Southbound Again on Dec 18th, 2010

Trip Start Apr 07, 2010
Trip End Jan 19, 2012

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, December 13, 2010

The past few weeks of "rest" have been quite eventful for us. Here is where we stand as of today.

Our Health: Our feet still hurt - It's now been over a month since we finished our cross-country hike and our feet have not recovered yet. It is slowly getting better but it will take some time. They mostly hurt when standing up after an extended break, like getting out of bed in the morning or dismounting our bikes. Hopefully no permanent damage there.
Our weight is up - We both are heavier than when we started our adventure. Yannick has been gaining 2-lb/week consistently, going from his low of 143-lb halfway through the PCT back to 157-lb today (Yannick regained 14-lb, a first for him). Shirley...doesn't want to share numbers publicly (she has a right to privacy :-). Bottom line: we stored the calories, now it's time to go burn them on the road. The departure date for Phase 3 is set for Dec 18th, 2010.

Our Fundraiser: Our MedShare fundraiser is off to a good start with donations from several generous people. Thank you so much Larry, Jason, Cassandra, Tony, Laurel, Yannick's mommy and Yannick's daddy for your support! It feels good to know that for every $1 donated, it is $25 of humanitarian aid that will be delivered to countries in can't beat that!
Also, MedShare recently sent us a box of medical supplies (a volume equivalent to roughly a half-pannier) to distribute to a hospital or clinic along the way at our discretion...a unique chance we have to provide humanitarian aid when the time is right.

Our Training: In the past month, we have gone rockclimbing several times, which doesn't do anything in terms of preparing us for 14,000 miles of cycling ;-) We have also gone on a couple 30-mile training rides, and one 120-mile tour (2 days, 2 nights) in the Mojave desert to test our touring setup. I know...we have been kind of lazy!  But we really needed a good break from exercise to recharge our batteries. Now we are physically and mentally re-motivated to resume our southbound journey. Our language training has not started yet but we'll figure it out, right? We are taking along a mini english-spanish dictionary and a phrase book so that should do it.

Our Sponsors
: We are pleased to announce that OrtliebUSA is partnering with us on this epic journey by providing us with top of the line waterproof panniers, indestructible racks, as well as indispensable safety accessories like lights and mirrors. When we were doing research on gear and asking people in the bicycle touring world about what to use, everyone hands down said Ortlieb panniers are the only things that will keep your gear dry, and Tubus racks won't fall apart on you halfway through your tour. It definitely is comforting to hit the road for 12 months with the best gear on the market. 
Last but not least we also want to acknowledge Big Galoot (A.K.A. Zach the Alaskan) for providing some miracle kevlar spokes that won't leave us stranded on the side of the road if we happen to break a spoke from the rear wheel (cassette side). Thank you so much Zachy! 

Our Departure Date:
Shirley finally received her new passport 3 days ago so we are ready to hit the road. Saturday December 18th, 2010, we will depart en route to Ushuaia. A few of our friends are interested in joining us for a day or two as we ride South to the Mexican border, so it'll be nice to spend one last weekend in familiar company. Then again, we musn't get all melancholy and mushy...So in advance, we wish a Feliz Navidad to everyone from Baja California.

Our PR: Two articles about our adventures:
- one by the Santa Monica Daily Press (Dec 13th, 2010): SM Couple goes into the wild
- one by MedShare (Dec 3rd, 2010): Santa Monica Couple Embarks on Transcontinental Triathlon to Raise Funds for MedShare

Our Friends: We'll miss you guys! It was great so see all of you during our pit stop in LA. If you want to talk to us sometime in the next 12 months, look us up on Skype (our skype name: yannick.chaigneau). We are bringing a netbook with us so we won't be as disconnected from the world as we were in the previous phases of our journey, providing Wifi is available. 


Hasta la vista, baby!
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Athena Reich on

Amazing. Inspiring. Have a great trip! What an interesting blog! (I'm a friend of Tina's)

marianne on

nous vous souhaitons une merveilleuse aventure, tout en prenant soin de vous, bises à tous les 2

Tina on

I miss you two already...and I'm going to see you tomorrow :'(

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