4FEB17 The start of my Journal for TABR 2017. I signed up for the race this year. Not that I think I have a chance at winning or placing in a respectable spot. It’s more for the adventure and my personal best.
I’ve been a dot watcher since the first year. Watched “Inspired to Ride” many times. Read past riders journals and it is all so inspiring. A chance of a lifetime for most. So why not? What else do I have to do? Might as well take a very long bike ride.
My trusty steed will be my Surly Long Haul Trucker. I’m still debating on Revelate bags or use front Ortlieb panniers in the rear. I want to pack light but right and be comfortable for the trip. I removed the drop bars for Wald touring handlebars. It gives me a upright comfy ride. I will be adding Aerobars for another hand position. The front rack is the Origin8 Cargo classique rack 14×12. I plan to carry my camping gear on that and unload most of it in Pueblo Colorado. I’m still looking around for a bag so I can put my gear in one place.
So here is my bike to date. I will be loading it and taking some test rides packed up to see how it feels weight wise. Living in Florida with no hills to climb is a challenge for the mountain ranges. If I can get my endurance up the rest will come…I hope!
Ignore the lights on there. It will all change. My friend Jodi Ashley wanted to know if I was going to BBQ for everyone with that front rack! It’s a thought.
2APR17 Two months to go before the race. Sad news the other day. Mike Hall was killed in a car accident during the Indian Pacific Wheel Race. Just devastating. He was truly an inspiration to so many people around the world. Mike Dion made the movie “Inspired to Ride” which was by far inspiring. Mike went on to win the inaugural Trans Am Bike Race in 2014. He also won the Tour Divide 2 times and started the Trans Continental Race. These races are opportunities for anyone to do their personal best. In the end everyone cheers and encourages everyone involved in the race. A great community of people to belong to.
So in the meantime I have decided to change up bikes and take my Trek 520. It has 700cm wheels compared to 26 inch on the surly. I put 700×28 Schwalbe Marathon plus tires on. I’m changing the handlebars to Jones H Loop bars with trigger shifters. When it is complete I will post a picture. I decided to go with some creature comforts since I know I have no chance of being top ten. At least I’m a realist. So I’m taking a 1 man tent. It’s all about the adventure….right?
#breathsforcorey donations are greatly appreciated.
24APR17 Ok final setup. I decided on the Trek 520 due to the 700cm wheels. Tires are Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700×28, Jones H Loop bar and Brooks b17 saddle. I will be taking a 1 person tent. My thought is if I am comfortable and pain free my endurance will be much better. I’m shooting to complete the Trans Am in less than 45 days. Ultimate goal would be 30 days. We shall see. Then again I may not be back east until February…haaaa! I crack myself up.
Week 1: We started off at Aunt Marge’s and road our bikes 75 miles the first day to Rio Grande New Jersey! We got a motel just in time to watch the Eagles game. I fell asleep and missed it :(.
Traffic was tough to get through leaving Bellmawr. Once we got off the Black Horse Pike it was easy until we reached Rio Grande, NJ. Shaun found a baby squirrel or I should say it crawled to him. The little thing actually looked like it was asking for help. So we happened to be in front of a diner where we got a box to put it in. A vet hospital was two miles down the road fortunately. Once they saw it was a baby they took it and we were on our way again. It got dark on us quick so we stopped at the first motel we found. It worked. Shaun was so hungry he ordered two large pizzas and almost ate them. I told him this was only day one and we had a long way to go!
Day 2: We caught the Lewes ferry into Delaware and rode about 35 miles to Delaware Seashore State Park. We had lunch first at a joint that was right by a Coast Guard Base. Go Coast Guard! We were the only tent campers so we set up right next to the
bathroom so we could charge our electronics. Murphy’s law the next morning was some guy working on the roof of the bathroom that we were next to. No he didn’t work on the bathroom that was completely empty he worked on the one we were using…whatever!
Day 3: We rode over 50 miles to Girdletree MD where my old friend Lorraine from high school lived. She was kind to invited us. The only problem is there was spaghetti “gravy” cooking when we got there. I knew we were in trouble then and would have a terrible time leaving. It was big fun catching up, Dan is a blast and they were very kind for taking us in on such short notice!
Day 4: Rode to Chincoteque. Was hoping to see some wild ponies. Instead we were mentally exhausted crossing the cause way and relaxed. We had some nice camping neighbors that we chatted with for a bit. Watched a movie on Shaun’s laptop and called it a night.
Day 5: Enroute to Kipoteke State Park right by the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Nice campground. Once again we met some really nice people. A group of ladies having a reunion fed us breakfast and coffee. One was a Captain in the Coast Guard (Go Coast Guard). Another lady Jan Tromby was on the first womens Olympic basketball team that Jimmy Carter boycotted in 1980. Of course she knew June Olkowski from St. Maria Goretti! Go June! They were also lots of fun.
Day 6: We caught the truck across the Bay Bridge Tunnel. I called the day before to reserve a time. Jim Davis was our driver and go figure, he was from North Philly loving the life along the Eastern Shore! He gave us a tour of the bridge. He stopped at a restaurant that was half way across and a fishing pier. I never knew that! Jim took some pictures of us and we of him. Thanks Jim. I told him how to get Tony Lukes Roast Pork Recipe. We are now best friends!
We tried to get a tent site at the state park but they were packed. So our short day turned into a long wet day. We biked it to the KOA, the other side of VA Beach, pitched our tents. Woke up to pouring rain. So we took Sunday off and glad we did. We upgraded to a cabin for the night. Karma is good. Someone donated $200 bucks to us. That will pay for a few nights of camping. Thank you Linda!
Tomorrow we head out for 60 miles. Until next week!
The start of the Journel. I will be posting how we are preparing for the Philly to Key West Trip this coming Sept. So far it will be possibly three of us making the trip. Myself, my Son (Shaun) and my cousin (Harry)
We will be riding to hopefully inspire and encourage people to live their dreams. To live now in the moment. We also want to bring awareness of bicycle safety and the need for more bike paths and lanes. Hit and run of cyclist by vehicles is an epidemic. A hit in run in California is a felony….bottom line. Most of the country treats it as simply an accident and most offenders never due jail time after hitting and most times killing a cyclist. This in itself is criminal. Demand stricter laws for Hit and Run incidents. When someone flees the scene of an accident, it is no longer an accident but a crime! We encourage you to support Rails to Trails, East Coast Greenway and call you local law makers to have more bike paths and lanes built for safe riding. Change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. Cycling is here to stay. Keep it safe!
The Bikes we will be riding are 1 Surly Long Haul Trucker, 1 Trek 520 (2014), and a Bianchi Volpe. (The Bianchi (Big Blue) is still pending.
We have the ACA Atlantic Coast Maps and the East Coast Greenway Maps. After looking at the maps to get out of Philly we decided we want to take a more scenic route and divert through New Jersey to Cape May and take the Ferry. It appears we can stay along the coast down to the Outer Banks. So more to come as the time gets closer
Harry’s bike (Big BLue) The Bianchi Volpe.
Shaun’s Bike. TheSurly LHT.
My Bike. Capt Cook. The Trek 520