To start from California, meant I had to be packed and mail my bike and gear a week before leaving. This gave me no time to test out the new components on the bike. I just hope everything works. It also meant no last minute substitutions or additions to my gear list. To mail the bike I used Bike Flights. Somehow using them and shipping through Fedex is cheaper than just using Fedex.
In one week, I received and installed new pedals, tires, bar wrap, and cassette. The same day that I got my tires in and installed was the day I packed and shipped the bike. On the positive side, I will know exactly how many miles are on them. I got a bike box from Carr’s, LBS, and went to work. Everything except my electronics, clothes, and sleeping bag were going in the box.
The night before leaving I packed what little I had in a $1 thrift store duffle and slept, sort of. I had confirmation that my bike was safely at the hotel, so there was no need for concern.
Oh, Jack! Jack contacted me about 5 months ago on Warmshowers, cyclist hosting site, for me to host him. Unfortunately, he had some “e-assit” troubles and ended up staying the weekend. Hosting him brought a little more excitement to my upcoming trip. He is a legend, at 74 years and 20,000+ miles of touring (I stopped calculating at 20,000).
Jack hitched a ride with us to Little Rock on our way to the airport and he was off again. Then, my parents dropped me off and said goodbye. The more of these trips I do, the shorter the goodbyes are getting. Maybe they are feeling better about my travels.
Going through security, I got my first pat down. I thought it odd they chose the person wearing the least amount of clothing to pat down.
Two flights and a bus ride later I was in L.A. and at my hotel. L.A. is a lot colder than I had anticipated. Now, the scary part. The front desk clerks found my reservation, checked me in, but could not find my bike. I described the box and showed them my confirmation. The lady even took my phone in the back to confirm, but still no box with my name. She did say that there was a box large enough to fit a bike, but it had the name Pam on it. The manager stepped in and said there may have been a mix-up and our bikes got swapped. THIS, is exactly the kind of thing I worried about when letting the bike out of my site. Never again!! I finally asked if I could take a look at the box and with some nudging they let me in their store room. IT WAS MY BIKE!!! I was so relieved when I saw that terrible duct tape job and new it was mine.
Pam was the original owner of the box that I got out of the dumpster of Carr’s. Not sure how I feel about the Fedex guy that took my box and said he would “take care of it for me”. No extra tape like I asked and old shipping labels still on the box. That wouldn’t fly over at Helen’s UPS.
All was good. Now for dinner. I had enough excitement and did not feel like unboxing and building until I got some food. Simple Google search yielded no viable food sources. For those not up to date on Jesse’s evolving diet, I am no longer VEGAN! Being vegan on last year’s bike tour was too difficult. So this year I am trying out a keto-vegan diet. You may have to Google that. Think vegan, but without sugar. I almost gave it all up when I spotted a Yoshinoya. Yoshinoya is a Japanese fast food chain that I fell in love with while wandering around over there, and we ruined it.
Luckily I found a little greek place where the manager hooked me up with a ton of salad and huge bowl of hummus to go. I have so much that I will probably have hummus and salad for lunch and dinner tomorrow. I actually went walking down the street from the hotel to a market that I thought I could find ingredients to make hummus and a salad, so this was perfect. The “market” only sold liquor.
I spent the rest of the night putting everything back together, organizing and getting ready for the next morning. I also contacted some Warmshowers down the road, but with no luck.
Santa Monica is where my life journey began! 😁
This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to DARE and endure. (Winston Churchill)
Carry on, my wayward “son”.