West Coast Prologue

It’s Saturday night, May 30, tomorrow I leave for San Diego to start my West Coast Adventure. I’ll land about noon, retrieve my bike from baggage claim, hopefully, meet my daughter, hopefully, and spend the afternoon putting my bike back together.

My first challenge of the trip was to disassemble my bike and squeeze it into a standard bike box used for shipping new bikes to my local bike shop (Tonka Cycle and Ski). I’m planning to check it as oversized luggage on my flight.

This is the first stage of take-it-apart.


What I soon realized was that the box was too small. I’m riding a Novaro Safari, an REI bike purpose built for touring. It has strange, butterfly handlebars, study wheels, Reynolds 520 steel tubing and comes with a durable rear rack. As such, it is no lightweight (30-plus pounds) and it has a very long wheelbase. Here it is in front of the (too small) box.


I’ve added fenders, disc brakes a frame bag and I’ll be equipping it with a top tube bag and a handlebar bag, along with lights, computer and… a dingy bell. No kitchen sink. Total bike and gear weight will be over 60 pounds.

So, back to my problem. I went to the bike shop for a bigger box, still too small. Okay, New plan… cut the end off of one box and tape it onto the other, a Frankenbox. This will work, if it doesn’t burst apart spontaneously. A little help from my neighbor to tape the seams and everything fits. Whew!

The Frankenbox. Sorry baggage guy.


All my other crap is stuffed into my panniers and handlebar bag which will be my carry-on luggage.

The plan is to meet up with my son and two of his friends Monday and start riding north on Tuesday. To make the ride a pure border-to-border tour, I plan to ride south to the Mexico border either Monday or Tuesday, depending upon the boys’ desire.

I know what you’re thinking, besides how nuts I must be. The ride is around 1800 miles and we should be in Seattle by July 10, latest. You can do the math to figure the average miles per day.

I’m really excited to finally get started, I’ve wanted to do an epic bicycle tour all my life and the opportunity is now.

I’ll try to post daily updates as time and internet connectivity allow. Wish me luck!


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