I was surprised to get an email from Dennis, my partner for the first half of my trip around the world, ask: “How do you feel?” He retired from bicycle touring a long time ago, and I guess he’s wondering if I’m still managing to enjoy myself.
It’s an interesting question “How?” as opposed to the frequent “Why?” As usual, I have mixed emotions. I didn’t really think I’d get back on a bike so soon, especially in America. I was dreaming that if I didn’t settle down, I would have hitchhiked Asia or something like that. Part of me is excited to have an adventure and challenge myself. (I am sick of sitting in my house writing about adventure.) I view this as an opportunity to get over the last dregs of my ego-importance and angst and really live my life. It’s time to stop searching for an answer and create an answer. At the same time, I get to spread a great message and build a community. Maybe not quite the localized community I thought I would be creating at this stage of my life. Then there is the other half of me who is pretty dang scared. I’m not entirely confident this is the most logical answer to marketing a book and I feel as if I’m gambling literally everything I have on a publicity stunt. I really dislike marketing and hundreds of emails and phone calls that go AWOL, so I hope the trip markets itself. All and all it will be much harder as I will have to coordinate publicity and carry the extra weight of books and camcorder, camera, cell phone, computer, iPod and a dozen cords… I have conservatively estimated 1.5 times the weight, and it could easily double the weight depending on various factors. I got a B.O.B. trailer in addition to panniers. Just the trailer is an extra 13.5 pounds plus spare parts. Well, the trip isn’t about me or the bike or miles. So, maybe I will just half my mileage. Basically, I don’t know what I’m doing, and making it up as I go along. But that’s life, eh?
By the way, I’ve been so busy getting ready that I haven’t even had time to update people on the planning.