Baltimore Bike Odyssey 2008

bike odyssey 2008 was an event that occurred between 19th and 25th may, 2008. i took a solo bicycle trek from my home town of baltimore,md, to ocean city, md. the entire trip was somewhere around 166 miles. i was able to document a large portion of this trip, whether in photographs or in audio. my hope is that my documentation can serve as a small inspiration to others who may have considered their own bike treks, but relented for one reason or another.

my assessment and advice: DO IT. it is well worth your time. just be in shape before you begin, plan your route adequately, bring water, and always remind yourself it’s as easy as putting one foot in front of the other.

once again, thank you to all those who contributed to my success with financial and material donations. i only hope the fruits of my efforts and my documentation here serve as fitting proof and justification that your donations weren’t in vain.
here’s the original text i posted for this website, back in early summer ’07.

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i’m taking a biking trip, and i need your help.

my plan is to ride my bike all the way from baltimore, maryland, to ocean city, maryland, in the space of three days at the most. my current goal is to achieve about 75 miles a day, allowing me to arrive at my destination in two days. i’ll then stay at a beach house for two days (thanks, sis!), and my ride back home arrives (thanks, nikc!). we chill out at ocean city for a couple more days–their expenses and lodging paid–and then we head home.

at the risk of sounding over-dramatic, i’ve never done anything like this before. additionally, i have very little funds (being in americorps has been quite a financial drain, not to mention the lack of adequate health insurance…). the good news is that i have a guaranteed free place to stay while i’m there, and my bicycle is in great condition. i have a comfortable, reliable ride, and i know how to fix it should something break.

many of my friends and acquaintances have been incredibly generous in supplying me with the following.
–disposable cameras (perhaps three or four)
–bike ‘saddle bags’ (the kind that attach to the side of a bicycle, either by the front or preferably rear fork)
–a fresh sewing kit
–quality breathing masks for while i’m on the road (a pack of 10 or so 3m brand filtering masks should definitely do it)
–baby wipes, preferably in those little plastic pouches (for clean-up on the road)
–a pair of spare innertubes (please contact me for the proper size)
–a white lamp that is mounted on the front of my bike (this is apparently required by maryland law) and a red light/beacon at the rear
–one of those “camelback” water containers, so I can drink and bike (just water, folks…)
–someone willing to drive to ocean city, stay there for a couple days (all expenses paid), and then drive my bike and me back to baltimore. can you or someone you know tolerate me for a weekend? please note that i will be very particular about making this selection, for various reasons.

again, thanks to all who have donated the items to complete the above list.

i’m still accepting (and actively soliciting…) donations of the following:
–cash for food and lodging, acquired prior to the trip. i’ll be buying energy bars, dried fruits, and stuff like that which are non-perishable in unrefrigerated conditions. for lodging, i may need to stay in a hotel or something along the way before i reach my destination.
–of course, moral support and encouragement is crucial, and always welcome.

again, i ask: will you help me live this dream of mine?

i assure you i will be wearing my helmet, sunscreen, and a breathing mask while biking on the road. the route has been planned, measuring approximately 155-175 miles. i will take every reasonable precaution in regards to my personal safety. of course, there is plenty that may happen, simply because i’m not able to see into the future. as of right now, this is a solo trip; i do not anticipate finding a suitable travel companion (i have rather particular preferences). it’s all a calculated risk i’m willing to take.

this odyssey is scheduled to leave 13th august, and will return by 20th august. biking will take place within three days. i would be eternally (relatively speaking) grateful for any assistance you can provide. in any case, you will have the satisfaction of never being forgotten for your kindness and generosity. i also plan on holding a small gathering to celebrate my return, share my experiences, and display any photographs i’d taken that week. i’d like to recognize all donors by name and present them with a small gift upon my return.

response and encouragement from my friends and associates has already exceeded my loftiest expectation. many thanks go out to those who have already offered donations, hints and tips, training partnerships, kind words, cash, and encouragement.

THANK YOU!

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Here’s what I posted on my website the day before I left, late May 2014:

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bike odyssey 2008 begins tomorrow. the map is printed and marked. clothes are sealed in plastic baggies. new tires are fitted and tested. spare tubes and patch kits are stocked. several friends and acquaintances stopped by earlier this evening to bid me farewell. i have just enough time to sleep about 6 hours before it all begins.

my mother is worried sick. my sister and her husband have my undying gratitude.

i will endure. i will be at the shore before i know it. this is nothing i can’t accomplish.

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I made it there and back again with no serious problems. The photos detail the flat tires and lost/damaged/recovered/replaced phone. But that was it. It was actually an easier task than I originally thought.

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