Problem Number 1

tumblr_mttfijwJEZ1s0gsego1_400So I have hit my first real issue. Initially my plan had been to take my bike on the Amtrak out to Albuquerque. This would require taking a train to Washington D.C. and transferring to a train that would then take me to Chicago and then another transfer to Albuquerque.

Now, the Amtrak website says that they let you just walk your bike onto the train ”most trains have …”. So my plan hatched with that information. Tonight, however, while I was trying to begin mapping exact locations and shit I called Amtrak to get exact details and was delivered some horrible news: Only CERTAIN lines let you walk your bike on. To make matters worse, none of these lines run out of NYC unless I’m going to North Carolina, Boston or Maine. Obviously I don’t REALLY want to do that since it’s going to be the middle of winter and I’d rather be on the West Coast for winter.

So right now I’m facing the problem of figuring out how I’m going to get to Chicago with my bike. I don’t want to box it up because I will have all my bags and shit on the bike, not to mention the fact that I would have to remove the pedals, seat and turn the handlebars sideways not to mention releasing the bike chain etc etc etc…basically a bunch of shit that’s a pain in the butt and I worry won’t go back to normal and I’ll start my trip with a messed up bike.

Any bikers out there have any ideas other than flying which I really refuse to do to help me out?

Tent Time!!

Tent Time!!

Okay so as of right now I’m in the midst of decision making on tents. I have purchased a tent at Target back in May because I had star visions of camping all summer on the weekends. These were dashed of course by the fact that there are no good campgrounds around my home within biking distance for one night. I was finally able to de-flower my tent on her virgin voyage into camphood. Kerry and I went camping at Wildwood State Park the second weekend in September. We drove up to the park, pitched our tent in the dark, in the wind and proceeded to have a grand old time! And then we went to bed. How shall I put this? ….It was cold as fuck. I realized by morning, when I found myself trying to cuddle up to Kerry’s feet, that my tent was not too windproof. The window of the tent were only mesh, where some tents (I thought it was most tents but I was wrong) didn’t have a zip-over to close the windows, so to speak. I decided then and there that I would have to buy a new tent that was weather proof because I’ll be damned if I’m cold on this trip. =) So right now the tent I’m looking at is called the Koppen Lokal. It’s for one person and advertises that it is a 3 season tent, however all the reviews rave about how wonderful of a tent it is even in snow. I’m thinking that along with my tarp under it, this will be perfect for all adventures. It’s supposed to be cozy in the cold and the windows open for air BUT (here’s the best part) the mesh of the windows is small enough to prevent no see-ums, which was a real concern for me. One review even said it kept out tiny ants. I went over to Dicks to have a look see and it couldnt’ be more perfect. The price is great ($90.00) and it’s just enough room for me and my bags. It only weights 2 pounds and folds up into a small little bag which is, again, perfect.

Bike Trip Plan

So I’m slowllllyyy starting put together my list of all the places I want to go and see.  I would LOVE feedback from anyone if you have any beautiful places that I omg just like have to seeee.  😉  I’m not really into seeing big cities, more into the nature aspect!  Inbox me!!  If you click on the words ”Bike Trip” it will link you to my pin point map!! 

Meet Me

Hi. I’m Maria. Do I look like someone who bikes everywhere? I guess I probably don’t haha. BUT I DO! Which is where my little story is going to start. About 2 years ago I started working a job where I was forced to bike an hour to get to work. I had no alternative way of traveling anywhere for the summer so I started exploring Long Island (where I live). By the end of the summer I had discovered that I love to bike ride! When my Grandmother died in October I stopped biking suddenly and didn’t start back up again until this past May when I decided to buy myself a little Roadmaster that was on sale at Wal-Mart. I told myself it was a great idea because I mean, come on, it’s not like I’m going anywhere outside of a few hours ride, right?

False. …I’ll get back to that in a minute.

In June 2013 I spent time at my friend Kerry’s house, as she was my safe haven when the house was crazy. While laying on her bed staring at the ceiling wondering how things had gotten so out of control so quickly I said ”I wish I could just take my bike and travel the country.”

Joking of course.

Kerry sat up, grabbed her laptop and said “Well…I mean…you kind of could if you really wanted to.” …and started Googling bike traveling and camping. We read a few articles about how it could actually be done, but in the end decided it wasn’t too safe and that was the end of it.

….Except that it wasn’t. From that moment, the idea was in my head to embark on a grand trip of freedom. All summer it was just a wish in my head that would never really happen. I was forced into taking an unpaid one month vacation so my employers could ”save money” (go to St. Martin for a month) and while I was home I realized that I really REALLY wanted to do this trip.

Society, ”They”, People, Parents, Peers, Family. These are all the ones that dictate our lives. We ”have” to go to school to be deemed ”mature, responsible adults” and after college we get a ”real” job. (NOT bagging in the grocery store, like that isn’t a real job. *insert me rolling my eyeballs*) Then we spend the rest of our lives working. Literally. Unless we manage to strike it rich and not have any worries but let’s face it, most of us don’t have that happen to them. We are ruled by the almighty dollar. It tells us if we are happy, it tells us if we are ”popular”, what we can wear, what we eat, IF we eat. We have been fooled into believing that money is 100% necessary to live a happy, ”successful” life.

I have made the decision that I do not want to live my life like that. I want to be happy in my life, doing things that I love, not being ruled by things that have no real rule of who I am and what I do and what I need to be free! When my Grandmother died she told me to have a happy life and do what made me happy and I have decided to take that to heart. So I am choosing to leave my job in January, take my bike, tent and supplies (after selling or donating my other belongings) on the Amtrak to Albuquerque and bike touring the entire country.

What do you think of that?

Let’s Start with a Quote

The Beginning Part One:

I will start with this quote from June Jordan. I stumbled upon it awhile after I had already decided to partake in my new endeavor and I feel like it’s perfect.

When we heard about the hippies, the barely more than boys and girls who decided to try something different … we laughed at them. We condemned them, our children, for seeking a different future. We hated them for their flowers, for their love, and for their unmistakable rejection of every hideous, mistaken compromise that we had made throughout our hollow, money-bitten, frightened, adult lives

― June Jordan,

Passion: New Poems, 1977 1980