Day 0 - 0 km - Vancouver, Canada.
I drew this random line in 4 seconds, so don’t pin me down on it. At least there is some sort of a plan this time. Other than my previous trip from Amsterdam to Singapore, where I started cycling from home eastbound, not really knowing how things would work out.
I know more or less how things work now. I know what it takes to cycle through a desert, to camp in the snow, to pack food for a couple of days. In that sense there will be less ‘firsts’. But still I will keep it unplanned and leave things open. This way I can anticipate on what life throws at me. There are people with a five-year plan, or even ten years. I never lived that way. This red line is probably going to take more than a year to entirely do by pedal power. First the US, which holds a long list of destinations and routes I want to cover. There’s the Great Divide, the Pacific Coast Highway, the Colorado Trail, the Nevada Plateau Passage. I also want to spend time in cities like Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It will be far from a straight line. Then the same distance through Mexico. And honestly I don’t really know which countries come next. I will figure things out later.
Let’s take a step back. On March 1 I had booked a flight to Miami to meet a friend. I played with the idea to bring my bike and start a new trip from there, crossing the US, westbound. My book One Year on a Bike was launched two months before. It had arrived in stores worldwide and a intensive, life-changing project had come to an end for me. I had basically no business left in Amsterdam and was stoked to leave again, after almost a year back in one place. I gave a goodbye party to friends in my studio in Amsterdam, a few days before my departure. Then my publisher called if I wanted to do an event in Berlin and give a talk and exposition about my book. Of course I said yes. Then there was a beer brand, who called for a redesign job (it’s my work). I said yes. From that point more jobs came in and here I am in Vancouver, where I rented office space, preparing my trip and still working on projects. I’ve managed to bring my work with me. This gives me the flexibility to work on the road which is a great opportunity.
My trusty Surly LHT stayed home. There is a new bike at the bike shop being prepared which I will write more about later. I’m currently still sifting through bike- and outdoor shops to sort out the gear and setup. Everything is (almost) ready for another year on the bike.