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[caption id="attachment_4454" align="alignleft" width="150"] planning[/caption] Here we are --90 some days to go--the excitement and the anticipations are growing.  So are all the mixed feelings in our heads and hearts. We have basically been planning this world trip for a few years; however, now that we have almost reached our starting point, we still feel utterly unprepared in some aspects. There are still vaccinations to be had, spare bike parts to get, putting together the best possible first aid kit, figuring out the best rain gear to ride in through the cold, wet European weather. Finalizing paperwork, getting our girls power of attorneys should we need them to have to deal with banks, or
Behold the power of wool, merino wool that is! [caption id="attachment_4122" align="alignright" width="300"] The feel of my childhood wool sweater: scratchy, pins and needles[/caption] I know, the first thing that came to my mind when I read about wearing wool was my old, hot, heavy, uncomfortable, scratchy wool sweater my grandmother knitted for me when I was a child. So the idea of wearing wool for outdoor activities--especially in hot, humid Florida--was not really my idea of staying comfortable while riding my bike. How I was wrong! Not only do we like our merino wool shirts,  bike shorts, and socks for cycling…..We
[caption id="attachment_4043" align="alignleft" width="300"] Bike Camping in Florida[/caption] We love our new GSI Pinnacle Backpacker cookware! In preparation of living in a tent while traveling on our bikes, not only have we been trying to figure out what cooking gear to take, but also what to cook and how to prepare meals while on the road. Since we don't want to live on dehydrated, prepackaged meals, that only require heating up water in a pot, we practice cooking at least one meal a week in our backyard to see what all we can
[caption id="attachment_3936" align="alignleft" width="216"] Riding our bikes to Clearwater Beach[/caption] While going for a nice relaxing bike tour along the Pinellas trail, we stopped for a quick bite to eat at a local family business, we met a couple people who showed some interest in our new bikes. After a lot of bike-tech-talk, our plan to travel the world came up, and shortly after that the much dreaded question: "how can you afford such an adventure?" and the so common statement : "you are so lucky, we wish we could do that!" For some reason most people that we encounter seem to believe that we either won the lottery, are independently rich, very lucky, or just plain insane, to undergo such an adventure.
[caption id="attachment_3903" align="alignright" width="300"] Barbara enjoying the view at Wall Springs Park[/caption] "What if she is a little crazy? What are we going to do if we have nothing to talk about or just can't stand her, can we just make her go away again?", "Is it actually rude to just offer yard room, or should we offer her to sleep inside?…."But it's soooo cool, she's been traveling by herself half way around the world!!.." The list of thoughts, exciting and doubting,  just keeps going on as we are anticipating the arrival of our first Warm
Where is all this "stuff" coming from? Have we become hoarders without noticing? Is somebody secretly using our house as a storage place without telling us? [caption id="attachment_3835" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The bare necessities"][/caption] Seriously, 15 years ago we moved across the big ocean and arrived here with 2 young girls, 2 pieces of antique furniture our German family gave us, one guitar, a few boxes of things that we just could not replace such as pictures, a set of  4 plates, 4 cups, 4 knives, 4 spoons, 4 forks which were engraved with our names…a good bye present from good old germany, and of course clothes and our girls' favorite toys.
[caption id="attachment_3798" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="inconspicuous doors often hide great treasures"][/caption] Ahh....prep time for vacations or going on an extended trip--whether short or long-- what an exciting time! It involves some day dreaming of new places to explore, hunting for hidden cultural treasures, meeting new exiting people. The planning time is a great excuse to sit outside by the fire with a glass of wine while planning routes for new adventures. It also means doing some tedious research on what may be the safest route to go
[caption id="attachment_3768" align="alignright" width="300"]bicycle touring Florida Townsend House Cemetery[/caption] What do you call a 206km (ended up getting in 130miles) ride through hilly areas, with a headwind of 14 mph, while looking for 5 cemeteries that hold clues to questions you have to answer to officially get checked off for this ride?
This past Saturday before the start of the 10th Annual Tour de Felasco, I took a moment to chat with Karlos about Single Track Samurai Productions--something he is very passionate
[caption id="attachment_3628" align="alignleft" width="300"] Conner Preserve Entrance[/caption] Friday evening our original weekend plans started unraveling and by saturday morning they completely fell apart. So instead of just sitting around we decided to pack our bikes and go bike camping.  The next question was, where to go. We wanted to try somewhere new and it needed to be fairly close (within a 50 mile radius) to