This is my first post on this forum. I am a 43-year-old guy in NYC who is about to embark on a solo transcontinental bicycle trek. The tour begins in about 5 or 6 weeks, going from NYC to Santa Cruz, Cali.
I have dreamed about such a trek all my life, but always put if off, waiting for the "best time." Thing is, that best time never came and the dream stayed on the back burner all these years.
But all that changed this week when my cousin died suddenly. He was 44, we were close, and so it has been a very sorrowful experience. I spent all this week in the funeral activities with the family, and wrote and delivered the eulogy. His sudden passing has caused me to question the very foundations of my life. Why was I always too busy to visit him? Was anything I ever did worth not seeing him? The answer came to me like an epiphany, and like Marlon Brando said in Apocalypse Now, the realization hit me "like a diamond bullet right through my forehead" that I have been living too mired in my own pursuits of career and money, and that it has been an utter waste of time, because life is simply to short. It's time to quit worrying about the small stuff, living in fear really, and get living, today.
Hence the Life's Too Short Tour. Whenever anyone asks why I'm biking across the country I will say "because life's too short." I am hoping this journey will give me the time I need to get my head straight after this great loss.
I bought an old Trek 520 for the journey. It is a 1984, a real old bike, but it rides like a Cadillac. It has old school shifters on the frame, old school toe clips, and old school 27-inch wheels. I made some upgrades: new brake levers, new saddle, raised handle bars. Front and back racks are being installed today. Next I will buy waterproof panniers. I am upgrading to fatter tires, perhaps 30s or 32s from the 28s which are on it now.
I am in halfway decent shape, but I know I will struggle the first weeks. Then again I am in no hurry, and will gladly accept 30 to 50-mile days at first. I will stay in both motels and camping out with a tent and sleeping bag with a camp stove. I will bring my laptop so that I can continue my work (freelance writer) and maintain a blog about the trek.
About the route?
About which tires to get? (my local shop recommended Continental Gator Skin kevlar-lined tires).
Anything you can offer in advice is much-welcomed.