Gooooood morning, San Francisco!

We made it!! After a glitch in our flight schedule out west, we arrived in downtown San Francisco around midnight (3am east coast time). We were exhausted and anxiously awaiting a shower and bed at the Powell Hotel, which was pleasantly better than we expected. I had booked the hotel in haste last week and didn’t bother reading the reviews on tripadvisor/yelp/etc. With some down time at JFK, I finally did some research and to my horror read some terrible reviews. Damn it. Thankfully, the hotel was fine, they had our bike boxes and the showers were hot.

Well-rested, we unpacked this morning and started putting together the bikes.

If you’re curious, this is what I’ll be carrying during this tour:

And this is what my dad’s bringing (we have different packing styles as you can see):


Check out this post from last summer with an itemized list of what we brought. And with everything screwed on and packed away, we’re off!
We are planning a light day today (approx. 60 miles) so hopefully I’ll get a post up tonight. We are also trying something new this time around–GPS tracking! I’m using the Ride with GPS app to track our every peddle stroke and then publishing the map here! I’ve never used the app before hopefully there aren’t any issues. If anyone out there has experience with GPS tracking and publishing on, please feel free to recommend any in the comments!

See ya on the road!


Day 1: Seattle to Centralia, WA

103 miles today. Exhausted but its a good exhausted. Will fill in the details tmw morning, but wanted you to know we made it to our destination. A view of our camp tonight: 20130722-211622.jpg

And yes, that is a hammock. Jim has decided to forgo a tent this trip. Looks pretty comfy, doesn’t it?

FAQ: What bikes do you tour with?


2001 Jamis Aurora

Soo Mi has ridden across the continent TWICE with this bike. I have ridden across the continent ONCE and commute to work with this bike. The bike has never malfunctioned. In fact, it shifts more smoothly than my DuraAce and Ultegra gruppos. Two Thumbs WAY UP :) !!

FRAME Reynolds 520 double-butted chromoly main tubes, double tapered cromo stays, forged dropouts with double eyelets.

FORK Chromoly unicrown, low rider braze-ons, double eyelets. HEADSET VP sealed, lower race needle bearings, 1″.

WHEELSET Ritchey Rock Comp & OCR Comp, 700c (26″ front on 47cm), 36H, with Ritchey Comp QR front and Comp-Z QR rear hubs, 14g stainless steel spokes.

TIRES Ritchey Tom Slick, 700 x 30C

DERAILLEURS Shimano Sora GS rear, Sora 28.6mm band clamp front.

SHIFTERS Shimano Sora Dual Control STI, 24-speed


FREEWHEEL Shimano HG50, 8-speed, 12-25.

CRANKSET Cyclone, alloy/alloy/steel, 52/42/30, 165mm (47), 170mm (50-53), 175mm (55 – 62).

BOTTOM BRACKET Shimano BB-LP27, 68 x 113mm.

PEDALS Wellgo Road, alloy cage/resin body, with toe clips.

BRAKESET Tektro alloy cantilevers, Shimano Sora STI levers.

HANDLEBAR HL Modolo Road, 400mm (47-50), 420mm (53-57), 440mm (59-62).

STEM HL chromoly, (+10°), 90mm (47-53), 105mm (55), 120mm (57), 135mm (59-62). GRIPS Cork tape.

SEATPOST Alloy microadjust, 250mm x 27.2mm, with cromo seatpin.

SADDLE Soo Mi … Viscount Retro-T with SL top, steel rails, front and rear guards. Jim … Brooks B-17 Honey tone.

COLORS Satellite Blue (since bleached purple by sunlight :) )

WEIGHT 25.25 lbs

FAQ: How to get bike to the West Coast?

FAQ: How to get bike to the West Coast?

Airlines charge for oversized baggage. Man-handling bicycle boxes through the airport is a hassle.

I collect two empty bicycle boxes from my local bike shop. I wrap the frame tubes with Home Depot pipe insulation. I remove the front wheel/fender, pedals, handlebar, and seat. I coordinate with and ship the boxes to the hotel.

It’s most convenient :)

Go Fast … JIM

What to pack?

So, what do you actually bring on a self-supported bike tour? The short answer is…not much! But that’s the beauty in self-supported touring – you carry what you absolutely need. Below is our packing list for this trip. These items could sustain you for a five day tour to a five month tour. What would you add (or remove!) to the list?


  • 2 pairs cycling shorts
  • 2 bike shirts
  • 2 pairs socks
  • 1 t-shirt
  • 1 pair of convertible pants
  • 2 pairs underwear
  • 1 down jacket /fleece (doubles as a pillow)
  • 1 raincoat
  • 1 rain pants
  • 1 pair flip flops
  • 1 pair bike shoes

Biking related:

  • Bike (Jamais Aurora)
  • Helmet
  • 2 water bottles
  • 2 rear panniers
  • Tire levers (1 set)
  • Patch kit (2 sets)
  • Spare tube and tire
  • Mini-pump
  • Spoke wrench (1)
  • Allen wrenches (portable set)
  • Chain tool
  • Brake cable (1)
  • Derailleur cable (1)
  • Assorted plastic zip ties (about 15 each)
  • Small chain lube and rag (3-in-one oil)
  • Duct tape (1 small roll)
  • Adventure Cycling Maps
  • Handlebar bag
  • Bike Computer


  • 1 toothbrush/toothpaste
  • 1 bar of soap
  • 1 towel (super absorbent)
  • 1 bottle of 30 spf sunscreen
  • 1 nail clipper
  • 1 chapstick
  • 1 first-aid/med kit
  • Travel pack of baby wipes
  • Ibuprofen

Camping related:

  • Tent (Performance Lite series)
  • Sleeping bag (Slumberjack), in a compression sack
  • Emergency blanket (as tent ground cover)
  • Headlamp
  • Stove (Coleman Exponent)
  • Mess kit (cup, plate, bowl & pot)
  • Utensils (spoon, fork & knife; hook on to each other)
  • 1 pocket knife
  • 1 green scrubber for washing dishes
  • Measuring cups

Other Items:

  • Bungee cords
  • Whistle
  • Pulsar light
  • Water purifier tablets
  • Sunglasses
  • Watch


  • Journal and pen
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Solar powered battery
  • Extra iphone battery
  • Postcard stamps