Wow. The last week has flown by! It was primarily about selling, but with some bike tune up stuff thrown in. Since I’ll be gone at least six months, I wouldn’t be needing most of my things, so I started selling them on Craigslist and Facebook. I have learned several things through this process, and am excited to share them with you.
First things first, my car! I made up a nice Craigslist ad based on a little Google searching and looking at other ads. Then I started thinking about what actually would happen when I found a buyer: what types of payment should I expect and what paperwork needs to be done to legally hand over the car? Asking questions of others, the internet, and the bank that my loan is with led me to a few answers: do not accept payment via PayPal as there are apparently common scams made that way, make the transaction at the bank so that you know it’s legit, selling a financed car is much more complicated than if you own it out right. Let me explain this part a little more thoroughly.
If your car is financed, the bank “owns” it. They may or may not hold the physical title as it may just be a digital title that the state DMV holds. To transfer ownership, you can either have the borrower call the bank to pay off your loan (and the bank bills you for the difference if there is any), or you can pay off your loan and get your title to sign over. Whichever method you choose, you need to know that the payment method you choose makes a big difference to how soon you get your title. If you pay with a certified form of payment (such as a cashier’s check), it will process immediately and should only take about a week to get the title. If you use uncertified payment (such as an electronic transfer), it would take about two weeks.
When I learned this, I kind of freaked out, because I only had about two weeks to sell the car in the first place, and to pay off my car in full before selling it meant putting nearly all of my savings towards that loan and having very little to tide me over. Fortunately, a good friend offered to sell the car for me up North. This was a huge weight off my shoulders, so though it’ll take longer to get the money for the car, I stopped worrying about it to focus on getting rid of everything else.
I know everyone has great things to say about Craigslist, but I’ve actually sold most of my stuff on Facebook. There are like ten groups all aimed at buying and selling in town, so I joined them all and started posting things for sale. With a Craigslist ad, I think I got maybe two sales, but everything else was with Facebook. The only complaints I would have is that sometimes people ask the same questions over and over again even though it’s right there, and twice someone didn’t show up to get an item they said they wanted. Such is life, for the most part everything went smoothly.
I found it pretty easy to get rid of the furniture, as there’s not really any sentimental value there, but when it came time to part with my clothes and other things in my room, it was so much harder. I knew I wouldn’t need the majority of things I had, but I still wanted them. It was really hard letting go. Ultimately, I just had to ask myself the following questions:
- Will I need it on my trip?
- Will I need it when I get back?
- Is there a significant reason to keep it anyway?
If I couldn’t answer yes to one of these questions then it was either sold or put in a give away bag. I filled and gave away probably 6 trash bags of clothes. It is amazing how much we accumulate throughout our lives! Some stuff I took pictures of before tossing so I could still have the sentiment without hoarding so much stuff. I really thought I was living simply before, but it just seemed to keep going. Deciding what to wear for the next 6 months was a weird feeling since I am used to just bringing whatever so I have options. Now my wardrobe will basically be determined by the weather, with a couple of nice things for fun days thrown in.
Another big thing that happened this week was that I found a bike and trailer! It was pretty crazy; we hosted some bike tourers on Monday night, and after talking for a while, I learned that one of them (a girl about my size) would be selling her bike when they ended their trip in LA since she’s joining the peace corps and won’t need it. I took her bike out for a test ride loaded up, and it felt great! I was amazed at my luck. I will be going down to LA this week to pick it up 🙂 And on top of that, there’s this guy in town that fixes up road bikes to resell, and he’s going to buy my bike old bike from me. As for the trailer, the bike tourer we hosted had a two-wheel one, but my roommate has a B.O.B. trailer that he’s offered me that is just perfect. Everything is just falling into place! With not much left, I’m getting more and more excited every day. And yes, my bed is gone too. I’ve been camping in my room for the last 4 nights and I couldn’t be happier.
You might be wondering what planning for the actual trip I have done. Well the same bike tourers that I’m getting the bike from, had some Adventure Cycling Maps for the route almost all the way to Portland that they gave me. These maps are excellent and break up the trip into sections showing you elevation and everything. I have decided on a plan of action for the fist two months, and will be posting an updated route soon. I have also been in contact with some Canadian relatives who have given advice about Canada, and about travel safety in general so over the next couple weeks or so I will be following up with some of their tips.
I had originally planned to pick up my new bike Friday so I could take it to the bike kitchen in SLO and learn the last couple of repairs I thought might be useful (fixing a chain or spoke) and get a refresher on some fixes I already knew. Since I didn’t have my “new” bike yet, I took my old bike and cleaned it up while I was at it. If you like bikes and you’ve never been to a bike kitchen, you’re missing out. The Bike Kitchen in SLO is awesome! They have all the tools you need to help you tune up your bike, and they even teach you how to do it yourself. They offer classes, hold a bike valet during the local farmer’s market, sell bike parts, and probably a bunch of other stuff I don’t even know about. I have easily spent hours there.
Training is something I haven’t worried about too much. I know that I can do the first few legs of this journey since I’ve done it before, and though I haven’t done much distance cycling lately, I’ll be taking it slow. A long tour itself will be plenty of training. That being said, I have been out on my bicycle every day. Sometimes for a long ride, sometimes weighted, and sometimes just for a 20 minute sprint session. I feel great, and I know it will be hard at first, but I definitely feel up for the challenge.
Some smaller things I did this week include: making a stove from a Coors can, took my bike to the bike kitchen* to learn a few fixes I didn’t know, made fish jerky, cleaned my car battery, took a walk around town, and tried to make Orange marmalade. See pics below!
I think that’s about it for now. Plan for this week is to pass off my old bike, sell or donate the last of my things, pick up my “new” bike, drop off some stuff with the folks on the way to San Jose to drop off my car, then train back home to rest a day before setting out!