It is unclear to Monika and myself who came up with the crazy idea of flying for 8 hours from Iceland to Portland, driving for two hours to Astoria in order to start a 60 day journey on our bikes across the United States. She believes it was I who mentioned it first while I am fairly sure that I don’t have the imagination or the courage so I think it is her to ‘blame’!
Maybe it is one of those things that just happens. A small thought, reading of a blog post or a casual conversation which gradually grows into an idea and before you know it flight tickets to Portland and a hotel night in Astoria have been booked and the wheels are in motion. Once we told our family and friends it was impossible to back out (not that we have ever considered that option).
From the time we began pondering the idea about 2-3 years ago we have slowly tried to buy the necessary equipment, using holiday and business trips abroad to bring back equipment that isn’t readily available in Iceland. This includes electronics, bike bags, clothing, tent, sleeping bags, etc. This has limited the financial hit and given us the opportunity to try out most of the equipment.
As the time before departure grew closer our OCD-selves started worrying about all sorts of stuff and the only thing to do was to ORGANIZE! Every possible action was entered into a Trello board and grouped into different time slots (6 months before, 3 months before, 1 month before, a week before, in Astoria). See screenshot below.
Because we will have limited room on our bikes and since every gram matters when cycling up steep hills it is crucial to select each item carefully and to quote Lone Starr from Spaceballs: ‘Take only what you need to survive’.
Our packing list is broken into categories called Monika’s stuff, Saemi’s stuff and Common stuff and each category was further broken into the segments called Bike, Bags, Riding gear, Off-bike clothing, Electronics, Tent & sleep, Tools and Spares, Toiletries and Misc. Each item on the list was weighted and color coded based on whether we had already purchased (green), not bought but we knew where to get it (yellow), undecided (orange) and to be purchased in the US (gray).
A more detailed packing blog post is coming soon.