42 Ride ho


The forty two riders from all over the US (I assume most if not all Americans) will alight in NYC on the heels the Bicycle Film Festival, departing June 25th for a fifty five day tour, eighty miles per day….sagged. Destination: Los Angeles, which doesn’t really pinpoint it, does it? That appellation belongs to the hundred suburbs in search of a city.
SAGGED….this is the magic word for me: I am still too lazy to pedal me PLUS my sleeping bag and food any significant distance (even though I still love to carrying impossible weights and unmanageable shapes under one arm when scavenge-riding within a twenty mile radius of Fairfax).

With a little luck, it’ll be on a borrowed Rivendell bicycle (cross fingers, drape keyboard with spaghetti entrails, light candle, hold breath).

So watch this space, to see just what 42below (a maker of vodka, based in New Zealand) has concocted for a merrie tour of my country, tis of thee.

Papers have been signed, notaries have borne witness, and much anticipation lies in whether one will do the upper or the lower route. Both will be scorchingly hot. But I’m good at hot. I survived the Transtortugal 04.

I don’t have to ask my friends for a dime per mile. That never worked for me anyhow: perhaps my mile-eating legs frighten them fiscally. I didn’t ask ANY questions about the ride, so it’s all a pleasant mystery, from start to finish. I do know that the prevailing wind will be in our face the whole way, as we grind through the red states.

Next year, if I get to return, I pray we go the other direction.

Any suggestions for must-haves ?

Never having done a really long tour, I’m all ears and poised pen…

Just learned that the French Minister of Corrections has come up with an original idea for rehabilitating, or at least re-habituating a lucky group of cyclists, seventeen at a time, riding a sort of Penal Tour, with guards cycling alongside. There may be lots of joking about it ( see Sam Abt’s story in NYT) but as Paul Fournel mentioned in his story, ‘the bicycle is the fastest way to freedom’.

~ by jacquiephelan on June 7, 2009.

7 Responses to “42 Ride ho”

  1. I’ve seen a bunch of lists of what to bring, and there’s one at http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/packing.cfm
    Most of these that I’ve ever seen assume you carry all the weight on the bike, so you can be less spartan than they may suggest.
    Crazyguyonabike is full of pack lists and blogs with how it worked out when they rode with it, but is also focused towards self-supported and ultralight equipment.

  2. Sagged is good when you’re bike-camping your way across the country. A small and reliable digital camera; pre-addressed/stamped postcards to mail from various cities (some of us still crave REAL mail); your favorite socks; and a picture of your sweetie to tape to the handlebars (this last got me through my three-day, 210-mile charity ride in 2007). I assume everything else will make itself clear as you pack. But try not to overpack — even though your stuff will be sagged it’s not fair to ask the handlers to schlep 100 lbs of gear on a 40-day ride. Above all, have fun!

  3. Regarding the prevailing winds: Do not do any work. Do not lead. Stay in the middle of the pack and lay on everybody else’s wheel. You’ll be fine.

    • ooh, I love the advice.
      It won’t be a race, but you’re right in tune with Joe Breeze’s admonition (after hs said that he had no words of wisdom) “if you just drop your speed by two measly miles per hour, you’ll save TONS of wear and tear on your body”.
      Duly noted. My tactic for taking 8th in the Transportugal 04 was: start slow, and ease up. It’s a cliche, I know..

  4. Very cool! Jacquie –good luck on the ride. I look forward to hearing about your adventure. NYC to LA –yikes! You must have really good peddling legs! 🙂

  5. ho? who you callin a ho?

    have a blast jacquie. I envy you the insta-conditioning (which I need and you do not). 🙂

  6. This looked pretty interesting. I just put a hot pink seat on my commuter. That is also interesting, but not at the same level.

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