When Zack called me on Monday saying that he needed a box to ship his bike in, I thought it would be a pretty normal transaction. But oh, no. Zack, it turns out, was mid-way through a world tour.
Zack showed up at the shop on Wednesday with his 100-pound Surly Disc Trucker (that’s the loaded weight…not empty). He’d customized it from the ground up – a generator hub in the front to power his accessories and headlights, big burly racks, and a lot of bright yellow panniers. A tent and sleeping bag, of course, were not far away…and a very interesting helmet accessory: Da Brim, which transforms a helmet into a very large hat. Yes, we are thinking of getting these in.
I did a quick interview with Zack about the joys and perils of touring, and here’s what he had to say:
UA: So where did you start, and where’ve you been so far?
Zack: I started in Charleston, South Carolina on March 6th. I rode with a friend who was going up to Bowdoinham, Maine. We took an Adventure Cycling route most of the way, and after Bowdoinham, I continued north to Nova Scotia. I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go from there, but then I found a cheap flight to London, and booked it down here to catch that, and here I am.
UA: Where are you going from here? What’s your plan?
Zack: Well, I want to spend between six and eight weeks in the UK, travelling around. After I get my fill there, I want to head over to the continent – hug the coast, then head inland. Particularly, I want to go to Turkey, Croatia, and the Czech Republic. After that…well, I hope to go all the way over to Japan. Hopefully.
UA: What was the hardest part of your tour, so far?
Zack: Well, they say that the hardest part is leaving your driveway. And that’s definitely true. But I think the hardest part for me was finding the right time. Fortunately for me, everything lined up pretty nicely – my job wasn’t going anywhere, and my lease ended right about when I wanted to leave on the tour. So I got lucky.
UA: Do you have any advice for would-be tourists?
Zack: Just do it. You only go around once, and life picks up too quickly.
We hope you have a great time out there, Zack! Good luck, and safe travels.
To read more about Zack’s adventures, check out his blog at www.crazyguyonabike.com/justletithappen.