Four weeks ago, we introduced you to Gordon Scott, who rode his Wabi Classic more than 3,000 miles from Alaska to Mexico in 2013.
Now Gordon is sharing the intimate details of his cross-country trip. This week, he talks about preparing mentally and physically for the challenge, gives a detailed packing list of the gear he took, and shares a journal entry from the night before his adventure began.
Preparing for the Journey
In order to fund the trip, Gordon moved to Alaska and worked as a tour guide for four months while he anxiously waited for the big day.
Despite the 3,244 miles ahead of him, Gordon didn’t train for the ride. He continued commuting on his Wabi, riding about 5–10 miles a day, and spent most of his free time hiking and kayaking, which left him in good physical condition for the trip.
“The biggest thing I did to prepare was stuff my mind with dreams and adventures,” Gordon said. “I read books about heroes who had taken the road less traveled. I daydreamed about what it would be like. I talked about it to anyone who would listen. And I continually did little day adventures to feed my spirit while I waited.”
Gordon shared his packing list with us, along with the stored location of each carefully considered item.
Rear Left Pannier—Sleeping Gear
- Marmot Never Summer, zero-degree sleeping bag in a compression sack
- Mountain Hardwear SuperMegaUL1 tent
- Macbook pro, placed underneath all the padding for protection from the elements
Rear Right Pannier—Food
- Peanut butter
- Clif Bars
- Wheat Thins
- Two-pound block of cheese
- Bag of Snickers
- Two full water bottles
Other food items were in the pannier as well, but these were the staples of Gordon’s diet during the trip.
“The weight of this pannier varied the most because I would normally stock up enough for four or five days before heading back to the grocery store for more,” Gordon said.
Right Front Pannier—Clothes
In addition to the shirt, shorts and shoes that Gordon was wearing on the bike, he also traveled with:
- Three pairs of socks
- A pair of sandals that were never used
- A few pairs of underwear
- Two shirts
- Riding pants
- Cycling hat
- Long-finger gloves
- Cut-off gloves
- Rain jacket
- Sweater that doubled as a pillow at night
Left Front Pannier—Miscellaneous
- Hunting knife
- Cooking stove
- Canister of fuel for the stove
- Water filter
- Pot for cooking
- Bike tools
- External hard drive
Top of Rear Rack
- Sleeping pad
In hindsight, Gordon said he could have done without the stove. “Eating was a chore. To put calories into our bodies and using the stove ate up precious time, energy, and space,” he said.
Gordon said the hammock was also unnecessary but admitted that he would probably take it again if he had a redo. “I could have gotten on fine without it, but it was so nice to have those nights outside the tent, swinging from the trees and gazing at the stars,” he said.
Following his last day at work as a tour guide on Sept. 6, Gordon and his friend Mohammed traveled to Anchorage, where they met up with Gordon’s dad, who joined them on a portion of the ride. Gordon’s thoughts are captured in his journal the night before the journey began:
“I think most of us have ambitions that scare us to death. A goal, an achievement or an idea, which we longingly daydream about. We see our ideal selves courageously stepping up to the challenge and coming out the other side covered in pain and exhaustion, wearing the shimmering badges of new experience and character. But we are terrified to take the leap that proceeds glory, and so often allow our fears to keep us stagnant. In company with the masses of the world, we sit still, cowering in the face of our majestic potential. Dutifully standing guard at the gates of our own prison—a prison with walls of doubt and chains of hesitation. Always wondering what would happen if we actually did something about it. It’s time to find out!”
Check back soon to see Gordon’s journal entry from his first day on the road.
In the meantime, check out Wabi’s accessories to use for your bike trip!