Family on Bikes – 5/4/08

Five weeks and counting. The final countdown has begun, and the amount of visits by the FedEx man is decreasing. Our pile of gear has taken over the garage and I’m making a valiant attempt at imposing some sort of order upon the chaos.

I’m feeling positive about our gear, and feel that it will serve us well.

We’ve now got two of the three bikes. The other bike (our Rodriguez tandem) is being built as we speak and should arrive here within ten days or so. My bike is back in the shop for a few modifications, and Davy’s is in the garage waiting for him to jump on and ride. Our ExtraWheel trailer arrived today, but I don’t have my bike so I can’t get it set up – darn! It looks really cool and I can’t wait to try it out. Our other trailer will be a BOB, but we haven’t decided yet if John will pull the same one he did on our last trip or if he will buy a new one – we’ll figure that out in the next week or so. We decided to go with another REI 4-person tent just like we used on our last trip. It’ll be a tight fit, since the kids are a bit bigger and we’ve now got the dog, but we’ll make it work. An IBM ThinkPad should help us out in terms of updating our website and doing research. Last year we relied on public libraries and internet cafes, but this time we’ll have the computer with us. In some ways, it will add unwanted complexity to the journey, but in other ways it’ll help significantly. We’ll be starting out with the same stove and cooking gear we used last time, as well as the same panniers and a lot of other items. We may end up replacing them before we head south of the border, but we figure they should get us through the first five or six months of the journey.

It’s really overwhelming to think what’s involved in putting your life on hold for a couple of years, but I know it will be worth it in the end. I’ve gotten so many emails from people asking, “How can you do it? How can you simply take off and leave your house and everything behind??”

My simple answer is this: sometimes you just have to do it. You decide what’s important and go for it. Do we have enough money? No. But we never will. Can we afford to take so many years away from careers? No, but we never will.

Basically, I figure we can’t afford NOT to go. Right now, we have our health, but we are fully aware that could change in a heartbeat. And besides, our kids will never be ten years old again.

I can’t wait to get on the road!

Thank you so much for your help and support – it means a lot knowing there’s a whole contingent of people out there supporting us.



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