1. Pre-Trip

The hours and minutes until I board a plane for South America are draining quick. After two weeks of running around Upstate New York to gather all the last second items and organize everything – I’m basically set to go now. At this point, I’m starting to get excited enough to make sleeping at 3am not an option.

This excitement is also mixed with last second jitters and a little bit of stress. Its been awhile since I have felt this way before traveling, so I figure this is going to be quite an experience. The only thing I can think to do now is to sit here and listen to my dad’s old vinyls in a vain attempt to relax a little.

After all the hard work, I think my gear set-up came together quite nicely. It is a delicate balance between conserving weight/space so I can actually pedal while having everything I need to live off my bike for 6 or so months. Overall I took the ‘less is more’ approach in my decision making but of course I needed one or two elements that a Minimalist might not consider a necessity, but its my sanity on the line here.

Below is a picture of all of my gear I’m bringing and need to fit into the 5 little bags attached to my bike – you can also find a listing here: Gear List

When the bike is fully loaded with all gear, food and water- it weighs around 90 pounds (that’s 41 kilos for the Euros out there). Through the research I did when planning this trip, I have seen other bike set-ups that weight much more. So I figure I’m doing OK on this front  –  however tell that to my knees in the middle of the Andes.

Speaking of weight, I just weighed myself in at 185 pounds (84 kilos), it will be interesting to see where that number goes after cycling around 6 hours a day fueled by campfood for 6+ months. After proper send-offs in both Amsterdam and New York mixed with my favorite breakfast sandwiches at the neighborhood deli, you can say my ‘training’ for this trip has been a bit loose. However, I seem strangely fine with this situation.

I once read that the only way to train for a long-distance cycle tour is to actually complete a long distance cycle tour. This gives me comfort, however tell that to my knees in the middle of the Andes.

So tomorrow it’s three flights and then I land in Ushuaia, Argentina to begin traveling the slow way through Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. Depending on the internet cafes I find along the way, hopefully I’ll be checking in again soon. Until then, please tell my mom that that I’m not crazy and I’ll be just fine. Thanks

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