17 days yall. Daaaamn.
This trip has already benefited from the monumental support, encouragement, inspiration and generosity of friends and family in a number of ways. Emelio and Alex’s journey last year was a big part of what inspired me to take this on. Traveling to Indianapolis with Lilah helped me realize I needed to do this in the South (yeah, I know Indianapolis isn’t the South- but it’s South-esque [A scene- Woman at the convenience store counter: "you know that's a colored newspaper you're buying, right?" Me: "Uh... what? I mean, I'm cool with it, I read all kinds of news." Woman at the convenience store counter: suspicious gaze following me out the door- true. story.]) Ruthie’s joining on is what helped me stay committed over the last year to doing it. Krissie turned me on to the AMAZING deal on Craigslist that landed me my beautiful bike, with Alex and Renato (of Joy Machines Bike Shop on West 25th Street, open 11am-9pm M-F, 10am-9pm on Saturday, and 12pm-6pm on Sunday or something like that, with great service and gentlemanly mugs if I do say so myself) giving me advice and guidance that gave me the confidence to feel competent enough to make the purchase, and with Janina road-tripping with me out to ERIE, PA to get the bike-that-requires-a-name (no, Emelio and Krissie, I’m naming it neither ‘Joel’ nor ‘Krissie’. Rump Ranger is definitely still in the running though). Matt lent me his tent. My mom and dad don’t think I’m a crazy idiot (and have supported the trip through ample Christmas and Birthday presents besides) and actually support what I’m doing. And of course, as I’ll get into moreso in my next blog post, we’ll be crashing on the couch of many a friend across America. More below the flip, with pics, solicitations for bike trip gear and jokes!
But it is in this blog post that I deign to beg even more favors: the loaning of supplies.
We’ve got a lot of stuff already, both through others’ generosity and our own existing stocks of material possessions. And there’s a good amount that we’ll definitely be buying (not exactly trying to borrow bike shorts. or tools- want those anyway). But all the same, given my not-so-sad state as a recent college grad (slight tangent, check the pics from this post for a goofy blast from THE DAY BEFORE I MOVED TO CLEVELAND!), penny-clutching VISTA just straight chillin’ in the worst economy and job market since the Great Depression, I thought it would behoove us to try and make that social capital work it and put our faith in the kindness and generosity of the human spirit. It’s not like Ruth and Tuyen are exactly Rockefellers up in here either.
So all that being said, and without further ado, here is a list of items that, if you can spare, we would love to borrow and promptly return upon completion of the trip. Or, alternately and as is more likely, if you know of great places for deals on any of these items, PLEASE leave suggestions in the comments!
- Me-sized (that is to say, a goofy/lanky 6’1″), compact sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- Ground sheet
- Handlebar bag
- Panniers (got a lead on some we can borrow, but might could use more, have yet to assess)
- Pocket knife
- Bungee cords
- Up-to-date maps of the following states: Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana
- Small camping stove (probably not gonna try buying this if we can’t borrow one)
So there you have it- if any readers out there could spare some of the supplies above it’d be deeply appreciated. Or, if you know of sweet spots for deals, that would rule too. And with that, I bid you adieu (until the next post!)