hi everyone, its been a while since i posted here.
as you all know by now, i bought a bicycle. i am intending to ride to spain on it, from hong kong
. i am researching my route, and getting ready for the tirp. yes, it is a cannondale mountain bike with 26 inch wheels and tires. (not trying to sound like a know it all) but i have put more than 10k-15k on road bikes in my life, and have ridden and raced mountain bikes off and on since i was 12. i even made it up to category 2 road racing
at one point. i know that a road bike is nearly twice as fast as a mountain bike, but from what i have been told, most bike shops or local supplies in asia can only support 26 inch wheels. after what happened on my boat, im trying to think "ok, i dont care if it is slower, but i dont want there to be anything that could literally stop me dead in my tracks like the whole rudder
problem did" it personally boiled down parts support, and in my mind, the strength of a proper 26 inch mountain bike wheel
. with the weight of panniers and gear, the stresses on wheel and hub are going to be immense, so I chose the 26er. also, i think a mountain bike will be far stronger in the long run and much more versatile. also, road bikes and touring bikes have drop bars. wide riser mtb bars with bar ends just seems much more comfortable and upright to me. another thing was that no touring bikes were locally available at all, and any decent road bikes were very expensive. the only bike i could find in my price
range that seemed to be really decent was the 'Dale. I went to the 3 biggest bike shops in Hong Kong, and looked at craigslist and all of the classifieds. on my third trip to Flying Ball Bicycle Company (by far the largest shop here) I landed myself on the Cannondale. Also, with panniers and gear, I don't think the extra 10 lbs of heft that the mtb carries will be of huge consequence. either way, ive made my choice, as i felt the bike i bought represented the best value for dollar and was the most practical, feasible option after looking at everything that was locally available in my price
i have bought a rack for it, ordered panniers offline, purchased more gear and cycling stuff, spare derailleur hangers, etc. the bike is REALLY stout. shimano hubs/ dt swiss spokes/ mavic rims, so the wheels make me feel really good. its not light by any means, but the frame and forks feel really sturdy, and the drivetrain and brakes feel awesome. i have purchased Continental touring tires for it that are a bit wide, but almost smooth in the middle with little knobs on the side. they should be very versatile and puncture resistant. they should last the entire trip from what i have read, but if not, im sure ill be able to pick up more tires along the way at some point.
i went sailing this weekend!! it was my first time sailing since my little incident in the north pacific
last month, and i had a blast. i learned a lot from the whole experience. read my latest blog if you want all of the details, as it's very long and i think a pretty good read. i raced 2 short races on saturday and a 3 hour race on sunday. i met and raced with some VERY good sailors, and could not be happier with the experience. i plan to race and crew on boats for the rest of my weekends here. i think next sunday im crewing
on a 52 foot race boat in the "Around Hong Kong Island" race, which is, i believe around 50km or 30 miles. the top thing i took away from this weekend, though, was that i learned that i really am a sailor, and always will be until i die or am no longer physically able. i know thats a bold statement, but i was deeply touched by sailing again. i had become kind of disenfranchised on sailing in a way because i was (deep down) really devastated still, with the way i lost
my boat. this weekend washed my soul of that, and i could not be happier right now. the people i met, the sailing, the racing
, being on the water
, the whole experience was a big a high point for me. like i said, if you want to read about it, my blog for today is a good read, i think. some guys i met are going to get me in touch with guys in turkey
, and in the med, so that i can hopefully crew and race on some boats while im passing through on a bicycle.
a lot of people on here are throwing out good analyses and advice, which i really appreciate. the plan for me, at least right now, is to try to get to spain by july. i think six months is entirely doable. i may be hopping on a 70 foot 'round the world cruiser leaving denmark
in august, but if that does not pan out, i think spain is a good place to race and crew until i can find a boat to leave on. should be a good jumping off point, anyways. my ultimate ambition in life right now is to still sail around the world. when i get back to san diego
, and all of this is over, i am going to try to turn these experienes into enough money
for another cruising boat, to once again set out from san diego
to go around the world. that is my plan. that is my goal. just putting that out there. (everyone said i should crew and race on other boats before leaving on my own, looks like that might happen after all...) thank you to everyone who has supported me, and thank you to everyone who has proclaimed me a dumbass. someone said that no one should apologize for inserting a dose of reality into my plans. they're right. if people on here were harsh, it was only tough love in my opinion. its all water
under the bridge. i am just trying to move forward, and go around the world. i am truly enjoying my experience, and have learned a great deal, in only a month and a half since leaving S.D.
talk to you guys again soon.
there will be 47 pictures from sailing this weekend on my site, very soon.