Monday, April 28, 2014

A Pre-Trip Q&A with Alex and Sarah

My, oh my, Alex and I will be starting our trip one week from today. Excitement abounds!

In the meanwhile, my dear readers, perhaps you will enjoy a little pre-trip Q&A with the riders of Team Sierra-Cascades.

What bike will you be riding?
Alex: My new Surly Disc Trucker.
Sarah: My beloved Surly Long Haul Trucker. She's one helluva great bike -- love her like crazy.

Does your bike have a name? If so, what is it?
Alex: The bike does not have a name at this time. I am a believer in letting the bikes name themselves. I expect that at some point the name will reveal itself.
Sarah: Why surely. It's Shirley the Surly.

Alex's bike and Shirley, on our overnight test ride to Scenic Beach.

What is the longest tour you've been on thus far (both distance and duration)?
Alex: Longest continuous ride -- 24.5 hrs (during a 24-hour solo mountain bike race).
Longest ride -- Seattle to Portland (205 miles over 2 days).
Longest loaded tour -- 2 days (55 miles and 39 miles) on a test ride for this trip.
Sarah: Last summer's 52-day long, 3,012 mile-long solo cross-country ride from Portland, OR to Portland, ME.

What are you most looking forward to on this ride?
Alex: Settling into a simple pace of living on the bike.
Sarah: The challenging climbs.

What are you least looking forward to on this ride?
Alex: The hills.
Sarah: The mother f'ckin' rattlesnakes.

Aside from the bike, what is your most valued piece of gear?
Alex: The bike engine, which I hope improves over time (refer to my answer immediately above).
Sarah: My iPad mini, so I can keep in touch with all you lovebugs.

What is the more "luxurious" piece of gear that you'll bring?
Alex: My Goal Zero Nomad 7 solar panel, for recharging electronics (iPhone and Kindle).
Sarah: My new e-Werks device (it allows me to charge my electronic devices from my dynamo hub). (Refer to my On the Bike & Off the Grid post.)

What are some things your riding partner should know about you?
Alex: It will take me a while to make the mental switch to touring and away from a focus on speed while on the bike.
Sarah: I get cranky when I get hungry, and I'll definitely need some good chunks of alone time.

What is your preferred power snack while you're riding?
Alex: Tri-Berry Gu
Sarah: Candy Corn
Our favorite power snacks.

What has been your favorite adventure (either on or off the bike)?
Alex: Several, including 24-hour racing, living in France, extended caving trips, off-shore sailing, and being an uncle.
Sarah: On the bike -- my tour down the Pacific Coast.
Off the bike -- backpacking the West Coast Trail.

Why are you doing this ride?
Alex: I have always wanted to do an extended bicycle tour and have now aligned my life with my goals in a way that allows me to start accomplishing those goals.
Sarah: I'm looking forward to riding through the mountains and seeing a lot of the great National Parks that I have not yet visited.

What are you hoping to take away from this trip?
Alex: The peacefulness that comes from a simple routine, additional understanding of my physical limits, exploration, and several new National Park stamps in my National Park Passport.
Sarah: The opportunity to live the questions that I've been asking myself for a long time.


  1. Pro tip: always check your shoes in the morning. You forgot the mother f*cking scorpions. :-)

    1. Great point, Erich! I lived in Arizona for a year and a half, and I was surprised to occasionally see scorpions around the apartment every now-and-then -- fortunately all of them were dead. I will never forget taking the sheets off of the bed and having a dead scorpion fall out from the sheets! After that, I definitely checked for those mother f*ckers under the sheets every night before I went to sleep.

  2. Scorpions and Snakes?!?! WTF!!! That was not in the brochure.

    1. Alex, you focus your fear on the hills, and I'll focus my fear on the scorpions and snakes.


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