Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'm moving to Banff AB, CA

right after I win the lottery.
This place is super nice. more on that later.

So, I made it into Calgary AB just fine. My bike left Fed-Ex that day and was ready when I showed up at the shop. Calgary is very big. Probably bigger(at least the CBD) than Cincy. I rode the tram to downtown and quickly realized that I had to huff it a mile or two to the bike shop just north. Made it to the bike shop picked up my bike and had a good scare when my card was rejected(apparently you have to activate them for overseas use). I have that all sorted out now. Found a little net cafe to check mail and then made tracks to a nice park in town. Spoke with DG for a bit. He calmed me down; I tend to freak out when I'm in a big scary/foreign place. Kinda anxiety attack nonsense. Sorted that out, and then headed to the hostel. Locked my bike up with a French guys bike, who was(or did?) ride from Boston to LA, with two panniers, and a huge(6000 cu in) back pack. I saw his panniers in the morning and they had canned goods! wow.

Spent the night hanging out with several people from New Zealand, Australia, and the UK. Very nice people, all on vacation and looking for work. Hotel, restaurant, outdoorsy/touristy jobs. Not sure what the appeal of traveling around the world for odd jobs, but it beats starving I guess. A married couple was looking for a place to stay and jobs, so they could save up and buy a van and travel around Canada and the states. Another guy was looking for legit work in the oil and gas industry, but had to settle for a job being a horse back guide. He was looking at buying a Mazada for 1600CD. I should have told them about this site so they could follow me; they were all impressed and wished me luck etc. I also wish them the best as well.

The next morning I woke up at 5ish and it was quite cold so I hung out and left around 9 for Banff. It was a decent ride. I was worried about getting a flat on the crappy shoulder, but I did just fine. My cyclometer wigged out a few times, said I was going much faster than I really was. I hope that doesn't happen again. The ride was fairly easy, nice rolling hills. The view was something else though! Big mountains, made them look deceivingly close. I made it in decent(not record setting) time.

I rolled into Banff at 5ish and checked into the hostel, and immediately made friends with Jacob. I forget where he's from, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota. One of those. I'll write it down later. Nice guy, laid back and will probably be going the same speed as I will. quite a few other people already in town for the race, and I'm sure there are even more now. Supposed to be 40. Went out for a nice big meal, made sure to ask what side had the most calories(Guinness soup). Quite Delicious. Went back to the room, met some more folks who just rolled in, two from Italy, and a guy who did it last year. Bugged him about the race and then passed out.

Slept in a bit this morning and had a nice big breakfast. It was hard, I had to force it down. Still haven't eaten lunch, but I've been snacking. Big BBQ tonight(free!). Mounted some water bottle cages to my fork for extra water, and to get the weight off my back. Tweaked a few things and did a nice ride around town. It's so beautiful here. It's a national park, but people live here. It's an actual town, with schools, churches etc. Nice houses. Very nice houses. The town does have it's touristy shopping district. It is very similar to Gatlinburg, but it's missing a few key items:
corn dog stands(blasphemy!)
Riply's believe it or not
Airbush t-shirts
Pancake places.
You can get a photo taken as a wild west person though.
Outside of all that is much better, hiking/biking trails everywhere. A nice river small parks, etc.

Well my time is almost up. I need to add links to the GPS thing and the phone call site on the left.
This will probably be my last update. Until the end.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Flying out tomorrow

This might be my last post for a while, but I bet there will be a computer at the hostel in Canada.
Anyway. My bike is still in customs. I should have took it with me on the plain, but I thought that would be more expensive and increase the damage risk. I think I've spent a little more than 200 to ship it, but lots of time worrying and faxing stuff. Worse case scenario: I'll have to pay taxes on the bike, slightly worse, I'll have to take a cab all the way round the airport to pick it up and assemble it myself. The last option is that I'll sign for it on Tuesday and then ship it Wednesday to the bike shop. That would be absurd though since the bike shop is down the road.
Anyway, I'll at least have time to take it to the shop and have them slap on a new bottom bracket.

I think I've taken care of all the nonsense I needed for moving in. Fortunately my neighbor is cool and will look after my place. I've mailed a spare tire to Steamboat Springs, that's about half way. Not sure if that's too soon or too late.

I will have a SPOT GPS thing, and the leader board will be here.
I will also have a call in number for when I get to town. That will be my primary communication method. The calls will be short(<2mins) and will just let everyone know where I am and how I'm doing. They will be at MTBCast. There is a guy who is doing an Individual Time Trial from Mexico right now who has called in a few times.
A few of you are on my personal call rotation. I'm not quite sure I'll be able to keep that up. I still need to make a schedule for that. If I do stop, please don't be offended; I'm probably just out of breath.

Last on the list is to schedule a cab ride to the airport. Good thing I picked at 6:50am flight.

Oh yeah. I spoke with Beat Box for the first time in ages. He just finished his bike trip around Colorado and Utah. Next up for him is a trip to/in South America.

That's it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

In Cincinnati bike stuck in customs

I'm in Cincinnati, using the computers at the library when I can.
My bike is stuck in customs and fed-ex has not heard a reply from the customs officer. I might have to pick it up myself and put it together at the airport.