4 days until we leave! I love a bit of pre-trip planning (almost as much as Alan likes a bit of pre-trip loosing his tent) but this time it has all been a bit of a headache. As well as Alan and I, we have 13 paying guests – 1 is riding as far as San Fran and 3 are joining in San Fran to ride the last third. The other 9 are in for the whole trip. 4 of us are camping and the rest are staying in hotels.
The route planning and booking of vehicles, campgrounds, hotels etc has been in progress since January – hopefully the things I have forgotten will be minor and easily remedied in Merica.
I fly out with the first 3 guests on Thursday while Alan follows on Friday with 4 more. The rest arrive on Saturday and will have the pleasure of starting a 1650 mile ride with serious jet lag.
We are starting in Port Townsend, WA so fly into Seattle then have to transfer almost 100 miles by car. I have worked out that between my arrival and everyone being in Port Townsend for the start I have to do the round trip 5 times in order to transfer the people, bags and bikes. Yup, 1000 miles before we even get going 🙁
Our route is laughably simple………follow Highway 101 south to San Francisco when it becomes Highway 1 and just keep going until you come to men with droopy moustaches eating tacos. In practise it gets a bit trickier but we will be following Adventure Cycling association maps of the kind that got us across Merica in 2009 without too many mishaps. Our timetable is pretty relaxed by Grumpy Old Men standards with an average of 65 miles per day and 2 rest days. Alan is very happy about this and I am also coming around to the opinion that 100 mile days are best left to the kids. Alan will be sweeping (technical term meaning riding at the back making sure nobody gets left behind) but I hope to ride as much a possible – probably riding out for the first 10 miles then returning to the support vehicle* and driving to the destination then riding 10 miles back upstream to meet them at the end of the day.
*Our support veeeeeehicle will be a seven seater minivan which should have a 4 litre engine so will be fully compliant with US legislation requiring the worst possible fuel economy. Just to be on the safe side we will strap a couple of bike racks and a luggage box to the roof….that should do it.
I am going to recheck everything now…..Alan is probably going to send off his passport application 😉