Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Planning Resume

I have been back from the KIAA workshop for a while. After re-considering my trip very seriously, I decided that I still need to go --- it's a Journey of a Lifetime.

I searched around the web but could not find a good used touring bike that fits my body. I took my wheel and back-rack to the bike shop and checked the price to rebuild another one. It turned out that, getting a new Trek 520 is cheaper. Therefore, I ordered another one --- the exact same model and size. Now I am very careful about my second bike and take it up to my office every night. And thanks for lorenzo's link, I very often lock my bike with two good U-locks.

More importantly, it's time to plan my journey. The book Bicycling Coast to Coast by Ikenberry recommends a 77-day journey. Adding rain days and rest days, the whole trip should take about three months. As I said at the very beginning, I will only have a 2-month gap between my current and next job. So I will have a very busy schedule.
By some simple rescaling (taking into account the steepness of the routes), I am now able to compress my journey down to a 62-day trip. And I have the hope to meet my friends up in Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone National Parks to do some camping. There is no rain day or rest day. I should find out how to take care unexpected events...

When my family visit three years ago for my graduation in the University of Arizona, we travelled around the American Southwest. I complained that there was no good software solution to plan a road trip. The same situation is still true nowadays. I cannot find a good application or website that will make my planning easier. TripIt is a great service when you have all the tickets and hotel reservations, but it doesn't do bike trip well. My dump solution is to enter all information to Google Spreadsheets. Once all the locations are entered, I will write some simple JavaScripts to convert the location data onto Google maps. Here is a published version of the spreadsheet. I will keep updating it.

There are more complications for my trip. Because I am now under an H1B visa, which will expire as soon as I finish my current position, I will need to fly to Canada and re-enter US on June 30th using my traveller visa. This is totally non-sense but I have to do it in order to be a legal traveller. I am going to ship my bike from Cambridge to Yorktown so I don't need to worry about flying with it and all the camping gears (especially my pocket knife, stove, and gas bottle).

I have booked my tickets for June 30th! It seems things are getting in line.

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