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Epilogue: 19 Years Later

Posted by Alan on 12th September 2007

Hah hah, of course it hasn’t been 19 years, but some of you will get that reference. So, I’ve been home a couple weeks now and people keep asking me what it’s like to be home. “Is it weird to be back?”, they wonder. Actually, no, it isn’t really weird at all. I mean, Denver is the same as ever and I’ve gotten used to my old familiar life again. Of course, I haven’t started back at work yet. Sitting in a cubicle for eight hours might come as a shock to my system. I guess I’ll find out this Thursday on my first day back. Also, I didn’t drive a car for about a week after I got back. It just seemed like all the cars on the freeway were moving way too fast. I wasn’t in any hurry to jump behind the wheel.

Oh, and now I can happily proclaim that I had ZERO FLAT TIRES on my trip!!! I didn’t want to jinx myself by bragging about that until I was safely home (I’m a little superstitious that way). So how is that possible? Well, I had some very good tires. They are Marathon Plus tires by a company called Schwalbe. If you ever do a trip like this, definitely buy a set. I never even needed that spare tire I ordered back in Montana. I covered just over 3300 miles on my trip on those tires (plus a few hundred miles at home before my trip).

I want to thank everyone for their emails and kind words along the way. It made it easier to keep this journal up to date knowing people would actually be reading it. And now I’m glad I have this record of my journey to remind me of details I might have otherwise forgotten. What’s my next bike trip going to be? Well, maybe I’ll bike around New Zealand or maybe I’ll ride across Asia. Anyone want to come along?

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Day 0: Late Start

Posted by Alan on 19th June 2007

Bella helps me packEver since I got the idea for this bike trip, I was determined to keep my plans flexible without a rigid timetable or definite route. Given this goal, I think it’s appropriate that I was delayed a couple days from my planned start date. I simply needed a couple more days to get all my ducks in a row, but now I’ve finally left town. I’m staying in Ft. Collins tonight with my friend Tracy and her family. It’s great to see them again and it will be nice to start and end my trip in smaller Ft. Collins and not have to deal with Denver congestion.

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Testing

Posted by Alan on 21st May 2007

IMG_0062 I think it would be a bit foolish to head off on a 3.5 month bike tour without first testing my gear, my bike and myself. So this past weekend I packed up all the gear I’ll be taking on my trip, loaded it on my bike and rode into the mountains west of Denver. It was only about a 38 mile ride to get to Golden Gate Canyon State Park, but some of those miles are VERY steep. A 19% grade in spots, to be exact. If I had known about the 19% grade before I got there, I might have picked a different location to camp, but I made it OK in the end and it didn’t kill me (and the ride home the next day going downhill was a lot of fun).

The campground was a bit more crowded than I would have liked (and way too noisy late into the night), but I was glad they had showers so I could rinse off once I got my camp set up. There’s nothing like a warm shower after a tiring bike ride to make you feel almost human again. Maybe I’ll rethink my plan to “stealth” camp in the woods for free as much as possible while on my trip.

Lessons learned this trip:

1. Never leave your tent unzipped. You never know when a squirrel will think it’s funny to poop in your tent while you’re off brushing your teeth.

2. The section of a campground with families and kids running around during the day might actually be the quieter section at night while they’re all asleep. The section further back might be more quiet in the day, but full of noisy drunk stupid loud annoying idiotic (did I mention noisy?) people who aren’t “camping” so much as they are partying in the woods.

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Coming Attractions

Posted by Alan on 18th May 2007

If you’re visiting this website, you probably know who I am and you also know about the upcoming bike trip I’m planning. People keep asking me how they can keep track of where I am. They ask if I’ll be checking in from time to time. It’s like they think I’ll disappear into the wilderness or something!

Well, fear not, for this website will allow you to keep track of my progress and read my experiences and adventures from the road. I’m hoping to be able to post new journal entries from the road, so check back often or subscribe to my RSS feed. (Click here for more info on using RSS.) Also, you’ll be able to click on the trip map page (link in top menu) to see a map of the locations of my journal entries.

I’ll be working on adding a few more features to this site to allow you to keep in touch with me while I’m traveling. Stay tuned!

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