More things to think about when touring…

1. Shift into an easy to pedal gear when pulling off road! It makes it easy when you are ready to go again, especially if pulling into traffic!
2.  When holding bike, hold by saddle and top bar, the handlebars are too sqirrely amd may lead to dangerous situations
3.  Rest often, the more extreme the weather, the more often, no shame in enjoying something!
4.  Wear gloves
5.  Wear sunglasses, any glasses really, in the desert, sunny glasses are highly recommended.  Eye protection in general is good, having been hit in the face by pebbles kicked up from a semi, had they hit me in the eye, I would now have an eye patch….  Seriously!
6.  Any exposed flesh will burn, this includes your legs and feet, if you dont have or ran out of sunscreen, apply a coating of dust or get out of sun.  A dust screen has kept me free of pain so far, tis better to be dirty than damaged!
7.  When you go down steep hills, if you are not yet familliar with the speeds you can reach, go slowly, youll be amazed at how fast you really do go.  Losing control of a fully loaded bike at 40 mph will most assuredly suck or lead to immediate religious experience.
8.  Feel free to walk hills, even if you are not tired yet, it will help you stay fresh much longer…  This is your life and your ride, do what you want and dont have any expectations or rigid rules to live by, for that, join a racing team.
9.  If you walk hills, be sure to do your best to push your bike from both sides… Keep yourself balanced.
10.  Do amazing things.  Simply leaving on a trip is an amazing thing.
11.  Push the envelope.
12.  Say hello to everyone.  Wave, give peace sign, shaka, something, to EVERYONE.  Especially truck drivers, they will be your friends or enemies.  Theynall talk to each other, we have found that if you are nice, they will make room for you on the road, they will sometimes even play protector for you.  Always do your very best to BE N I C E.  A few times now I have been amazed at how people “reappear” in my life on this trip…
13.  When riding, keep your consciousness waaaaay out there,use all your senses, really be part of the scene every moment.  As I wrote about earlier, had I not listened to my “gut”, I would have found myself occupying the same space as a semi truck, you can probably put the rest together.  BE IN THE MOMENT AT ALL TIMES!
14.  When big trucks pass you, they create a vaccuum, be very aware of this and do your best to not get sucked into the road, nor thrown off it!
15.  Always Be Thankful.  Afterall, your going on a trip most people will never do due to fear and many other reasons.  You are doing this for all of them, be thankful you were chosen.
16.  Become a membernof a group like couchsurfing.com, warmshowers.org, etc. as this will help you greatly on your journey.
17.  If you are going far, take spare tubes and a spare tire.
18.  Many things you pack will be unneccesary, at the one month mark, check to see what you have and have not used and clean house.  Being prepared is good, being light andmmoving easily is priceless!
19.  Take this time to grow a beard if you are able, saves sunscreen, looks cool, maybe a huge change for you, ergo, will give you a different angle on everything AND, it truly helps in dealing with other men.  I have my thoughts as to why, they dont really matter, I just know it helps and freinds who have traveled in this way agree.  Of course, keep yourself clean.  There is a difference between being natural and being dirty.  Dont let yourself be confused, others will surely not!
20.  Your routine will be shattered, it is now time to adopt rituals.  What is the difference…?  A routine is getting a cup of coffee from your favorite local coffee house, your personal coffee maker that goes off automatically every morning, etc.  A ritual is having a cup of coffee each morning, but not knowing where it will come from, or where you will have it!  You will lose many routines on your ride, which is O.K., afterall, routines kill, rituals enlighten.
21.  Dont be scared to try new things, i.e., be extremely adaptable.  For instance.  I am vegan, I had set things I would eat and not feel “good”unless I ate them, all of that has changed, here in the desert, one of my main “veggies” is now nopales, or, cactus.
More to follow…….  Happy pedaling fellow ninjas!

 

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