It is hard to imagine that when I first signed up for this trip my countdown clock showed 568 days! Amazing how time has the ability to creep and fly simultaneously. Numbers are important, as it was the approach of a milestone birthday that ignited my desire to usher in 50 with a personal journey. A journey that would challenge me, inspire me and be, very selfishly, all about me! It looks like this upcoming trip across the southern tier of America will do all of that and more. Based on poll results from my first blog post, upon my return, I will likely be an expert tire changer as well. Respondents of the poll, overwhelmingly believe I will have between 6-10 flats during my 58 day ride. I just hope they are not all in the same day.
Thank you for the overwhelming response to my trip and to my goal to raise funds to provide New Hampshire families with special wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I am well on my way of reaching my fundraising goal and appreciate all of your generous donations so far. With 50 years under the hood, I have quite a selection of family (blood and extended), friends (old and new) and colleagues from across the many career chapters of my life. I clearly am a hoarder, and am not likely to give up any of you along the way! Lori Leblanc – a “payment” colleague, turned dearest friend was the first to respond to my call and donate! Thank you, Lori and all of my contributors so far!
As my timeline winds down to single digits, I am preparing all aspects of my life for my sabbatical or “pause”. Preparing to step out of your life for two months, sounds simple, but I find as it approaches, it has become quite complex. Physically, I have increased my sessions with my personal trainer/tyrant, Charlene from Salem Athletic Club. Charlene has been patient and diligent in keeping me on track and motivated. I have benefited greatly from her expertise, encouragement and sense of humor. Additionally, I head to the gym for interim work, and have Sweet Ruby on an indoor trainer in my loft. Riding a stationary bike is nothing like the real thing – but it does help develop the muscle memory of your arse to seat! I was able to get outside on Sunday and ride 10 miles which felt great — chilly, but worth every moment of it.
Personally, I have set my affairs in order, have the bills ready to go, and am worried the most about the care and feeding of my plants. My son has proven to be capable and self-sufficient when it comes to care and feeding of self, but he has proven to be lethal to my plants. Lori Leblanc’s reward for being the first to donate – is that she earns the title of foster parent to my plants. On my list of to-do’s is the transfer of plants to her home! Getting my affairs in order – has been an interesting exercise, one which I likely should have completed long ago. I am realistic that the odds are that I will return fully intact, but I have to prepare if something was to happen. And shit happens.
Workwise- my colleagues at W.Capra have been incredibly supportive of my journey, and will step in for me during the two months that I am rolling across the country. I promise to leave my stuff in the best condition before I roll out. I am most appreciative to Doug Rodewald and the partners that have generously provided me with the time to take my sabbatical. A great group of people to work for and to work with –and they drink beer…..a perfect match!
I have assembled the gear that I need for the trip based on the recommended list, added a few other items, removed a few items, added them back, took them out and have obsessed over it for the last 60 days. And I anticipate that I will continue to turn it over in my brain during a few more sleepless nights. My bike needs to be in San Diego the end of February so that the good folks at Bernie’s Bike shop can reassemble her and have her ready for pick up on arrival. I am getting separation anxiety just thinking about it.
Next blog post I will share the story of my first ride and overcoming my terror!
Please feel free to use the comments to ask any questions about the trip that you may have!