at ~$70 when in actuality it was ~$170. Wee bit off the mark, but at least the job is done. I'm so going out of budget on this trip.

But enough of that boring crap. Why don't we take a step back here. Back to a time that was simpler, easier. Where people did things with a purpose and meaning. Like me for example. Who can't recall my time honored tradition of posting pictures of stupid injuries online?

Well, today we have a new addition to what will hopefully be a long list of injuries. Today I was using a ladder to take some stuff out of the ceiling of my father's garage. As compared to using the ladder nearly perpendicular to the floor, I was using the ladder at approximately a 50 degree angle. Like an idiot. Now I knew this was retarded, but somehow the first 5 times I did it, I didn't fall. The last time, the ladder collapses under me, and I take a nice 10 foot crash on top of it, providing me with this beauty!

So that's about it for today. I have a few items left to accumulate for my trip. Maybe next time I'll give the full layout of what I'm bringing? God, who wouldn't be excited!?!

And PS- Here's a shout out to my good friend Zak's blog! (Now we're even for not inviting you to my party~)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bumps in the Road

So, things have gotten a bit tough since last week. But before I go into all my cycling related woes, how about the good news...

I'm officially a college graduate! Woo hoo and all that other jazz. I just graduated yesterday and the ceremony went real smooth. Not too many speakers and I've never seen a graduation call off that many names so quickly. It's nice to finally have that chapter of my life closed... not that I won't miss Cortland it's just I really won't miss Cortland much.

But, back to the biking. Two real major issues- the biggest one is my gear. I recently went to EMS last week during their huge 20% off sale and bought a ton of stuff. My tent (a nice 2 person you can see here), my sleeping bag, a sleeping bad/pillow and a tiny-ass stove. A lot of gear for ~500 dollars, which is pretty good.

Now this is just the beginnings of the gear I'll be bringing. The issue arises in how to transport everything. There are two major options for carrying gear cross country- saddlebags (called panniers) or a bike trailer. Every person I've talked to has highly recommended the panniers in that trailers have tracking issues behind the bike, and rough road/potholes don't bode well for them. So, I had decided long ego to go with the panniers and last week I had special ordered a pair of Jandd Hugo panniers a nice 200 dollar investment. So, the panniers attach to the bike by a little rack which attaches to the frame of the bicycle. Little did I know my bike is incapable of having a rack attached to it! So here I am with an expensive set of panniers I might not be able to return (special ordered) and I may be forced into playing the trailer card. We'll hopefully see tomorrow when I talk to my local bike shop here in Saratoga.

On top of that, as I began scribing my bike plot into excel for one final complete road map, I realized I have no efficient route from Spokane Washington to Yellowstone. So, now I have to remap that part of the trip. Anyway, I have my work ahead of me the next few days. I'll definitely get some pre-trip fitness assessments done for those who asked so we can compare how obese I am pre/post trip. Let me know if anyone has any ideas/thoughts!

Monday, May 12, 2008

It begins...

So, after three years it's finally happening. I'm actually going to bike cross country. Yes, I'm sure you doubted it as much as I did (and everyone else), but a generous graduation present from my parents has given me the financial means to transverse the country. I've spent the last few months getting various things prepared here and there, and I thought a blog would be helpful in keeping everyone up to date on my happenings.

So, where to begin? I suppose my route. I've plotted out most every road we'll be taking during our trip. I've taken the Northern Tier route and adjusted it to my preferences. We'll be starting in Seattle and heading back, hitting as many major landmarks as possible within reason. The major breakdown is Seattle, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, Chicago, Cleveland, Buffalo, and back to Saratoga Springs. There's of course other locations we'll be hitting along the way (or hoping to) but if anyone has any ideas for sights along the way by all means, please do tell!

Now you might have noticed I keep using the plural "tense" for lack of a better term. You might find this hard to believe- but it's strikingly difficult to get people to physically power themselves from one end of the country to the other. I know, shocking. But, I did find one man foolish and naive enough to do it with me. His name is Josh Davis. Josh is a 26 year old graduate student in Exercise Science here aty SUNY Cortland, and he's about 10000 times too nice for his own good. Now, if you attended my Summer BBQ (sorry Zakkypoo~) you'd remember him. Typical example of Josh's overbearing niceness....

So, I'm really looking forward to this trip! Josh and myself recently got our tickets to fly to Seattle, so we're definitely heading out to the West Coast June 3rd. I'll keep everyone updated as I get more news. I should have a lot of my gear this Thursday, so maybe I'll show of what it takes to get someone across the US on man power alone. I'll also have a small laptop as I ride cross country so I'll be able to post pics and let everyone know what's going on.