July 9 9:30 am CDT - Well, I am sitting in the Chicago Midway airport. My first attempt to access wifi and blog has failed as did my next 3 attempts. There is no free wifi in this airport. Oh well, I am composing this on word pad and will copy it to the blog later.
I have not had the opportunity to blog since the 4th and of course, much has happened. Primarily, I got everything packed on Tuesday and have been resisting the urge to put more "stuff" in my bag. PAC tour suggests a nice list that will fit comfortably in the luggage bag they supply. It looks pretty sparse for 30 days, but when all I will be doing is eating, sleeping and cycling, I don't need much. I have 3 pairs of shorts, 3 jerseys (added one on the whim) and will receive my tour jersey at the ride start. For street clothes I only have on the clothes I am wearing right now and one more casual outfit. I have a limited amount of toiletries and I am not bringing any make up, blow dryers or curling irons. I also have a small supply of Hammer supplements, whey and Heed. PAC tour will provide most of my supplements, but I did not want to get out there and not have what I needed. My bag weighed 25 lbs on Tuesday. At check in today it weighed 34 lbs. I added 6 bike tires which will be stored on one of the PAC tour vans, so I hope that removing them will take at least 4 lbs off the bag to put it at 30 lbs. Why do I care? Because this is not a luxury trip and I will have to haul the bag and bike to my room each night. Most likely the majority of the time it will be upstairs!
Update on tires – my Serfas have not performed as I would have liked. What I liked about them was that they were easy to mount. I could change a tire in no time and did not have to use a tire tool. Changing to Kendas or Conti’s has been very frustrating. I can’t mount them as they are so difficult to get the bead over the rim. Well, I have spent at least 6 hours in the last 4 days practicing changing the tire. My hands are sore from using the tire tool to pry the tire on and off the rims. Hopefully, these tires will be better and give me more confidence on the trip.
I have been one bag of nerves over the last several days. My stomach has been full of butterflies - or in Susan Reeds words - an anxiety ball. I am sure I have gained 5 lbs just because that ball is heavy! I am told this is normal. I guess it is okay to be nervously apprehensive considering I am planning to ride a bike across the US in 30 days! Yikes!
So I am now in Chicago with a 4 hour layover. The neat thing about airports is that I have had good experiences with food in them. This morning I had a ham and egg “archipita” and boy was it good! It was a flaky crusty scrumptious Greek pastry. It was the size of a small hamburger bun and very tasty. Probably too rich and not healthy although it did have spinach in it!
I will write more later assuming I have wifi!