We are still here

Posted by mobile phone:
Ben: We begin the second day wiser than the first. Yesterday we did not get started until around 5:30pm and did not make it out of SF until 6:45pm. We were not quite sure how to get out of the city, but we met a guy who also had a bike on the train who showed us the fastest way out. Once we made it to the coast, the views were amazing! However, it is much colder than we had anticipated, and we are glad we bought warm clothes at the REI before we headed out.
Nightfall found us miles away from our campsite, and the beach we went to had “No camping” signs posted, which were vigorously pointed out to us by the crazy, toothless bum who had claimed the beach as his own. Biking in the dark on these roads is a suicide quest, so we pulled in to the only hotel around, the Fallarone Bed and Breakfast.
The blog is not working as planned, so look at the photos on the photos page, or go to flickr and look up user “hannaimage”.

Jason: As you see yesterday was nerve racking to say the least, but we have made it to coast of California and it is awesome. I tried to post a song of the day yesterday, “Bicycle Race” by Queen, because after one plane, three trains, two hours at REI, and another trian, I just wanted wanted to ride my bike.
Todays song: As I wake in this very pleasant but slightly tacky Indian hotel overlooking the ocean, preparing for a curry infused, continental breakfast before a sixty mile bike ride, I’m thinking “Once in a Lifetime” by Talking Heads.

Gone for good…

Last day at work with Bluezoom, and I am going to miss it. Come to think about it, it is my last day at work for what could be a very long time. Jason and I head out tomorrow morning, I am going to Atlanta, and he is going home to Knoxville for the weekend, and meeting me in Atlanta on Sunday night. Monday morning will see us fly to California. We have not started packing yet, but that is our plan for the rest of today, and the rest of the weekend.
I hope I got everything working for this blog so that people can follow me while I am gone. I got a GPS for my phone that will allow people to see where I am in real time, and allow me to upload photos, videos and such with location tags. If you want to follow my progress, choose the tab at the top.

I probably wont have time to post again until I am in the airport, but will give a complete update at that time. Elon, I’m outta here.

The first overnight trip with the bike

Originally uploaded by hannaimage

I got home from work today after getting my 2nd shot of Japanese Encephalitis vaccine and realized that I eally did not want to hang around Elon for another Friday night.Since Jason is still out of town, it is a little awkward being the only kid who graduated but is still around.

I decided to put my bike through its paces. I packed a PB&J sandwich, a banana and some water into my hiking pack and headed off to Cedar rock park, about 13 mile away.

I learned a few things so far.
1. Don’t bike with a hiking pack on. It sucks.
2. I am going to die in California.
3. This is the most fun I have had in a while.

I’m going to go read Bill Bryson’s “The Lost Continent” in my tent now. More about the ride back tomorrow.

Focus Shift

Now that the basic medical necessities for traveling abroad have been taken care of, it is time to shift my focus to the bike trip that is rapidly approaching. On August 13th, my roommate Jason and I will be flying to San Francisco to bike the Southern California Coast. We are going to take two weeks and attempt the lofty goal of Tijuana. However, neither of us are in excellent biking shape, so this may be a bit of a stretch. We aren’t to worried. However far we get, we get. When we hit a certain date, we are jumping on a greyhound bus back up the coast. He will be headed back to San Francisco for his flight home, and I will be headed to Reno, NV, to try to hitchhike to Burningman.

Jason has purchased a Bianchi bike for the trip and I have purchased a 2006 Jamis Quest. So far, I am extremely happy with it. It weighs under 20lbs, has carbon fiber forks, and was half price. Yesterday I went to my favorite store, REI, and got clip-in shoes. I set them up, clipped in once or twice while holding on to a door, then promptly fell over. I’ll get better, but it needs to happen fast. Fall over on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) and it could mean you aren’t coming home. 06 Jamis Quest


I am now a World Nomad. Or so my insurance policy by a company of that name says. It was what I think is a decent deal, $240 for six months of travelers insurance. It covers loss of property, medical bills, evacuation, and trip cancellation costs among many other things.
Lonely Planet Guidebooks
donated $11.82 to build a school somewhere because I signed up through them. Cool. At least I don’t have to worry about getting stuck in a Cambodian hospital anymore.



Cool security gadget

PacSafe anti theft mesh

I guess you can call it a gadget, or a tool, but whatever it is, I am getting one of these to keep everything I own mine. This mesh keeps people from slashing your bag open while you are distracted and in crowds. (A common way of stealing your stuff) It also allows me to lock my bag to something secure, like the underside of my bed, and wander for a while. I will probably keep the mesh around my gear on the inside of my bag however, as to not advertise that I am carrying stuff worth stealing.

Cheap travel is a lie

Sure, it may be possible to travel on a low budget in Southeast Asia, but first you have to prepare. And that is expensive. Immunizations, while not required, are pretty much standard. I’m running at about $1000 so far, (and insurance will not pay for the shots… think they will pay if I actually get Japanese Encephalitis and my brain swells up out of my head?) Still have to get typhoid fever and malaria pills. The malaria pills I have to take once a day, for the whole time I am over there. I am pretty sure that insurance will cover all of the pills except for my co-pay, which will only be bad because I have to buy a years worth of pills at once. (No reliable way to get them in Cambodia…)

I also have to get travelers insurance, and the right equipment for the trip.

It is Official

It is now official. The flight has been booked, leaving October 16th to Houston, then from Houston to Seoul, Korea for two weeks before the final hop to Bangkok. I thought I might mess around there for a while before really beginning my trip. The extended layover didn’t cost anymore, so really, why not? Maybe I can get a jump on teaching English there for a while if I get tired of traveling (or more likely, go broke).

I went ahead and booked a return flight six months out which I can cancel or move at anytime for $50.

More later.

First Post of the New Blog

Just revamped the blog, getting it ready for when I travel.

I have set it up so i can blog from my phone, or by email, and the geo mashup page will track my location via Google, so you can see where I am at any given time. Check it out.
I also put a Flickr feed in that will update to my most recent pictures once i am on the road.

If something seems to go wrong, please let me know by leaving a comment.
Hopefully this will allow people to stay up to date with my progress.