Sunday, July 3, 2016

Planning on a Bike Trip - that's green, isn't it?

I haven't been here much lately. I kind of got into "crafty" mode as opposed to "make my house more green" mode. I've been blogging on my other website - making little cardboard houses. Now truthfully, I make my houses out of cardboard that would be thrown away or possibly recycled so they are a little bit green.

The fairly green thing I am getting ready to do is go on a long bike trip on the west coast. Before I started my medical career I rode my bike across the country with my 16 year old sister. Now 40+ years later I am going to go cross country again only in a different direction. I am going north to south or SOBO (Southbound to borrow an phrase from the Appalachian trail) along the Sierra Cascade trail which parallels the Pacific Crest Trail through Washington, Oregon, and California. In this direction you start in Canada and ride to the California border with Mexico.

Because of scheduling constraints at my current job I am not able to leave until the end of September which may prove to be challenging. I will avoid the serious heat of the California desert but I will be riding during wildfire season and could conceivably run into snow. Also morning temps will likely be cool every single morning. Oh, and I miss the bugs - mosquitos specifically.

I hope to finish by the end of November because I will have to be at work on December 1st.

Anyway, I had not ridden a bike since I rode Cycle Oregon in September of 2013 so it has been a bit of a challenge getting back in shape. I have been very consistent with riding since I got my touring bike in few months ago. I haven't had big mileage weeks, but I have ridden hard rides (for me) in the mountains of NC.

My last ride was a doozy. It was only 42 miles but it was very hard. I got back to the car around 9PM after riding down the Greenville watershed (the most famous section of the bakery ride) almost in the dark. It was incredible. I was in my biggest gear pedaling the whole way downhill. I was also whistling because I didn't want to surprise any bears. Not that I've ever seen or heard of a bear on the ride, but most people aren't riding down at almost nighttime. I figured if there was going to be a bear on this road, this would be the time.

[Aside: Google bakery ride and see what comes up. One the first page, every reference save one refers to the Greenville bakery ride. It is a phenomenal ride.]

This ride was not strictly speaking the bakery ride but it did include a large section of it.

Anyway, I really look forward to my bike tour and I am training hard. I hope to update some more information on this site, such as my home energy usage and plans for the future energy upgrades on my house and my family's houses, but that won't happen very soon because of the work required for my bike tour.

Rather than post my bike touring journal here, I think I will blog about my trip on a great website for bike touring And if you want to read one of the best cross country journals ever written, read Dan Schiemdt's journal "Looking for America". He's finished his tour but not his journey. He's driving a friend's car back from Oregon so he's still blogging a little. His journal will make you want to hop on your bike and ride away.

That's what's going on now. I will not ever totally abandon this blog, though I will not be updating like I did when we were in the midst of building an energy efficient house. Unless somehow, somebody gets me involved in building another energy efficient house. I would love that.

Take care everybody.