I dipped my wheels in the Atlantic Ocean this morning. This is a sort of tradition for people riding across the US, though I certainly don’t know if everyone does it. The idea is to dip your wheels in one ocean, ride across the continent, then dip your wheels in the other ocean. I did this at Coney Island. Technically, that is not the Atlantic, but rather the Lower New York Bay. Close enough. With my wheels dipped, my ride across America has begun. I probably looked a little odd, with my bicycle in the water, taking pictures.

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I made some gorp tonight for the start of the trip. Gorp was trail mix before trail mix became widely available in stores. Hikers used to make it and maybe still do. Bicycle tourists used to make it as well. I do not think many bicycle tourists make it any more, probably because trail mix is so easy to buy already mixed. Making it allow me to put in what I like and avoid what I don’t like (almonds are the devil’s seed). Everyone has their own recipe. For me, it starts with crunchy granola bars broken up into little pieces, M&Ms, peanuts and raisons. Sometimes I also add cheese crackers or other dried fruit. If you think about it, it is a good mix. There is carbohydrates in the granola bars, sugar for energy in the M&Ms, protein in the peanuts and you have a fruit. It also packs a bunch of calories.

I digress. I was talking to a friend while making the gorp and explaining it to her. I mentioned that I was only making one batch to get started and would have to make more along the way if I wanted more. Then I fell silent, suddenly realizing what I am about to do. Of course I can’t make three months worth of gorp at once. It dawned on me that three and a half months is a long time. I usually think of the trip in segments, not the whole thing. Two weeks here, a week there. It doesn’t sound so bad. Fifteen weeks on the road, sleeping in a tent and bicycling nearly every day. That sounds much more daunting.

In a couple of days, I ride. Until then, how about a little relaxing music . . .

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