07 March 2008

Let's Get the Show on the Road

OK, so that was the plan, but I didn't know if I'd be able to make the trip for various personal reasons, but wanted to keep my options open. Originally the Organizer told me the bike would have to be in Seattle to be loaded into the container by April 17, so I envisioned a wonderful springtime cross-country ride. Great!

Later the Organizer told me that the date had been moved forward significantly, to March 28! It snows in March. And rains. And is cold as hell. That doesn't sound nearly as fun!

Briefly considered having the bike shipped to Seattle instead of riding, but that would ruin the "round the world" aspect of the trip, so I decided to suck it up and ride it out, leaving March 9 to allow myself as much time as possible to make it to Seattle in case I hit bad weather or had a breakdown. I also scheduled a service for the bike with South Sound BMW near Seattle so that the bike would be ready for the long haul across China and Russia.

Before the trip, I started thinking about the load plan, installed more "farkles" (bike accessories), and looked at potential routes out to Seattle.

My favorite plan was to take Route 50 all the way from Ocean City, MD to Sacramento CA. Route 50 is a US highway, two lanes for most of its length, and generally stays out of the big cities. Perfect for a bike trip! From Sacremento, I'd hit the coast in the Bay Area, visit some relatives, and head up the coast to Seattle.

Once I'd gotten the bike sorted to my satisfaction and got some nice weather, on March 6, 2008 I took a test ride from DC to Ocean City MD and back along Route 50. Kind of a boring ride, but I wanted to start Route 50 from its beginning in Ocean City, so had to do it. Here are some pix of the rather empty beach. Pretty nice, actually:

And here's the boardwalk, and the sign indicating the beginning of Route 50.

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