by Richelle Olsen - She Science Ambassador and slightly concerned about to be bike tourer.
This trip is like NOTHING I have ever done before. Biggest thing I’ve ever done was a 12 day trek to Everest Base Camp. This is like a whopping 4,840kms longer than that, and well that was massive for me at the time!
Whats the drive for me?
Whats worrying me?
How long have you got? Hahaha!
What I’m excited about
But in the meantime, I now haveexactly 8 weeks to rent the house, sell the car, save money, close off finances, pack up the house, organise our kit we are taking, catch up with friends and family, organise a charity garage sale, and ride my bike ALOT.
by Richelle Olsen, She Science Ambassador
So in case you haven’t heard...we have plans...BIG plans! Heres the gist...
In July 2015, Shane and I will...
· Quit our jobs
· Rent out our house
· Sell Herb the X-Trail
· Sell as much of our stuff as we can, and put the rest into storage
· And jump on a plane with our bikes, on a 1 way ticket to Vancouver, Canada!
What happens when we arrive in Vancouver?
Most likely, yes! Bears are our number one predator. We are expecting to see plenty of black bears, and hopefully no grizzlys! Theres a number of precautions we need to take, including hanging food from trees at night, carrying pepper spray and blowing a whistle all day every day whilst riding through bear country. Shane’s working on the theory that he doesn’t need to be fast, he just needs to be faster than me! He’s also determined that the book about our adventures isn’t worth writing unless I lose a limb to a bear, and he rescues me......I love his loving concern for me!!!
Then theres rattlesnakes, wolves, mountain lions and prairie dogs.......all out to get us. ‘Cept maybe not prarie dogs, those little dudes are so so cute, like mini-meerkats! But hey we are from Australia, we should be used to being bottom of the food chain shouldn’t we??
What happens once we hit Mexico?
Yes we do already have an amazing life, but ultimately, like many of us, we are simply working to pay the bills. And we have itchy feet. Both of us separately spent 4+ years in our 20’s travelling the world, and thats not something you forget easily. Plus Melbourne traffic sucks big time...arrggghhh traffic! And given we are not having kids, well, the question should be Why Not?!!
What are we taking?
How are we feeling about the trip with 70 days to go??
So we have decided to head off. The idea is simple Ride as far as we can for as a long as we can starting in Whistler & hopefully ending in Patagonia.
A brief history of my WHY......
I walked sometimes for a few days between towns through the desert in Wadi Rum ( Jordan) and along the coastline in Turkey. I landed in Egypt with $300 & left 4 months later but thats another story.
During this time a friend & myself had an idea.... Lets travel the world without flying????? We mapped our plan out & decided it was time but as what happens in travel, plans change, money runs out & before you know it you are being detained by customs in a questioning room at Heathrow airport but again that`s another story.
Fast forward 13 years a lot has happened but the nagging feeling has always remained. I think its either island fever or once you travel around the world you realize how small it is & how much more there is to see.
How am I feeling with less than 70 days to go?
Once we hit Banff its a lazy 4,400km to New Mexico. More nerves due to the potential of winter setting in before we get through Colorado. If it dumps snow in Colorado it`s not measured in Millimeters it`s in the meters although this will just mean adjusting our route to suit.
Bears..... I am genuinely concerned about bears. They don`t muck about. We have a lot to learn with dealing with our food & campsites so we don`t become too appealing for them.
Richelle.... We are not sure how she will cope with the day after day hurt that it is going to involve. Also her on the bus & boxing her bike up every time she wants to catch the bus. These are other things that we will manage as we go but I do put a lot of thought into them.
Things I am finding people cannot get their heads around........
I don`t think I am an adventurer but I do think I am Adventurous.
What am I hoping to get from this?
I am hoping to inspire people to take a leap of faith. Get out there & just do it. It doesn`t need to be a huge trip just go out & live. As my dad says " Your a long time dead "
I am hoping this might give me some clarity in what it is I want to achieve next in my life. Perhaps even a new career path.
When are we coming home?
What am I MOST excited about?
- That`s a tough one. The whole trip really. Patagonia need I say any more, Google it if you don`t know about it.
- Also pushing ourselves for such a sustained time frame.
- Possibility of seeing a wild bear ( I know I know )
- Riding my new bike. Custom built Salsa Fargo 2. Thanks to Ben The Bike Tech helping me with this project it`s def one of a kind bike.
- Changing the direction of our lives. Having an almost open time frame
Stay tuned for more updates....
- Shane – Salsa Fargo 2, currently still in pieces, but this will be a schmik machine once its built!
- Bike Bag Dude Large Handlebar roll
- Back rack - TBA
- 2 Ortlieb back roller classic panniers
- Frame bag TBA
- Salsa Anything bags TBA
- Richelle – Trek Fuel eX 8 dual suspension UPDATE - with 5 weeks to go, I've changed my mind and will be taking my Surly Long Haul Trucker!! Eeeek!
- Thule Pack ‘n Pedal Tour rack UPDATE - changing my bike means changing racks - now I'm taking a Tubus rear rack
- 2 hot pink Ortlieb back roller classic panniers
- Mont Moondance EX 3 tent
- Shane - Western Mountaineering Ultralite sleeping bag
- Richelle – Westeern Mountaineering Sycamore sleeping bag
2 x Exped Synmat UL inflatable sleeping mat
- Bike repair kit
- Jetboil stove + gas,
- Sea to Summit X bowls and X mugs
- Sea to Summit X-Pot 2.8L
- Cleansing wipes
- Ay Up lights
- A whole lot of other stuff we need to work out!
- 2 x cycling knicks TBA
- 2 x jerseys custom made
OR Helium Jacket
- Patagonia Ultralight Down jacket
- La Sportiva lightweight windproof layer
- Thermal top and bottoms TBA
- La Sportiva Bushido Trail Runners
- Shimano MTB shoes with cleats
- 2 x cycling knicks TBA
- 2 x jerseys custom made
- Patagonia Torrentshell jacket
- Patagonia Nano-puff hoodie
- Snowgum lightweight hiking trousers
- Icebreaker merino LS thermal top
- Thermal bottoms TBA
- Lightweight running shorts
Feetures Elite light no-show socks
Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra
- Brooks Cascadia trail runners
- Shimano Touring MTB shoes with cleats
I am an ultra runner, Mountain biker, Climber, Ironman, Endurance Athlete
I am a La Sportiva, Io Merino & Kokopelli Packraft Ambassador with a taste for adventure, always up for a new and different challenge.
I like to create my own adventures that generally push me to limits. Proving that anyone can do it and raising money for Parkinson`s research as I go........
8 Weeks To Go She Says
9 Weeks To Go - He Says
Bike Touring Videos
Buses And Motorhomes Bigger Than My House
Into Wyoming...the Good And The Not So Good Bits
Our Foster Parents
Quitting Our Lives To Go Ride Bikes
Shane's Thoughts After Cycling For 5 Weeks
The First 7 Days
The Kindness Of Strangers
We Start Tomorrow
When Pink Bar Tape Is The Only Solution