June 6, 2008

6/6/08 Kansas City, MO - USA

It seems, no matter how much you plan or accomplish, there always seems to be more to do. Spent the morning doing a ton of little projects like: adding a bit of velcro to my cycling shoe straps, calling for my ride to the airport tomorrow, printing up a contact list, buying a few more rechargeable batteries, getting some timers for the lights in the apartment, making nylon bags for my new running shoes, and the really big one - packing up the bike and gear.

When I had the bike built, one expensive modification I asked for was the addition of S & S Couplers. These make it possible to literally take the bike apart in two making it able to pack a whole bicycle into a 26" x 26" x 10" suitcase, which just happens to be the legal limit for 'regular' baggage. At the time they cost an additional $400. But in these days of high gas prices, the airlines have started to ask for more fees to cover the expense. In the past, loading a bike box (a whole bike with the pedals removed and handlebars turned sideways) was $50, but they have increased that to $100. But there usually isn't a charge for any 'regular baggage. So, one round trip later, I save half the price by having the S & S Couplers.

The bike bag ready to zip closed

Went out to see my grandmother at her nursing home before I left As I pushed her wheelchair to the dining room, she had to tell her friends "This is my oldest grandchild." To which most replied "This is the young man who is biking across Canada?" Seems grandmother has been bragging a bit. [smile] She's 94 and I try to visit between trips but it doesn't seem as often as I should. While there I ran into one of my old co-workers from Baptist Medical Center. Jennie is now the Director of Rehab and is always looking out for my grandmother for me. It was good to see her too.

With my grandmother Lorene

A really great day weather-wise, not a cloud in the sky. But spent most of the day in the car going here and there for the little things and to visit or see a few more people before I left. Went down to Acme Bicycle Company to give Sarah and Christy one last hug. Then had lunch at Minsky's where Zeb treated me to my signature 'Jimzone'; sweet red peppers, green peppers, red onion and garlic inside a whole-wheat calzone. Said goodbye to Zeb, Donna, Kim and a lot of the regulars.

Still was debating over those neon green running shoes when I remembered that I had two pair of trail running shoes that I had bought for the trip last year. I was so used to using them for everyday wear that I forgot they were running shoes. So, went for a short run and decided that at least for the summer, they would do fine. Maybe before I leave for Mongolia, I might replace them.

The rest of the day was for final preparations. Buttoned up the car. Disassembled the bike, which was easy, and fit it inside the bike bag like a giant rubik's cube which wasn't easy at all. But miraculously it all fit, even if I had to sit on the suitcase to get it to close.

Just spending the rest of the night relaxing and listening to a few tunes. The 'Blue Van' will pick me up at 6:30am, so I'll probably be up at 5. Sort of filled with nervous energy so I'm not expecting to sleep much tonight. I can always catch a nap on the flight.

Leaving tomorrow for Vancouver, BC!!!