This summer I'll be retracing the last 3 weeks of the Coast to Coast ride in 2002. I had a fantastic time in 2002 and expect the same this year as well. Below are daily collections of my experiences with photos. Hope you enjoy reading the blog. - Brian Cox

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Trip Begins...

I'm sitting at the airport (LAX), boarding will be in 55 minutes. The preparations for the trip are now complete and my bags and bike needs to meet me in Grand Rapid Michigan at midnight tonight.

Since the first of the year, I've put in over 2000 miles on the bike. About 40 % of the miles have be done while commuting to work, about 10 miles each way and the remaining miles have been weekend rides. I guess I could have trained harder, but I expect that it will all work out in the end.

The two weeks prior to my departure became a bit crazy. My refrigerator had unexpectantly stopped working, it must have been more that 25 years old, so I guess it's time had come. Many hours then were spent researching different styles, manufactures and dealers. Being an engineer, it wasn't until I had created a spreadsheet comparing efficiency, volume and price did I make up my mind. When I went to purchase it, told me that it was out of stock. So for the last week I've been without a frig, but don't worry, they should have it stock by the time I get home from this trip.

I also pulled out my camping equipment, this trip we'll be staying in tents. I decided that my 10 year old tent needed to be replaced as well as the sleeping mat. If you ever have been to REI, you know that it's impossible to not come out with more equipment that you had planned on buying.

Two days ago, I started to assemble everything I needed in one place just so I could figure out what else was worn out or missing. I took my last ride yesterday with the Rideon Cycling group just to get some last miles before the trip. Then it was time take the bike apart and pack in the cardboard box. One or two more errands needed to be run, plus a couple of loads of laundry needed to be done. But by late evening I was pretty much done packing, except for some minor items that could left to the morning.

There is always a bit of tension before a trip like this. I find it difficult to relax until the aircraft doors finally close. After that happens, if you forgot something or made some kind of error, there is nothing that can be done about it. Long as you have your credit card, all can be fixed.

My plane flies to Dallas then I get a connecting flight to Grand Rapids, Michigan, arriving about midnight. Cycle America (the tour company) picks me up at the Comfort Inn at 1:30 tomorrow afternoon and drives me and the rest of the weekly riders to the ride start in Luddington Michigan. Ride check-in, dinner and ride briefing will follow.

The plane boarding:

I was just standing by the window as saw them load my bike into the plane. I just hope that the bike makes the transfer in Dallas with me. It would be a bummer to get to the start of the ride and not have a bike to ride.

I just can't wait to start the ride Monday.


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