The Journey

The Countdown begins…

Hello Everyone!

With only 16 days left until I fly to Anchorage, I’m gathering the little necessities I may or may not need. Items such as a spare chain, spare brake pads and spare tire tubes for my bike and trailer. One of my concerns when I’m traveling any distance, is a flat tire. A flat will create a delay at the absolute worst time. To avoid a flat as much as possible, I ordered new road tires with a tread pattern that will offer traction and be long lasting. Having 29″ tires, the selection isn’t very large these days, but I did come upon a promising set of Surly Extraterrestrials. We’ll see how they do as the miles roll by.


Another product I will be adding to both my bike and my trailer (to hopefully prevent flats) will be tire liners. These are thin plastic pieces that go between the tires and the tubes. I’ll take pics while installing the tires.

Other items were delivered recently, such as lights for the front and back of my bike, a mirror that attaches to my helmet and the rear sprocket set that I made reference to in my last entry.

Today was a great day for other trip details to fall into place. I made a few calls and found something of little value, but critical for the trip to occur… an empty bike box! Ryan at Bicycle Warehouse in Temecula had one available and put it aside for me. Great customer service there!

Few people ever read the complete luggage section on airline websites, but airlines do allow bicycles to be transported as sporting goods as long as they are boxed.  I will have to remove my tires and handlebars, as well as lower the seat post and partially deflate the tires. Then, I’m going to duct tape that box so nothing gets out!

Another correspondence today was a phone call from my favorite daughter’s boyfriend’s dad’s sister! Did you get that? lol. Maureen called me from Anchorage after talking with her brother Mark who told her of my adventure. She offered a room in her home for me to get a good night’s sleep, put my bike together and begin my journey. Having lived in Alaska for 27 years, I’m sure she’ll have much knowledge to share with me. How wonderful is that? Thank you Trina, Garrit, Mark and Maureen!

Another thank you goes out to my brother Greg who will be driving me to the Long Beach airport. Of course we’ll have to stop at Jim’s Burgers in Pico Rivera for a world famous pastrami sandwich!


This journey is going to be Amazing! images (4)

Power Hungry

Good Morning Everyone!

As you all know, technology can be an amazing contribution to our lives and at the same time, be a royal pain in the ass. Although I will be on my bicycle for a long period of time, I will not be completely off the grid. My electronic devices will keep me plugged it. I gathered all of the items I will be taking me on my journey and photographed everything, everything except for my phone which was needed to take the photo.


I enjoy the functions of all of these luxuries, but I will not have the luxury of plugging them into to cigarette lighter of a vehicle or into the wall of a building. Fortunately, technology includes power packs and solar chargers, all using USB cords. Let me give you a quick run down of the items that will be traveling with me…

My Nikon D5200 camera speaks for itself. Along with my camera comes 2 extra battery packs, 2 extra memory cards, a 110/12 volt battery charger and a telephoto lens (not in photo).


Also along for the ride is a Samsung Notepad which is approximately 5″x 8.5″ and a bluetooth keyboard of the same size to make typing easier. Both have permanent batteries, but can be charged with 110 volts or 12 volts. They are much easier to travel with than a laptop when size and weight are important.


Next on the list is my Ipod. Yes, this Ipod Mini is an antique, but I’ve kept it for the very good reason that I found an Ijet remote control setup that only works with this model. The reason is, the headphone socket is on the top of the Mini rather than next to the charging port as newer models are. The Ijet is a wonderful tool for my out of the ordinary modes of transportation. I’ve used this on motorcycle adventures and long bike rides. Having the remote velcro’d onto the handlebars allows me to not be “wired” to my vehicle. The Ipod can be in my jacket pocket with headphones plugged in and yet I am able to control play, pause, volume, previous and next song. It’s a wonderful toy!


As I mentioned, all of the above items need power. When the batteries die and you are in the middle of nowhere, that can be a problem. Battery packs are saviors in situations like that. I think I will only need these two small ones for this adventure. Both will recharge my phone, notepad, keyboard and Ipod.


Having battery packs is great, but even they need power. Fortunately, solar power has come a long way in size reduction / power capability. These two units will be strategically placed to be able to recharge themselves, the battery packs and/or my phone, notepad, keyboard and Ipod directly. They both have their own power storage as well, so all in all, I will have 4 battery packs available. The larger one at the top of the pic below is also a flashlight and has a hand crank on the side to be able to use the light at night.

Well, that sums up my need for power. Theoretically, this setup should suffice but the testing ground will be on the road between Anchorage, Alaska and Cabo San Lucas Mexico! Viva la power!

If you have not read my home page yet, explaining how and why I’m riding my bicycle thousands of miles, go to:

Have a Great Day!


Rubber to Road

Hello All!

As I previously mentioned, I really don’t want to get any flat tires on my journey, so I took as many precautions as possible… other than installing hard solid rubber tires. Somehow that doesn’t seem like a comfortable option. As far as my little trailer, I installed a tire liner that creates a barrier between the tire and tube. I also added a Slime filled self-sealing tube. Considering the length of the liner which went around the inside of the tire twice, I think it’s going to take a bullet to put a hole in that tire!


My bike has been fitted with new road tires along with tire liners. Quite a makeover from mountain bike tires.


One of the other important factors of bike touring is storage. Wearing a backpack can put a lot of pressure on your lower back as well as make you feel hot and sweat more. Since I’ve began preparing, I’ve found various bags that mount on different areas of my bike.


The top left photo is an under seat bag which contains tools, a tube patch kit and extra tubes. Behind that is a collapsible bag which has a plastic liner and can double as a small ice chest for emergency cold beers. The top right photo shows the red frame bag which will hold a water bladder usually found in a backpack to sip water from. There is more room for who knows what. Below that photo is the handlebar bag with one large area and two smaller side pockets. I’m not sure what I’ll put in there, but most likely it will be items that I’ll want conveniently located. The lower left photo is a small saddle bag which has a to area for a phone or Ipod and two side pockets for my phone and snacks.

As I finish gathering everything I’ll need for my adventure, I know I’ll have to eliminate some items already. I have a bad habit of taking more than I really need on trips, but considering I’ll have to pull the weight while I pedal, less is more.

A couple of recent purchases will be extremely important for this particular journey… a water purification kit and bear spray! I did some research on water purification kits but found it to be easier to ask my brother Greg who has one and uses it as often as he can. The bear spray… well, that’s a necessity when camping in the middle of nowhere in Alaska. Hopefully I won’t have to use it, but if I do he’s going to get both barrels!

Thank you for following along as I prepare for this adventure. I do like to be as prepared as possible, although I know life is full of surprises and those are what memories are made of! One week until take off! Hopefully I get some free peanuts on the plane!





Last Call

Good Morning All!

Today was my last test ride. I had to make sure the gears were shifting smoothly with the new gear cartridge installed, make sure the tires were round and pressured correctly, and pull my little trailer up the steep hill I’ve been testing on. As the coming week approaches, I’ll be disassembling my bike and stuffing the parts in a box, as well as putting the trailer and gear in another large box. I have the baggage size requirements available, so I’ll be modifying box sizes to keep everyone happy.

The first thing I discovered this morning was the chain was too short for the new larger rear gears. I had to add 4 links to the chain to compensate and then adjust the derailer to make sure the shifting was precise. The new gears felt good as I pedaled up the hill, but then again, my trailer was empty. I’ve come to accept there may be hill or two on my journey that I will have to walk my bike up because of the incline, but I’m ok with that. I’m not out to conquer the world. I’ll be off to explore it and overcome the challenges that come my way.


The tires felt good being larger than the original tires on my bike, but the rear tire was rubbing on the frame a little, so I’m going to have to get out my Dremmel to make some custom adjustments to the axle mounting area. MacGyverism at it’s finest!

Another item being tested today was my foot gear. I’ve heard and read that socks and shoes are good for a while, but as our bodies heat up, so do our feet. This will result in sweaty, aching feet which can cause Athlete’s Foot. Avoiding that and the fragrant smell of well worn socks at the end of the day in a small tent sounds like a good idea to me. My friend Lee, who was one of the cyclists I met in Mulege, Mexico recommended closed toe sandals to avoid these issues, so today was the day to test a pair I selected. Having always ridden bikes with shoes and socks, today’s ride was different and very nice. No hot sweaty feet… no aromatic socks at the end of the ride. I look forward to many miles of pedaling ahead and interesting tan lines with these comfortable sandals.


Yesterday, I gathered almost all of the items I’ve been putting aside for this adventure – something I’ve been dreading. I already knew that I would have to start eliminating things that weren’t important enough to occupy the room and weight necessary. One thing that didn’t make the cut was my gold pan kit… but I’m still thinking about taking it. It could double as a wash basin and/or a salad bowl!


Today I’ll finish selecting the “Survival of the Fittest” items and attempt to fit everything somewhere on my bike and trailer. This minimalism traveling sure does make me think about what is and what isn’t important enough to take with me. I have to keep reminding myself that water and a little food will be accompanying me as well.

My son Jonathon told me that he discussed my trip with some of his friends, and the one question he heard a few times was, “Why?” The funny thing is, that is my favorite question! Why? Why? Why? Well… I’m fortunate enough to have a window of time in my life in which I believe I am healthy enough to do this, my kids are off on their own, it’s too damn hot to do anything in Southern California right now, my ex-wife and daughter-in-law thinks I’m a little crazy anyway and so my grandsons Parker and Grayson will have something to tell their friends about when they get older. I’ve always said, “Life’s an Adventure and I want my money’s worth!” so off I will roll with my Guardian Angels watching over me and my Tibetan Prayer Flags attached to the trailer’s flag pole blowing in the wind behind me.


Thank you for following my journey! I look forward to sharing this with you, however crazy it seems! 🙂





Hospital Fat, Harmonicas and Cancer

I once heard that we should all have a little “Hospital Fat” on us… body fat that our bodies will need for fuel if we ever end up in the hospital. In my case, I think a little “Cycling Fat” will be necessary. I know the many miles ahead of me will take a toll on my body in various ways, but having the energy to keep pedaling will be most important. I eat healthy for the most part, but sometimes there is nothing better than McDonalds fries. Lately I haven’t been as concerned with what I eat, because I know I will be burning it off as the miles unfold ahead of me. This week, my diet ranged from fresh trout I recently caught to an amazing Jim’s Burgers Pastrami sandwich.

While riding, I’ll have a grab bag of energy I’ve had for half century rides, most notably, the Rosarito to Ensenada bike ride in Baja California, Mexico. That ride includes El Tigre where riders pedal 3 miles uphill in first gear. My bag of energy contains electrolyte powders, gels, squeezes, nuts and energy bars. I’m looking forward to going through this cache because the more I use, the less weight I’ll be pulling behind me.


The other night I was making noise with my guitar and it crossed my mind that I will not be able to do that for a few months because there just isn’t enough room on my trailer for a guitar. Well, physically there is, but I sure don’t want to add a guitar to the existing excess weight! That is when I decided to take up a new instrument… the harmonica. Light and easy to transport! Then it crossed my mind that while I’m pedaling, I can be practicing/playing as well, so I ordered a harmonica holder. Yeah, I’m easily entertained.


My journey begins tomorrow. I know this adventure will not be solely about long distance pedaling. This trek will be physical, mental and spiritual. This ride will give me plenty of time to over analyze everything in my life, come to some conclusions, explore new ideas, read, write, meditate and photograph the beauty around me. This period of introspection is exciting to me. I’m forcing it upon myself and putting myself in a situation where there is no way out of it – other than inward. A place where we all should go every now and then to discover who we are.

I received a text early this week from a friend who has been diagnosed with kidney cancer. I know others with prostate cancer, rare spinal cancer and health concerns such as open heart surgeries, knee and hip replacements recently done or to be done. The truth is, our bodies are breaking down as we age. We can’t prevent the inevitable. These people wish they could accompany me on this journey or be able to go on their own personal journeys – and I understand why. So in a way, this adventure is for you as well as for me. I’ll do my best to share what I experience and what I see while roaming the roads and exploring my soul. 🙂

Thank you for following me on this adventure.

And So the Adventure Begins

Today is the beginning of my journey into the unknown. From here, I will be sleeping in many places and in many conditions. I will be exploring the world around me – and the world within me. I’m a little anxious and a little scared right now. My life for the next few months is packed in 3 boxes that will be flying to Alaska with me later today.


Progressing on the road ahead is entirely up to me. I won’t have to worry about putting gas into my vehicle, but I will have to fuel my body appropriately to take on this endeavor. Every day will be different, offering new places, new people, new challenges and new opportunities. The funny thing about being a little scared and a little anxious, is knowing these feelings are all in my mind. I am creating these feelings by concerning myself with the unknown possibilities ahead of me. Yes, my mind is trying to put a negative spin on these possibilities, but that must stop. I have prepared as much as possible. I’ve made the choice to carry quite a bit of stuff with me. These things that take up space and weight will allow me to remedy most every challenge I could think of, as well as allow me to help others who may need my assistance – within reason of course. I won’t be carrying a floor jack or a full set of tools, but I do have a poison oak/ivy topical and a great Cajun seasoning! Lol.

So the adventure begins. Wish me well and I’ll do my damnedest to entertain you and maybe get you to look within as I am looking within. Remember, we are all mirrors of each other. Sometimes the things we see in others are things we need to face within ourselves. Until next time! 😊


Good Morning All!

My adventure has been wonderful so far. My brother Greg picked up me and my 3 large boxes for a ride to Long Beach Airport. We had to stop for a pastrami and a little surf fishing at Seal Beach.


From there, he dropped me off and I checked in. Thank you Greg for taking the time to send me off, even though your sunglasses snapped in two when we hugged. Try some duct tape. I think that will work. Think of it as a fashion statement. lol

I hadn’t flown on Jet Blue Airlines before, but I was thoroughly impressed. They actually offered free snacks and drinks, as well as video screens behind each seat with free TV and a few movies. Sadly, I’ve grown accustomed to the other airlines that offer low prices but nickle and dime customers to death. I’m getting the impression they are on the verge of charging for toilet paper by the sheet.

I opted for a cheese platter, red wine and ginger ale, which creaed a wonderful sangria. So how come no one told me about this airline before?



For this wonderful experience, I have to thank my friend Adam. He’s a pilot with Jet Blue and offered me a ticket to Anchorage to begin my journey. As we all know, this world is smaller than we think. Ironically, I met Adam’s late mother on a trip to China 8 years before I met him. I didn’t have many conversations with her, but I do remember her talking about and being very proud of her son. After meeting him years later, I can understand why. Adam, I’m sure she’s watching over you everytime you jet off a runway and couldn’t be prouder of you. Thank you very much for your generosity!

I arrived in Anchorage close to midnight and was welcomed by Maureen – my daughter’s boyfriend’s dad’s sister who has become my friend. Maureen graciously offered me a ride from the airport and a place to stay while getting everything situated. Maureen, like her brother Mark, have both been into bicycling for a long time. Maureen has ridden from San Francisco to San Diego and ridden the Rosarito to Ensenada bike ride. Quite impressive.

Yesterday entailed putting my bike and trailer back together, then trying to make everything fit. I did need a soldering iron to fix a plastic piece on my seat bag, so Maureen called her friend Roger who had one available. We vistited Roger for a bit, where he showed me some random antlers he picked up here and then we all headed out for some delicious gourmet pizza and craft beers at Moose’s Tooth. I should have taken a picture of the pizza, but I was too buzy eating it!


After the amazing meal, Maureen offered to take me to Glen Alps Trailhead for a view of Alaska’s beauty and a panoramic view of Anchorage.


The funny thing about July in Alaska are the long, long days. I was packing up until 11:30pm and realized I needed a few bungie chords so we ventured out to get some before midnight when Walmart closed… and it was still light out!

After a great beginning and a good night’s sleep, I will be heading out shortly toward Soldatna for some salmon fishing. Challenges will be coming my way as I will be riding into the storm that is heading toward Anchorage. That doesn’t sound like much fun, but this is an adventure and it will be 100++ degrees in Southern California. I think I prefer the cooler weather. 🙂

Thank You Maureen and Maika for your kindness and generousity. You’ve definitely helped make my stay in Anchorage a wonderful experience. Now we have to talk Mark, Garritt and Trina into a fishing trip to Alaska next year!


Thank you all for following me on my journey. And now, it time to head into the storm!

Gomer Pyle

Good morning!
For you younger readers, the name Gomer Pyle may not mean anything, but when I hear that name, I think of his infamous line, “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!” in a deep southern drawl. Well… life tends to do that to us and yesterday morning was no exception. After loading everything, I put on my gloves, strapped on my helmet and and started down Maureen’s driveway. As I turned,  I heard a snap, turned my head, and saw my handy dandy single wheel trailer laying on its side. The leverage of the weight on the trailer snapped the rear axle of my bike like a twig. Not good,  but if it had to happen, I was fortunate that it happened when and where it did.


Sometimes I complain about living in over-populated Southern California, mainly when it comes to traffic, but there are benefit such as having access to anything and everything I may need. After a few calls, REI was the only option for a solution. The solution was not just replacing the axle, but changing the game. I originally opted for a single wheel trailer because they are narrow, but I was concerned about the quick release axle being able to support the weight. It seems that was a valid concern. I didn’t want to switch to panniers as the top heaviness concerns me, and I have way too much gear with me right now. I opted for a 2 wheel, covered trailer, most often used for rug rats.


The weight distribution is so much better! I compared a few brands and discovered major differences – mainly the amount of hitch flexibility to account for bike side to side movement – relieving any torque on the rear axle. Thule has the best design, which is a ball and socket similar to a truck and trailer receiver hitch design. This new addition easily carries everything I brought with me, so I won’t have to send my gold pan and extra underwear back to Southern California after all!

As timing is everything, when Maureen and I were leaving for REI (Great Customer Service!!!), we had the opportunity to see a young black bear going for a morning walk at the top of Maureen’s street. The day before, we saw a young moose walking in her neighborhood as well! Yes, this is the Great Wild and the Last Frontier!


And so today should be the true launching of my journey as I head to the Kenai River for some salmon fishing. I forgot to mention that I am traveling with an adventure partner – the calm, cool and collected Juan Alien. We’ve been hanging together since I found him in Roswell, New Mexico.


Wish us luck! 🙂


noun. Also Cadency.

The beat, rate or measure of any rhythmic movement.

Good Morning All!

In the cycling world, cadence translates as pace. Yesterday became my lesson in my cadence, in how the power of Mother Nature pretty much supersedes everything. I’m referring to the headwinds experienced while riding into a storm along the coast. Headwinds that kept me in my lower gears and kept me amazed that I could still move forward. Ironically, ‘Cadence’ is the model of my cargo trailer.


But first, let me step back…

Yesterday was a successful 2nd attempt at hitting the road, but of course, Maureen made sure that I left with a full belly. I can’t thank her enough for her time and generosity.

My bike felt good as I rode away. The new gears felt appropriate for the added weight of my cargo trailer. The trailer tracked well and the misty, sprinkling sky offered me cool, fresh air as I pedaled out of Anchorage. I had to stop once to admire the local art wall and again after passing a construction area to laugh at myself for thinking I had prepped my bike to not experience flat tires. Fortunately, I’m carrying spare tubes and a patch kit.

As I ventured along the coast, the headwinds picked up and cut my pace considerably. I made it up to Bird Creek where I was able to see where the term ‘Combat Fishing” originated. This is where fishermen can be shoulder to shoulder for salmon fishing. Silver Salmon are running in Bird Creek right now and the fishing is bountiful.

By looking at a map, you’ll see that I am going in the opposite direction of the Alaskan Highway which will go through Canada and into the lower 48 states. Rather than just pedaling for miles to say I did, I want this trip to be an experience of people, places, culture and history, so part of my journey will be on another highway – The Alaskan Marine Highway. This is a ferry system that takes you along the coast to native villages and coastal towns that can only be accessed by sea or air. Having made reservations already, I have to be in Whittier, Alaska by July 30th, which is 5 days away. The headwinds have definitely changed the game for me, so today will determine how far south I can go before heading north again to reach Whittier in time.

And so it is time to pack up and hit the road. I may not have internet access for a few days, so wish me and my sore quads luck! Have a Great Day and thanks again for following me!


Bob Seger

One of Bob Seger`s songs could have been written as my theme song – “Against the Wind” as much of my life has been spent not going with the flow. Hmmm. Maybe I should get a tattoo of a salmon swimming upstream because that was exactly how it felt yesterday as I pedaled 5-7mph against the wind. Today, being the 26th of July (my son Jonathon’s birthday 🙂 ) leaves me four days until my departure from the Whittier, AK port. I had to face the fact that there is no physical way I could go another 225 miles to Soldatna and back up to Whitter in 4 days. There went my plan of catching some sockeye salmon, having it smoked, enjoying it on my journey and sending some back to my kids.



But with every door that closes, another opens. How many times have you heard that phrase? Well, it’s true. I made it to a little town named Girdwood where I enjoyed an amazing gas station Subway sandwich. Yes, when you are hungry and the smell of your own armpits are starting to offend you, everything is delicious, even the pre-packaged pastries that have a 100 year shelf life.

Speaking of armpits, at that point I thought it would be a good idea to take a shower. Having cell phone reception, I was able to see what my options were in this town. As I discovered, this town is at the base of Alyeska Mountain, a small ski resort. What a wonderful discovery! … if I was on a snowboarding excursion. Ski resorts also mean expensive lodging. But wait! A hostel? That sounded like a place I would have the opportunity to meet fellow travelers from all over the world and actually interact with them, not just isolate myself in a hotel room as I always had in the past.

The hostel is a couple of miles up the road from the gas station and looks like a typical mountain cabin. The layout is perfect. There is a room with bunks and another with bunks that is rented as a complete room for families. There is a separate self-contained small cabin, but that was taken already. My option was… which bunk should I pick?! The grounds are nice with flowers blooming and some growing on top of the separate cabin. There are two shared full bathrooms and a common area with couches and large windows which give me a view of snowcapped mountains. Not too bad for $25 per night! Tomorrow I will write more about my fellow hostel occupants. Today, I will explore this town and go gold mining!

I have to share some beautiful artwork I came upon yesterday at the Turnagain Gallery and Gift Shop along the highway. This shop is owned by the Anderson family, the beautiful cabin built by Greg Anderson and the amazing wood carvings and craftsmanship done by his son Jordan (


I’m not sure who took the magnificent photos printed on metal, but they are spectacular shots!

And so I’m off to pan for gold, explore Girdwood, read, write and photograph the beauty around me! Once again, thank you for following me on my adventure. 🙂