Monday, October 27, 2014

Adventure - Prologue

Niece Debbie was getting married in Virginia.  States are small and close together on the East Coast.  Maybe I could take my bike, and ride some multistate permanents...

The original plan was to ride something in the DC area, then get myself up to NJ, visit with family, and get in a ride or two.  I didn't want to fly.  Living out here in bicycle hippieland, I am used to handing my unboxed bike up to the Amtrak baggage car, and retrieving it at my destination.  Not so there - yes, there are trains.  They don't have baggage service.  Not for suitcases, and certainly not for bicycles.

Well.  OK.  Maybe I could ride the bike?  Looking at routes, the Susquehanna River was a challenging boundary - no allowed or safe crossings for bicycles unless one goes far inland.  Maybe I could take the Lewes-Cape May ferry?  No bicycles allowed on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, either.  Further investigation revealed that there did exist a drive-over service.  Rummaging around the NJ Tourism web site yielded a bike route (mostly) along the Jersey Shore.  I could ride up past my grandparents' former homes, then head inland to family.

So I collected lists of multistate perms and perm pops.  Made plane reservations.  Sent emails.  Arranged with an uncle to carry my bike case from Virginia to his home in Freehold.  Tested carrying enough stuff on a PDX-Eugene perm.

That only worked if I didn't carry any raingear and a few other small things.  New Bike Luggage indicated.  I bought the Banjo Brothers Pannier Rack bag.  Compact panniers when I wanted them, and they'd zip up into side pockets when I didn't.  One of the many racks I had would work with the bag, if I extended the deck with a piece of coroplast.

Bag installed, panniers deployed

I settled on the route and registered with all the route owners.  I had ride companions lined up for the two out and back rides.

Printed out all the cue sheets and two of the three perm cards.

Cue sheets, perm cards, and envelopes for the adventure

I also located motels along the way, and made reservations.

Logistics for the first perm pop were tricky.  We were staying out by Vienna, VA.  The perm pop started in Alexandria, which is a bit of a drive, and not one anyone wants to make in the morning, when the entire DC area is trying to get to work.  We swapped our last night to a hotel in Alexandria.  I'd hand off all the stuff going to NJ the morning after the wedding, and send my husband home with the few bits of clothes the morning after that.  Kind of like a rocket shedding its boosters.

Then I went to pack the bike...  There is a reason I do this a couple days in advance, truly.  The rack didn't fit.  Not in the bike case.  Not in my duffel.  I had ordered a packable rack, in silver, from France. It was backordered, and not yet available.  I was going to have to cave and buy the BLACK one.  Duly ordered, with next day pickup at Western Bike Works.  Had a great visit with James during the pickup. Did a little preassembly on the rack, and packed it in the duffel.

And away we go...

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