I’m having the hardest time trying to figure out what bike to get. I’m torn between the Surly Long Haul Trucker touring bike and the Koga-Miyata WorldTraveller. I’m shying away from the Surly because I’d have to get 700c tires and I’m planning on riding through South America and from everything I’ve read 26″ tires are best because they are widely available.

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Damn you Jhun! 🙂 Why did you deny my request to import my 100+ forwards?  I hope the 1&1 spam filter is decent now that I’m down one whitelist. Update:  The spam filter isn’t that great.  The Nigerian/419 scams seem to be the biggest problem.

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My journey has begun. OK, not really. This can be my first official, “I am not even close to knowing where I’m going or when I’m leaving” post though. So far I’ve collected a couple things I’m pretty sure I’ll need.

From my camping trips I know the Creative Zen W is going to need some protection. I struggled internally for quite some time but I opted not to get the Ipod Touch. It would fit the bill as far as videos and picture viewing but I’d really miss not being able to dump pictures onto it from a CF card. Hopefully I can keep it dry. The Eee PC will be ordered soon. Just waiting on some new models that come out in July. The water filter I’ve used for the longest time has been upgraded to a Katadyn Pocket Microfilter. The biggest reason I switched from the Hiker version was the higher water output. I’m thinking water is going to be the one thing I’ll be worrying about the most (especially out West) and I don’t want it to take 3 hours every time I need to fill up. To keep me well-fed and alive I bought the SAS Survival Guide Handbook (the small version). The last thing I want to do is starve like that guy that tried to live off the land in Alaska. Watch out squirrels. 😉 I really got it for the first-aid parts BTW. Also obtained an American Red Cross FR350 Emergency Radio just in case I feel the need to listen to BBC (not like I ever do).

To drop the costs down around the house I’ve canceled the home phone (sorry AT&T). I was going to cancel the Iridium satellite phone subscription but I’ll hang onto it until I have a mini trip under my belt. Yesterday I signed up for a hosting account with 1&1. Over the next few weeks I’ll be going through the painful process of moving my photo gallery onto this site (5500+ pictures). Then again, maybe I won’t. Still not sure how I’m going to organize the online version of my trip.

As far as the bike or equipment I made my first call to a bike shop to inquire about ordering. They set me straight on the 26″ vs. 700c tires for the 60cm frame I’m going need (sometimes being 6’3″ sucks– but not a lot). I’ll be doing a lot of research before I give anyone a parts list.

Lot’s of things left to do.

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