Prologue - Undaunted Porridge - CycleBlaze

May 1, 2018


Grumbys Across America

If you are interested in reading the Grumbys' riveting backstory, please click the link to our previous Cycleblaze journal entry, entitled The Grumbys' Riveting Backstory. 

Our big adventure starts in 3 days, May 4, which is Star Wars Day apparently. That is when we will walk away from our jobs and spend the next 9 days packing our belongings and preparing to embark on our new life as early retiree bicycle nomads, or as I like to call it, ERBNs. Actually, ERBN sounds ridiculous, so I won't be using that again. 

Note: I have linked to our blog Grumbys on the Move in this entry a couple of times because provides some background and insight on how we got here, but linking will be kept to a minimum going forward. 

We live in an apartment near downtown Portland so we don't have a house to sell, having taken care of that detail 3 years ago. We have been downsizing and saving like crazy people for several years in order to buy our freedom to travel like we want. So that's what we are doing. 

On May 15 we will pack our remaining belongings (including my bobblehead collection) in a 12-foot Penske moving truck and head for Kansas City, Missouri with a detour in Denver for a wedding. Once in KC we will will unload our stuff, spend some time with the family and, on May 24 begin our lives as bicycle nomads on the Lewis and Clark Trail route mapped by the Adventure Cycling Association.  We expect the exact same trials and tribulations that Lewis & Clark encountered, except instead of guiding keel boats up the river and bushwhacking through briers and brambles to set up camp, we will ride steel-framed Surly LHTs on mostly paved roads and stay at campgrounds and motels. And instead of encountering large, bloodthirsty griz at every turn, we will encounter crows, deer and sometimes possums. But otherwise it will be exactly the same. 

The Grumbys at Mt. Tabor park, one of the many amazing places to ride in Portland.
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Why Undaunted Porridge? Well, why not? Our good friends Rich and Cissy, veteran tandem bicycle tourers (not really tourists) called their L&C trip Undaunted Tourage, which is very clever and I wish I had come up with it. If you've read or heard of the excellent book Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose, you get the reference. I wanted a name for our trip that sounded cool and referenced Lewis & Clark, but it seemed wrong steal Rich and Cissy's title that they stole from Mr. Ambrose (ha! just kidding!). I don't recall if it was me or Jen, but one of us landed on "Porridge" because we tend to eat oatmeal for breakfast, and oatmeal can loosely be described as porridge. Oh, and it sounds a little like "courage". So thanks to Rich and Cissy, there it is in all its shining brilliance. 

My niece Amelia drew this awesome rendition of Jen and I as L&C
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Since we don't have Jefferson Peace Medals to hand out like Lewis and Clark did, we will have these cards for people we meet on the trail.
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Andrea BrownWe want a card.
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2 years ago

I will be posting pages on our training regimen (spoiler alert- it involves riding) as well as other activities associated with preparing to leave our jobs, friends and home for a crazy adventure in the wilderness.  

My touring friends on this site (and my spouse) have assured me that they expect responsible and regular journaling, so I am committed to doing just that. Except the responsible part. I can't guarantee responsibility. But I do pledge to use verbs where appropriate, because verbs are one of my favorite parts of speech. 


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Dee ForteCan't wait to read about your travels!!
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2 years ago
Cissy ByrdHappy Trails.... look forward to following your journey!
(I think the following link will take you to a photo of us at the start of our L&C tour)
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2 years ago
Alain AbbateLove your blog title. I'm sure a daily bowl of porridge will be healthier for you than the pounds of meat the members of the Corps of Discovery ate each day.
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2 years ago
Ron SuchanekTo Alain AbbateTrue, but we've been slacking a bit on the morning oats because of early starts (avoiding the heat).
Thanks for reading!!
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2 years ago
Ron SuchanekTo Cissy ByrdExcellent, thanks!
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2 years ago