August 23, 2010

It has begun...

I'm sitting here in Boston Mass, my legs slightly sore, my butt slightly raw, but overall feeling great.  Let me first apologize for the lack of blog posts.  Not having a computer makes posting hard, and the couple of times I stopped at libraries my limited time had to be used to check routes.  I have however been updating my map every time I touch a computer, and if you click the link to the google map you can even see a brief description of each of the places i've stayed so far (by clicking the green icons).

Every day has been great so far, but I'll start this blog by describing the beginning of the trip.

After a couple of extremely hectic days in montreal, packing, and doing all of the many things I had to do before leaving Canadiaville,  I emptied my apartment and loaded my bike up for the first time and headed up to Mount Royal for a picnic and goodbye party.  I have to say, the first few times I rode with the loaded trailer I got pretty nervous.  I've gotten much more comfortable now, but those first few times I rode were pretty hairy.  Standing up was out of the question, and even taking one hand off to shift gears was nerve racking (aerobars were useless until about 50 miles of getting used to the bike).  

The sendoff picnic was very nice.  It was great getting to say goodbye to everyone, and hear all the support everyone was giving me.  I very much appreciate everyone who came, but as you can imagine I was itching to get on the road (I had been for over a week).  When we did finally leave it was in a brigade of 10 or so bikes bullying our way through the Montreal Traffic.  As I slowly left Montreal, skyscrapers in the background, the brigade thinned and thinned until the hearty goodbye to Marc Trussler left just me and my dad.  The change in vibes, coupled with the crossing over the locks really signified the start of the trip.

With just me and my dad, and about 50 miles to go I was able to really "get in the zone" and start getting used to riding with the loaded bike.

A quick note about my bike:
1983 Schwinn Voyager.  Bullet proof steel.  35lbs unloaded.  This bike has soul.  It was given to me for free by my good friend, and excellent cyclist Danny Goodwin (read his blog for a great insight into the world of riding bikes really really fast).  The bike was given to him by a zen buddhist who had ridden the bike cross country and requested that the bike stay as one and continue its life carrying heavy loads.  It has.  I love it.  I've been riding it every day for the past 6 years or so, in all weather conditions and its still solid as a tank.    It does not have a name yet...

Anyway, the first day was a beautiful ride through rural quebec, and the fact that my dad was breaking the wind for me made it even better.  At the end of the day,  I got to have a good goodbye to my family.  I give my parents a lot of credit for their keeping-it-together-ness.  I know it's not easy for them to not know where I'll be sleeping each night, and to not be able to get in contact with me all the time, but despite that, they are completely supportive of my trip, and for that I am very grateful.

I had discussed when my trip would "sink in" (when I would finally realize that the trip has actually started) with a bunch of different people.  I can easily pinpoint the exact time and place now:  On the third day, after a swim in Lake Memphremagog I pulled into a price chopper to buy groceries for the first time (PB&J, tuna-peas-mac-'n-cheese, pasta, etc.) and as I was picking out my staple foods the fact that i'm in this for the long run really "sank in".

The trip has started, and I like it.


  1. "and the fact that my dad was breaking the wind for me made it even better." That might be the best quote ever. It was probably all the veggies he had for dinner that made it so enjoyable for you.


  2. Uncle Smiley cuts the

  3. It does not have a name yet... for bike suggestion--the "American Guy"
    got idea from a friend who calls his sail boats the American Girl