It’s happening! Last weekend we hit up Marc’s long-accumulated Frequent Flyer points, and booked our return flights to San Francisco. We’ve allowed a month in total – allowing ourselves about 3 weeks of riding, and a few days up our sleeve at either end.
We had actually sussed out available flights a couple of weeks back, and had talked ourselves into lashing out on Premium Economy. Goes to show you should just seize the day; when we went to book there were no Premium Economy seats left. Looks like it’s 14 hours of cattle class. But, hey, at least that means we will still have enough points to go on another trip somewhere else. (Start scheming now, Tracey…)
We’ve started the ball rolling with our tandem order with Co-motion. Some emails, and a call to them yesterday.
This is what we are going to get:
Yeah, so it looks like a tandem bike doesn’t it. Although if you scroll up – for now- to the header pic of our Santana, you’ll see that it’s missing something, structure-wise. (I *will* get back at some point to do a gear/bike tech post – and the reasons for choosing Co-motion for our new steed.)
For the tandem afficionados, it’s a Co-motion Speedster – albeit we’ll get ours with couplers, so that it will pull apart and pack up into two travel cases.
Tonight we have to sit down and finalise our accessories and options and send them off to Co-motion.
We’ll be bringing a few things over with us – like our front pannier racks, our Brooks saddles, my Thudbuster seat post.
In the meantime, I’ve been sussing out the route, using ACA (Adventure Cycling Association) material, blogs that we’ve found, posts in Facebook bike touring groups, (and thus more blogs of people either currently, or soon to be, touring down the Pac Coast!) I’ve done a lot of Google map and Streetviewing – with a lot more to go.
One of the more poignant comments on one of the Bicycle Touring Facebook groups came from an American:
” … thank you for choosing to visit the US! Our tourism industry is taking a huge hit this year, and we do appreciate our international guests!”
In the light of (extended family) disapproval of our long-term plans to head States-side, along with a bit of social media ‘pressure’ to boycott the US (due to the current, shall we say, ‘political’ climate) this comment really went a long way towards validating our gut-feeling about going. Neither of us has ever been to the US, so, why shouldn’t we damn well go and see it – and the people – for ourselves. (Truth be told, there would be good enough reason to boycott Australia because of the actions of its Government of late.)
I needed a new passport – and that arrived yesterday. Lots of other things to sort – like travel insurance. Accommodation is booked for our first few nights. We still have to buy the Garmin/s that we intend to get. I need to upgrade my phone. Should we buy a cheap lightweight notebook/laptop? (Do we really want to add another 1kg?) Why didn’t we make a list of the clothes and gear we ended up touring with last September? (Marc was able to take a few things back from Port Macquarie when he did his crazy ‘detour’ back to Coffs to play his touch footy grand final three days into our trip, but we forgot to write a list of what we finished the trip with.)
It’s still more than 4 months away, but I’m feeling quite excited about it, as well as a bit nervous. While Marc has travelled overseas a lot for his work, I’ve only been to Indonesia (as an exchange student in 1980), Malaysia (accompanying him to KL for a one-week work trip in ’98), and a family holiday to New Zealand in 2003).
The only disappointing part of the whole plan is that we don’t have the time (and the logistics don’t work out) to do more of that Pacific Coast route. Seattle, or even Vancouver, to San Diego, would be fantastic. Bucket list.
So, here’s a rough plot of where we intend to ride. I didn’t plot it all meticulously (as per the ACA route). We’ve actually yet to decide which way to ride from Eugene to the coast. And we may throw in some detours.
More to come as we get sorted. Perhaps we should be getting serious about some training – well, so we’ve been told. Marc is all ‘meh… Day 1 is training for Day 2… and Day 2 is training for Day 3…. and so on.’ And besides… we’ll be riding a new bike, so, what’s the point in training on our old one?!
I would actually love to fit in one more ‘trial’ tour before we go… but I have a feeling that the next four months are going to whiz by.