We had originally planned to begin this trip in May of 2020. Then, of course, came the pandemic. Everything (and I mean everything) got delayed. Many of our reservations for campsites, ferries, and events were canceled, or pushed to May 2021. The world health crisis continued, and it began to look more and more like the world wasn’t going to be ready to open up for tourists and travelers by May of this year either. So we began to look at alternate plans.
Unlike some people, who set a date in the future and say “That’s when we’re leaving”, then keep pushing that date out until they eventually just give up on it, we set our May 2021 date in stone. So we’re going. We’re just not going where we intended or hoped — yet. But there are plenty of opportunities for adventure in our own backyard. So that is where we will begin. And when the world is ready, and everyone feels good (and safe) about inviting others to their neighborhoods, then we will expand our travel.
We recently did a full shakedown ride on the 700. We loaded all of our RTW gear, and headed out for a three day weekend ride. There were several goals for this trip:
1. Check the comfort of the bike for both of us for a full day’s ride.
2. Check the fit and comfort of our new riding gear (Klim Carlsbad for me; Klim Altitude for Diana)
3. Use the majority of our gear, in order to be sure we didn’t miss anything.
Overall it was a very successful ride. The bike performed very well (granted, this trip was almost 100% paved roads). We didn’t find anything that we forgot to pack, but did find that we still had a small amount of room in the panniers in case we wanted to add an item (we both voted for the hammock). And we were a bit surprised at the comfort level of the stock seat, considering the amount of gear we are carrying and available space. I still want to add a Seat Concepts one piece seat before leaving, but it may not be available in time, and may have to wait.
So the countdown continues. Our immediate itinerary has shifted. We have a couple of “detours” planned over the next six months that will make this trip considerably different from my solo, single-bike ride six years ago. The long-term focus is still to ship the 700 to Europe when everyone is ready. In the meantime, we’ll embrace the detour.