Matching Bags and Shoes

Well, what did you expect?

Given the go-ahead by the HemaOnc on Monday, I squeezed my four bike pannier bags into a single old suitcase this morning to save the American Airlines $25 charge per bag. I also successfully squeezed myself into a pair of 32″ waist trousers (I bought a size down in anticipation that cycling will do wonders for my waistline). I’m now cramped into my American Airlines economy seat en route to Charlotte, North Carolina, where I catch a connecting flight to Newport Beach, Virginia – close to Yorktown where I start cycling across the United States.

This morning’s doubts about cycling across the country were quickly dissipated by the lengthy queues to go through security at San Francisco airport, and the absence of any inflight entertainment onboard – except for the gentleman in seat 15B plagued by involuntary flatulence. Adding to the joy are the folks in front of and behind me with thumping music escaping from their headphones. I’d sooner cycle back across the United States anyday.

I’m a little concerned about the weight of all my stuff. Put into a single suitcase, it’s much heavier than I expected. For a split second, I toyed with the idea of leaving my shoehorn behind, but quickly decided that it was essential. On the bright side, American Airlines didn’t charge me extra for an overweight bag. Also reassuring are the pictures in my Adventure Cycling magazine of folks on their bikes carrying way more stuff than me. Everything neatly stored on the Mackay bike. Not a bungee strap in sight.

Almost at the starting line in Yorktown now. Ladies, start your engines.


Author: CL Mackay

Aspiring gentleman of leisure in San Francisco, who fancies himself to be a trust fund kid swapped out at birth. Not dented by the male menopause and a pesky diagnosis of leukemia, this former strawberry blond cycled across America, coast to coast, in 2016 and is presently cycling from Vancouver, Canada, to the Mexico border.

9 thoughts on “Matching Bags and Shoes”

  1. The day has arrived. Good luck, Leslie! An amazing adventure awaits. You’ll have the experience of a lifetime. I’ll be keeping fingers crossed this end for no punctures and a vegan restaurant in every town. Hamish and I have got our own countdown clock ticking away until the day you return.


  2. Well Leslie,

    “Go n-eiri an bother leat” as we say in Irish here, that is, “May the road rise up to meet you.” The traditional blessing continues with:
    “May the wind be always at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face;
    the rains fall soft upon your BICYCLE (fields in the original)
    and until we meet again,
    may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

    Good luck ya mad Scot!



  3. Wishing you the best in your amazing goal to cycle across the U.S.!! I’ll be cheering you on!


  4. What a wonderful adventure, Leslie! Sorry about that tick – it was probably just trying to get to San Francisco.

    Take lots of pictures along the way!


  5. Hooray! Bon voyage you brave, elegant soul! Please tell us about the weather and the food. And all the characters you come across. We’re holding it down for you on the old block, although we miss you already!


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