Sunday, June 21, 2009

training time

well, matt and i spent the last few weeks training for the big ride whenever we could, while trying to tie up all loose ends, smooth out logistics, and iron out the wrinkles prior to embarking. the plane tickets are purchased, the SPOT satellite messenger is activated, and the unicycle seat is still as uncomfortable as i remember. last weekend we drove from durham, north carolina up to damascus, virginia to ride the virginia creeper trail, logging our longest ride to date on 29-inch wheels: 34 miles. this was an encouraging accomplishment, because this is the approximate distance we hope to average on a daily basis during the expedition. we are doing our best to keep expectations of the trail and mileage reasonable, as it will add factors such as high elevation, ungraded roads, and heavy backpacks.

the evening before riding the trail, we explored damascus, including a ride under backbone rock

matt, with a cheery grin as he keeps truckin' along

if only my pack were this small for the trip...

climbing 17 continuous miles made me a wee bit excited for 17 miles of descent!

haven't you heard? - it's easier to ride with your hands way off to one side ;-)

the virginia creeper trail was converted into a biking & hiking trail (overlaps with the appalachian trail) from a railroad, which means we got to ride over the river on a very high trestle.

inverted balance

and now some silly video fun, although it exposes my weakness of over-the-head filming. views of my scalp were intended to be shots of the bicyclists coming from behind. good thing matt is in charge of the videography this summer!

currently, matt and i are driving my old volkswagen bus, loaded with all my earthly possessions, across the country to california, where i will leave it with family. on june 28th, we will fly to calgary, alberta, and intend to start pedaling on july 2nd, after enjoying canada day and a collective soul concert in calgary on july 1st.
the one-week countdown begins!!
rock n roll.


Andrew said...

Haha, the video is great. Will you guys be recording video often during the ride? Would be great to get a unicycle perspective of the diverse terrain as you head southward. Wishing you a safe start to the trip.

Rafael said...

Good luck with the preparation. As for a saddle, have you tried the 2009 model of the kris holm one? They've made it with a deeper central cut and denser foam in the right places.

janene said...

miss you guys. have fun, good luck, cant wait to see ya again!

ps - matt, you left some flip flops in athens. guess you'll just have to come back on through at some point. oh, darn.

Matt said...

Foolhardy- We're going to be shooting HD for the trip, but also some blog clips-- be sure to check back!

Rafael- I have the 2009 KH Freeride Fusion. I think any seat will hurt after 6 hours of riding, including the latest and greatest.

Jans- I ain't no flip-flopper!

Mom said...

I had to laugh at Matt's sparkling clean white shoes. I'd guess they won't look that way long, with "mud alerts" :) Great to see the video and to hear you managed a successful (and cheery) trial run!

Looking forward to seeing you in CA soon.


Shiloh said...

See you soon!

Richard and Robin said...

Hey! We missed you when you were in Davis!! Called you today but it sounds like you'll be phoneless till October (!). Anyway, we wanted to send you a cheery hello and bon voyage. May the ride rise up to meet you. Or at least keep the roadkill out of the way.
Love you!
Uncle Richard and Aunt Robin

Mama Kling said...

Gracie and Matt-I have so enjoyed following your adventures via blog trans-America and also by photo in Antigua. Stay safe on your newest adventure! Mama Kling

Anonymous said...

You guys ROCK! Looking forward to more updates and posts as you get ready to start your journey!
Courtney Lindsey Frye
LLS supporter

templarbond said...

Wahoo, excellent.

Jacob said...

Wishing you all the best!!!!
Will be following your progress.

Anonymous said...

you WOULD ride the "creeper" trail...