August 5 | Seattle
Every cross-country Bike The US For MS trip begins with an orientation meeting the day before the ride starts. The 2019 Pacific Coast Route team met today along the Seattle waterfront. They get on their bikes and head south toward San Diego tomorrow morning.
I won’t be joining them on the ride till they reach Sausalito, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. But I came to Orientation to meet this year’s riders and to drop off most of the gear I’ll be taking (tent, sleeping bag, backpack stove and utensils, cycling and street clothes).
In addition to a meet and greet, Orientation is an essential opportunity to go over safety practices, rules of the road, map reading, and communication protocols, as well as the logistics of working with the support van and gear trailer. It’s a critical conversation because getting a disparate group of 15 to 30 people, most of whom have never ridden together, all on the same page and mentally ready for a multi-day or multi-week bike trip is the first and most important step in keeping people safe on the road.
The 2019 PacCoast team of riders and route leaders is a great group of people. As usual, it’s a mix of young twenty-somethings and well-seasoned sixty or seventy-somethings (with a few middlers for good measure) from all over the country. There are currently four route leaders, twelve riders who will be going the full distance from Seattle to San Diego, and three segment riders, like myself, who will be riding some part of the 1,852-mile journey.
I can’t wait to join up with them again in Sausalito on August 26, and to begin riding the next morning.
To learn more about Bike The US For MS, visit biketheusforms.org