One of my main challenges was how to get my bike to and from New York in a relatively cheap way.  Luckily, there is a service I found called  They are specialists in shipping bikes and negotiated some good rates with FedEx.  So the cost to get my bike from LA to NY is only about $70.  Not bad at all.

I obtained a bike box from a bike shop nearby.  So now I just have to take apart my bike and fit it in there.  I’ll also throw in my panniers and camping gear and stuff also.  Whatever I take on the plane with me is what I will need to bike with!  So I’m throwing everything into the box.

For the way back, I ordered a bike box to be delivered to Pat’s house so hopefully it’ll be waiting for me when I get there.  (If I get there!).  Then I just pack my bike up again and Bike Flights will pick it up.

Fingers crossed this all goes smoothly!

I have to admit I’ve been enjoying shopping for all the gear that I’ll need for the trip! Luckily, thanks to the odds and ends I’ve picked up over the years on my backpacking excursions, I don’t really need too much. I have all the essentials like the tent, sleeping bag, portable stove, etc.  So really all I need are some other small things like a handlebar bag and new tires.

After doing a lot of research on what to pack, I’ve come up with some preliminary lists:

  • Spare tube
  • Allen wrenches
  • Tire levers
  • Pedal wrench
  • Patch kit
  • Pump
  • 2 Back panniers
  • Back bag
  • Handlebar bag
  • Tail light
  • Front light
  • Extra batteries for lights
  • Helmet
  • Lock

Those who know me probably aren’t a stranger to the fact that I don’t really enjoy eating all that much. There are a lot of foods I like, and sometimes even crave, but if I could just not eat during the day and get those hours of my life back, then I probably would.

So when I heard about this new meal replacement stuff called Huel, I thought this was too good to be true! I ordered some, thinking this was a perfect thing to take on my bike trip. After all, it seemed I could have a nutritionally complete, easy to prepare meal with minimal fuss. It even comes with a special bottle that I could use to mix it up on the go – perfect for a bike tour!

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with various recipes. I’ve added some bananas, cocoa powder, and other flavorings that they recommend. I’ve blended it with water, milk, and just shaken it up in the bottle. And after lots of servings, I’ve had mixed results.

Overall it’s very gritty. Unless you blend it for a really long time in a blender, there is definitely a lot of grit in it which is a little nasty.  The flavor isn’t great, but it’s definitely not bad. Adding the cocoa flavoring really helps.


  • Easy to prepare
  • Easy to carry/store on the bike
  • Super cheap (less than $2/serving)
  • Nutritionally complete


  • Flavor isn’t great – almost gross
  • My bowels apparently don’t appreciate it (not good for biking!)
  • I’m not convinced it could replace a meal
  • Need to bring additional ingredients to make it palatable

So the jury is still out on  whether I will be bringing it along on the the bike. Part of me still really thinks it’s a great idea, but I’m still not convinced I could rely on this instead of a meal.

It’s dawning on me that the bike tour date is getting closer!  I’m also a little worried about whether or not I can actually, physically do all the biking! So in order to reassure myself I went on a 40-mile practice ride today.  I even loaded down the bike with both panniers and loaded them down with about 20 pounds of stuff.

Thanks to the magic of Google Maps, I was able to create a perfect 40-mile loop starting and ending at my house.

I completed the ride in about 3 hours and 30 minutes, which comes out to almost 11 miles per hour.  I did take one break in the middle to eat a sandwich I brought with me.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with the ride. The end got a bit grueling, but I was happy with the result. It gave me the confidence to believe that I can do 50 miles over the course of a day.


The plan is to ride my bike from Albany, NY to Rochester – a distance of about 260 miles over the course of 5 days. It’s about 50 miles per day, which I think is doable.

Of course, I say that knowing full well that I have never ridden 50 miles at one time before! Not to mention that I will have to do it for 5 days in a row, with a loaded down bike! Without stopping that’s about 10 miles per hour for 5 hours. But I will no doubt be doing a lot of stopping!  After all, I have a whole day to ride. So if I do a lot of stopping to see sights and take breaks, I should be all right.

The whole idea came about when I started to get interested in the idea of bike touring. It seemed like a natural fit for me since I love exploring new places, the freedom of being alone, making myself fully uncomfortable, and biking. Throw in some physical hardship and a good challenge and I’m all set. In the past I have gone backpacking before, but I am not a big guy. And hiking up and down trails with 40 pounds of gear on my back wasn’t fun. My hips would hurt and the challenge for me was a bit too much.

So this year, when my wife was planning to do her earlier trip to visit with her family in Rochester, I decided this would be a good time to do a bike tour! It’s like backpacking, but instead of carrying everything on my back, I get to just strap it to my bike!

The first consideration was how far and how long I should do it. Turns out my vacation time from work – about a week – was the limiting factor.

Knowing Rochester would be my final destination (specficially Ragon’s aunt’s house) I was able to start counting miles from there at about 50 miles a day, which put me at around 250 miles. It was almost to Albany, which as it turns out, is home to a cousin of mine!

The icing on the cake is that there happens to be a great bike trail along the Eerie Canal for the entire trip.

So now the plan is I will have my bike shipped to my cousin in Albany. Then I’ll fly out there and spend the next five days biking to Rochester, where I’ll meet up with my family and then we will all come back together.

I’ve decided to begin this little journal to document my preparations and then my ride each day. I am typing this into my phone with a little portable keyboard that I’ll bring along.