North America 1
North America ( 1 )
Getting it Together
When you decide to travel independently of agents or groups, the planning becomes a creative, exciting experience. Now that we have the Internet at our finger tips, it's amazingly easy, and of course, instant, I constantly marvel at this invention , probably equal to the development of the safety bicycle in all its guises.!
So to begin, join a few organisations : SERVAS the peace based host/travel worldwide movement. Arthur Frommer's New World of Travel 2015 edition comes out in July, says nice things about SERVAS and is full of ideas for alternatives .
WWOOF, willing workers on organic farms. Here you will meet old sixties hippies and dropouts who really lived their dream. Young families who decided to leave their high-pressure careers , and live as self-sufficiently as possible. I once stayed with an artist in West Dorset and help set up his work for a festival.
There are still a number of Intentional Communities around the world , and I stayed in one at Coffs Harbour at the top of NSW recently .
So using these , friends and recommendations you start to flesh out a overall plan and shape to the adventure. I booked an AMTRAK train ticket on line , the advanced fare from Vancouver to San Francisco with a break in Eugene was well under $100 .
Now we come to the tricky question of insurance , should I cover myself or leave it in the lap of the gods? I have to admit , that up to now I have gone naked into this strange world of ours. But in deference to my children, common decency, and not to catch cold, plus the introduction of my Building Society Plus account , I can get it all for a small extra owing to my advanced age.
Maps : I still love pouring ( stale coffee) over maps, I'll be using some AAA the deceased Uncle Jack gave me eleven years ago. I bought a book on the Oregon Coast cycle trail which is written in a very funky style. I'm afraid on paper I've broken a precept as I will be carrying an I pad mini with cell , a tiny am/fm radio , and a time piece. So what's that all about ? Well all of those groups I mentioned are now on line , and as I WON'T have a phone, I shall need to e mail people find places to stay. And , of course, I'm hoping to send regular updates about the journey. Needless to say I will try not to abuse these not absolutely necessary gadgets .
So that leaves the equipment . I'm afraid over the years I've acquired rather a lot of nice stuff. Last year in Germany I happened into a cycle shop, and there all forlorn on the bargain shelf sat a handlebar bag . Just what I need as my present one is falling apart . Using this as my base carrying around thing, I've modified it to hold : Gratitude bag, maps, reading glasses, marker pen, shower-proof coat, Onya back bag, mini-radio ( for tuning in to the local culture to record ) mini-cel I pad, umbrella, head torch, binoculars, magnify glass, cutlery set, pen knife, sun glasses, lighter, purse, bungy cord ,water bottle, pocket Krishnamurti, True But Not Right a talk by Ajahn Sumedho, diary, note book & pencil,travel alarm clock, chocolate bar, passport ,travel documents and ZYCLING cards . It's all a bit ridiculous , but I like it! Ps I decided to leave out the rabbit this time. ( come to think of it I could sell my house and live out of this bag )
That leaves two Ortlieb front carriers and the Super C saddle bag which will hold : sleeping bag and sheet, toilet bag, toilet paper, pruning saw, (clearing fallen trees off the track) tools oil, rear light,
And strapped to this is a bag containing : tent, ground sheet , seat, bike bag, mattress ,
In the panniers will be clothes, and camping stove with basic food ..
On the bike will be a couple of water holders, bell, map holder, pump, odometer, and a leggy blond, no just kidding, I prefer brunettes.
On April the first I joined the Adventure Cycling. Org gang so I can foolishly buy more maps and books, glean the experiences of other pedlars and motivate myself .
See you on the plane. PLG Tony