This is Thomas Stevens, one of my heroes–not to be confused with Thomas Stevens the famous trumpeter, though the later Stevens is a cool fellow as well. This Stevens became the first man to ride a bike (his 50 inch Columbia highwheeler) around the world. It took him three years to do it and nearly died trying. He eventually ended up a theater manager in London and had touring Yogi Magic show where he performed magic tricks he’d picked up in India.
Now that January is crawling to an end, Lizzy and I are working our way through the final logistical details of the WBD tour. Details like:
- Engineering a viable rat containment system, specifically for night time. You see, rats are nocturnal. Also, they chew things. Also, I don’t want a rat chewing holes through the tent while I sleep.
- Engineering a rat temperature control system. You see, rats can get chilly, or really hot. Thus, a bicycle friendly rat heating/cooling system is necessary to maintain optimal rat comfort.
- Finding a proper rat sized bicycle helmet, preferably in red.
- Figuring out what gear to take, and what gear to leave. Years of hoarding camping equipment are coming into play on this one.
- Getting Lizzy’s bike ready with much thanks to Pat and Ben at Tommy’s Bike Shop in McMinnville. We are currently retrofitting a 1975 (?) Trek 700 series. I’m excited about it, but if you’ve ever retrofitted a bike before you know that goes.
- A long list of boring stuff no one wants to think about, which is why we have to worry about it last minute. Stuff like ordering tires, finding easy ways to do road side budgeting, and stuff like that.
Perhaps most importantly, figuring out ways to promote Watsi whilst touring. As of right now, we are working on making some “real” business cards to pass out to friends and strangers along the way, and some explanatory flags for the cycle-scoots, buttons maybe, perhaps a catchy jingle. We’d appreciate any ideas that come our way.