The Oregon Coast: 1079km

“We travel not to escape life. But for life not to escape us.”

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“We’ll you aren’t some big huge hunky girl!” No, not really. At five-foot-two and a hundred-and-ten pounds that is not quite how most people describe me. Apparently though, when my friend’s gramma was picturing me after he explained my trip to her, that is what she came up with. One of the reasons I am so glad to be doing this trip now, as a young (small) solo female, is because I am breaking just about every stereotype for someone biking around the world. I want to show the world that anyone can do it. Plus, I am starting to enjoy the shocked look most people get when I tell them where I am headed.

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The Washington Rainforest: 260km

“Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work.”

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I have learned, after three days of waking up with a wet sleeping bag, that I really do need to start using my rain fly at night since there is so much morning dew. I have learned that it’s not the highways, but going through towns that are the scariest. I have learned to eat, drink, check the map, and ride at the same time, and I have learned that I will eat absolutely everything, even half-cooked plain noodles in lukewarm water. First and foremost though, I have learned that people are so incredibly great, especially to us bikers.

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Two Cameras, 27kg of Gear, and 2,000 Podcasts

“The journey itself is my home.”

My apartment is no longer mine, my cat has found a new home, and my bike is packed with 27kg of gear and clothes (36kg counting food for a week and five liters of water). I have everything needed to camp (tent, sleeping pad, water filter, stove), to survive the Himalayas in the winter (warm sleeping bag, long underwear, down jacket, hiking boots), and to repair my bike (extra chain, cables, brake pads, and tools). I even have a dress, skirt, and earrings, so I can feel like a normal gal every once in a while, as well as running shoes (barefoot toe shoes, very light), a book to read, and some pj’s to change into at night. More importantly I have an iPod with two thousand podcasts to listen to as I ride, and two cameras to capture a small portion of the life I am about to begin.

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The Start of a Lifestyle

“Cycling does it all — you have the complete satisfaction of arriving because your mind has chosen the path and steered you over it; your eyes have seen it; your muscles have felt it; your breathing, circulatory and digestive systems have all done their natural functions better than ever, and every part of your being knows you have traveled and arrived.”

Who knows which countries lie ahead of me, how many kilometers my bike will endure in the coming years, and what amazing experiences are just waiting to happen. What I do know, is that July second I will be dropped off in Washington with my bike, camping gear, and clothes for every climate ranging from California in August, to winter in the Himalayas. For someone who has never bike-toured (and rarely does more than the required five or six miles a day it takes to work and back) just making it the 3,000km to the Mexican border should be more than enough. On the other hand, why not just make that the warm up, and plan a three year bike trip around the world from there?

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