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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

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Places I have been
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How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Australia
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left


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Equipment Pages Index

Introduction
How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Kickstands
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Camping
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Clothing
Bike Touring Shorts

Electrical
Short-wave Radio
Computer
Internet
mp3
Bicycle touring lights

Books
Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures
Shopping


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(see all 3 book)

old alaska

 

July 1 Valdez to Blueberry Lake Campground 28 m (47 km) We packed up rather easy, I guess we have done this a few times. I felt grateful to have the opportunity to stay with my family for two months.  Without their help we would not have finished our second book.  With all the daylight hours in Alaska, (sunset at 11:30 pm and sunrise at 4:00 am) I managed to function with only 5 to 6 hours a night and finish the last bit of work. So when we shoved off we had very little training in our legs and an above average load of food in our panniers.  The first 19 miles were pretty easy, a great tailwind, flat roads, sunshine, and stunning scenery.  Valdez is in a valley with snow covered peaks all around and after 19 miles we had to climb Thompson pass (2,700 feet) that's a lot of climbing for rusty legs.  I have to say it was a painful push up to Blueberry Campground at an elevation of 2,000 feet. It was great to find my brother Ed at the campground with a fire going and ribs on the Bar-b-que.  Yumm.  It was nice not to have to cook.  It was $14 a night to camp in a stunning area with a pit toilet provided, but no shower, bummer.

July 2 Blueberry Lake Campground to Billy Mitchell Rest Area 24 m (40 km). We rode over the pass and to Worthington Glacier. I was disappointed to see that it had shrunk since the last time I was here.  We had a nice 7.5 mile downhill ride but into the wind. After yesterdays hard push when we came to Billy Mitchell rest area we decided to stay.  Boy is it nice to be on the road again. OK the aches and pains are annoying but I know we will limber up quickly.  So far the traffic has been light and the roads well paved and with a large shoulder.  The drivers are polite and give us lots of room.

July 3 BM Rest Area to Tosina River Lodge at 79 mile, 31 m (50 km).  It is nice riding weather cool but sunny, we came across the Tiekel River lodge and stopped in for breakfast, we could have camped there for $5.  The guys in the dinner said that tourism is down 50% but the number of cyclists on the road is up.  We passed numerous pristine streams and the wild flowers are amazing.  I hope to have a full page on them soon.  We arrived at Tosina lodge and camped for free, we paid for a shower at $4. But oh they had free wifi and Tim was very happy about that.

July 4 Tosina River Lodge to Glennallen 36 m (60 km) Cherie and Scott joined us for breakfast and they brought Riley the dog with them.  Breakfast came with free coffee, ketchup, mustard, and Tabasco sauce.  We have a new saying, the US is the land of plenty.  There is free coffee everywhere we go.

Tim was overjoyed to see everyone including Riley, he secretly wishes we could have a dog with us. We had a short steep climb right out of the gate, a guy was walking up the hill and we were riding about the same speed. We stopped at the Wrangell/St. Ellis Mountain National Park headquarters and watched a free movie and looked at all the exhibits.  Nice, I would recommend a visit here.  We had one more climb before Glennallen and I was over heated by the time we hit the top, I guess 82 degrees is hot for us at the moment.  In Glennallen we stayed at the Northern Lights RV park and paid $15 for a site. There was free wifi but we had to pay for the shower, 2 for $5. Oh do we miss the camp kitchens we had in Australia and New Zealand.  We were lucky to get our tent up before a thunderstorm dumped a short hard rain.

July 5 Glennallen to 24 mile Rest Area (36 m, 64 km)  I picked up more food supplies at the grocery store here, the prices are a fair bit cheaper than Valdez, ok it is nice to get some cheap food. The weather is nice at 74 degrees and we have a tailwind.  I have been having a hard time keeping up with Tim, the tailwind makes it difficult so I have taken to riding out front to slow him down a bit.  Even though we have been in the States for a few months now I still get confused at times on which side of the road to ride on.  I still think in kilometers and I am reluctant to go back to miles again, but I have no choice all the distances are in miles. Well we will be riding in Canada soon and they use kilometers.  Measurements like inches I find tedious and when we saw a sign that said rest area 1500 feet, Tim and I were bewildered at how far 1500 feet was.  Yikes we have been away for a long time.  Our rest area came at just the right time, we set the tent up before the afternoon thunderstorm hit. We were not so lucky for dinner, we had to cook dinner in the rain.

July 6 24 mile Rest Area to Midway Point at 61 mile (37 m, 61 km) The morning was foggy but at least it wasn't raining.  We waited a bit to dry our belongings and started down the road again. We are really out there not much human development anywhere.  The smell of the wildflowers are sweet and the spruce fresh.  We look around for animals but we haven't seen anything big yet, just bald eagles and other nesting birds.  It has been warm during the day so I guess everything is hiding from the sun.  The thunderstorms are developing again, we can see them way off near the mountain peaks and they look like they are coming our way.  So we pushed on to Midway.  In the milepost book, Midway advertises free camping so we thought it would be a good place to spend the night.  When we arrived Jay the owner said, why don't you stay in our old school bus, it has bunk beds and a table and chairs. We were thrilled to have some space and unloaded our gear in the bus. Little did we know it was about to rain for the next two days straight.

July 7, 8, 9 Midway Point  It began to rain on Sunday night and didn't stop until Wednesday afternoon. We did take nice showers and did laundry at the store, worked on the stuff on the computer. Jay and Debbie the owners were great hosts.  They are avid hunters and have skins of grizzly bear, black bear, coyote, fox, lynx, and wolf.  They live in an area where wild life outnumbers humans by a long shot. The weather here can get down to 40 below 0, now that is cold.  What an interesting lifestyle, not for me, it is way to cold to ride a bike but they sure enjoy it.

July 10, Midway Point to Tok 63 miles (104 km) The weather finally broke and we are on the road again.  I couldn't think of anything better to do than ride my bike on my 47th birthday, my how time flies when your havin fun. The terrain was rolling and the pass was not too bad.  As we were cruising along we saw a fox laying on the side of the road so we stopped and watched him for a while he was really playful like a dog.  While we were stopped three vehicles went by and they didn't even see the little guy.  I love riding through the spruce trees it smells so fresh. 

We had a great tailwind until we were 10 miles from town and the thunder head over us opened up, we were sucked in and we couldn't pedal out, we had a head wind and rain too.  No use fighting it we just pedaled along, boy can the weather can change fast here.

July 11 Tok. We stayed at the Salmon Bake Campground and spent our time at Fast Eddies Restaurant. All you can drink coffee, haven't had that in a long time, well I have to admit I drank a little too much of the stuff.

We finally made the announcement that our book is finished.  It still hasn't sunk in yet but oh what a relief.  Now I can concentrate on my journal and ride, ride ride.

July 12 Tok to Lakeview Campground 90 km. With a tailwind and rolling hills it started out as a pleasant ride and then around noon the thunderhead built up again and to add to the misery we hit our first construction zone.  It started raining when when we put our bikes in the Pilot car and it rained the entire time we sat in the back of the pick up truck. Yuck! wet, cold, and windy, we waited for the rain to let up and started off again. Along the way we met up with a Dutch couple touring from Anchorage to Seattle, we are heading in the same direction. Another construction zone and another ride in a Pilot car and the rhythm of road was broken.

We finally arrived at Lakeview Campground, at first it was the Dutch couple and us.  The campground is on a beautiful lake, has toilet with hand sanitizer even!, a fire pit, and tables too.  The price was right too, no fee.

In the middle of the night I got up for my usual evening trip to the bathroom. When I was just about asleep I heard someone walking around outside our tent. so I unzipped the door and took a peak outside and my heart skipped a beat, it was bear and he was 100 feet from our tent.  My first thought was thank god we don't have any food in our tent, my second thought was wake up Tim.  The first time I shook him and gently said, Tim there is a bear outside our tent, he just laid there, then I saw his entire body levitate off the ground when I said again, "Tim there is a bear outside our tent", and he sprung into action. Ok he quietly got up, grabbed the camera and bear spray (pepper spray specifically designed for bears) and looked out the tent door and by that time the bear was gone. whew! The nice thing about Tim is that he doesn't panic, something he has been trying to teach me forever. Needless to say it took a little while to get back to sleep. The moral of the story, don't keep any food in the tent and most likely the bear will just walk by.

July 13 Lakeview Campground to Beaver Creek, Canada 90 km. We cleaned the bikes up a bit today because they were caked in mud, we will probably see more mud but Tim likes to keep the chains clean, one thing we learned from being on the road so long is that components wear down and the better we take care of them the longer they last.

It was hillier than we expected today and we were slower than we liked, we pulled into the Teltlin Wildlife refuse visitor center and took a long break, the Dutch couple were already there and we enjoyed lunch together. The weather looked like rain again, great. We pushed on into no man's land between the US and Canada border.  We were cruising down the gravel road at a good speed when Tim's back tire went flat.  There was barely anyplace to pull over and change a tire.  On the bright side when we got Tim's bike all put together we noticed a moose in a pond not too far from us.

On the road again I pedaled up to the top of the hill and shifted into a higher gear and snap my shifter cable broke. The first time ever for me and the cables were replaced in New Zealand, so it only had 6000 km on it. So I only had my front chain rings and had to pedal slowly on the flats. We had 25 km left and it seemed like eternity until the Canadian border. On the bright side, we missed the torrential downpour that occurred at the border before we got there.

We rolled into Beaver Creek happy to get a camp site.

 

Yukon, Canada

July 14 Beaver Creek to Snag Junction Campground 22 km. We had a lot of bike work to do this morning and it kept us from getting on the road early again, that was probably a good thing because an hour and a half after we left Beaver Creek the skies opened up again.

We were in luck, we were near Snag Junction Campground and it even had a cooking shelter that we made use of.  We met a group of Germans and we had a huge gathering for dinner.  It sure beat being on the side of the road.

 

July 15 Snag Junction to Km 1916 100 km.   The morning was sunny and the wind was behind us.  We were cruising along when out of the corner of my eye I saw movement.  I looked over and saw a momma grizzly bear and her two cubs. She was across the road and up a rock slope, the cubs were eating berries from the bushes.  Momma didn't see us stopped on the road but I did notice when she smelled us.  She put her nose in the air and stared right at us.  The cubs ignored us and traveled on so momma was not too concerned with us either, Tim caught some great footage on the camera and it will be showing up on his new Alaska and Canada video.  Now that the book is done he has time for video again.

I can't say I wasn't a little scared but we kept our distance and everything worked out just fine.

July 16 Km 1916 to Destruction Bay 73 km. We expected the Alcan to be really busy this time of year but traffic is light and some places have told us that tourism is down 80%. Well we saw the reaction to this and the high gas prices today.  We passed three no maybe four places that were closed.  We later learned the lack of tourism and the price of diesel put quite a few businesses under.  It wasn't just he lone RV park either, it was the entire Kluane Wilderness Village.

We rode on to Burwash Landing and had lunch, it was a little disheartening when the waitress didn't give me the proper change.  For some reason the place just didn't feel right so we slogged on in the head wind to Destruction Bay. The RV Park wanted to charge 10 dollars per person for a piece of ground covered in gravel and in the wind. We decided to look around and found Talbot Arm Motel, where we could dry camp for free behind the hotel. The people were nice and very accommodating, we decided to stay the night and spent our money here.

July 17.  The wind was gale force again so we decided to take a day off the road and catch up on laundry and computer work. There is free wireless here, it is great to be in North America where the grizzly, moose and wireless run free.

See index of all (several years) Cindie's Journals here

 

 

 

 

 
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Injustice of Poverty

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