It’s getting real.
Holy shit. It’s getting real. I’m spending money to make this happen.
It’s now in stone. I’m officially starting my ride on September 1, 2015.
Ironically, I’m not even going to use the very expensive bicycle that has yet to built (as of 1/31/15.) No sir. I’ll be renting one that day . . . in Honolulu.
The upcoming trip to Alaska accomplishes the two-fer task of (1) my personal “one small step for a freezing man; one giant leap for hungry bears” and (2) checking Alaska off my biking 20 miles within the state.
I had planned on officially starting my trip east from Los Angeles. (Easy trip out to the Pacific to dip my rear wheel. Then over the mountains to the Grand Canyon. Due east from there to Albuquerque to gawk at the Breaking Bad filming sites.)
Got to thinking. Why not launch westward from Los Angeles and get that other state you can’t drive to.
Now, technically, I have ridden a bicycle more than 20 miles in Hawaii. But not according to my “rules.”
Around 2001 I was at the Haleakala volcano in Maui. Local bicycle touring company would haul you to the top of the volcano before sunrise. This was so you could simultaneously (1) freeze your ass off and (2) watch one of the most spectacular sunrises in your entire life. The volcano casts a shadow that covers the entire island. Absolutely beautiful.
After the sunrise, they would toss a virgin into the volcano, signaling gravity to suck you and your bicycle off for the next 20 odd miles.
Priceline.com claims to have saved me $250 on an airline ticket from LAX to Honolulu. Based on some quotes through Kayak, I’d be hard pressed to disagree with them.
Now I just have to get to LAX. I strongly considered taking Amtrak. 2 days of riding from Cleveland to Union Station in Los Angeles. A little less expensive than flying and I’d get to take the bicycle with me. Train advantage: Hop off the train, dip the rear wheel of the bike in the Pacific, and here I come, Atlantic!
Throwing Hawaii into the mix makes taking the train a tad more complicated, though. I don’t want to fly the bike out to Hawaii only to have to fly it back a couple of days later. In 2014 Delta was charging $150 per leg for a bicycle. That’s approaching what I paid for my ticket. It makes sense to leave the bicycle somewhere in Los Angeles while I fly off to Honolulu.
Flying from Columbus to LAX might be the smarter way to go. Before I go, I’ll just ship my bicycle to a local bicycle shop. Have it arrive a day or so before I get back from Hawaii. Head over there, pick up the bike, and get headed westward. Flights are about as expensive as that two day Amtrak ticket.
The disadvantage to flying to LAX and then on to Hawaii is my bicycle panniers. Those I could take with me on the train . . . but I can’t fly with them. That means I’d have to ship them with the bicycle. Now I’m suddenly out of clothes for the trip to Hawaii. I suppose I could buy a $20 pair of jeans, a cheap T-shirt, a couple of pair of underwear, and tote a pair of bicycling shorts with me.
Of course, heading to Hawaii adds a couple days of hotels I wasn’t remotely planning on. That’s when I got to thinking about Warm Showers. I checked. There’s 19 members of Warm Showers who live in Honolulu. I might be able to crib a spot on the floor at someone’s house for a couple of days.