Inspired by spacejack, and determined to do something interesting with a summer which has so far been fun but unadventurous, I have resolved to bicycle down the west coast of North America in August. Specifically, I shall attempt going from Vancouver (or possibly Seattle) to San Francisco. I shall start on or about the 14th, and return around the 5th of September. I plan to follow US Route 101 before switching to Highway 1 in California. This will be further west than I have ever been before, and will provide my first view of the Pacific.
I decided to do this forty five minutes ago, and will be out of the country for the week before this trip, so everything is rather last minute. Spacejack has very generously offered to provide me with some cycling equipment, saving substantially on the cost. In so far as this is financially workable now (and it isn't, really) it would be completely unworkable without his generosity. I still must quickly track down a tent and a laptop computer (the latter for reasons best not spoken of), but hopefully this will be possible in the next few days.
I would like to meet up with some of you on the way. As well, I would be most grateful for any offers of accommodation that might come my way. I am fully house trained, and do not require linen or silk sheets, or a bed, or even a contiguous horizontal space (I am a topological marvel) to enjoy a satisfactory night's rest. I am afraid I do not anticipate having long in any one city, for even without stops my timetable will be rushed. That said, I will most assuredly find a way to meet up with anyone on the way if they are interested.
My schedule is amorphous and fluid for the moment. I do not doubt it will firm up as time goes on. It is relatively safe to say that I will be in Vancouver on the 14th and likely 15; that I will be in Seattle some time shortly after that, and that I will be in San Francisco some time shortly before the 5th of September. I know such uncertainties are difficult to plan around. I will do my very best to make more accurate predictions as the time approaches.
If anyone would like to join me for a day or two, or even a few hours, I would be delighted to have you. I basically need to make around 80 or 90 km a day minimum, so it might not be workable if you haven't biked in 20 years and are planning to use your grandparents' velocipede, but aside from that I would love company. One of my biggest fears for this trip is the onslaught of loneliness. I'd really love company.
My other fear, of course, is that I will not be physically capable of the endeavor. One might think that planning to do something like this was an indication that I had some experience or facility with regard to long distance cycling, but this isn't at all true. I was told I biked 100 km three years ago, but suspect I was lied do. Regardless, I didn't move for two days afterward. I'm, uh, kind of hoping everything physical will just sort of magically sort itself out.
Needless to say, I could use any help offered. What sort of help?
- Lodging, as mentioned. And an occasional shower. For the love of god, a shower.
- Advice! Any advice at all, about routes or crucial things to see or good camp grounds or crazed husiites to avoid (I will be carrying my anti-terpia spray on me at all times) would really be appreciated. In particular, if anyone has any idea how one gets from Vancouver to Seattle on bicycle, I'd be most interested. Google maps search (with the "walking" route specified) provides a pretty hair-brained route. It also seems you can bike on much of I5, but this stops pretty far from Seattle.
- If I'm near you, come out for a drink with me. It will be a not-insignificant help.
- If you have any particularly relevant maps you're not using, they could be pretty helpful. Likely we can find someone early on the route they could be mailed to, and I could mail them back when I was done. I can't imagine they'd be difficult to find, but I am so desperately short on time.
- Have an old laptop or digital camera you've been trying to sell to some sucker for years? We should talk.
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