Saturday, 5 October 2013

Arrival in the windy city

Well, the plane didn't crash so that is one less thing for everyone at home to cross of their worry list. I hsd arrived safely in Chicago. Its actually the 3rd time this year that I have been to the us so imagine my relief when they didn't invite me into the interview room at the border to explain that I wasn't running drugs from europe, although a certain person did tell me that the picture of my bike in the box had some suspicious packages in it.

Because of my previous 2 visits I was quite familiar with the security process to enter the us, and my fingerprints are now on record for the 3rd time, but this time I didn't get the surly, don't smile or I will lock you up, border guard, instead I had a nice chat about my bike ride, including the by now familiar look of horror accompanied by the words "by yourself".

But this time it was followed by "awesome!". Yup, I was really in the usa.

So next I went over to baggage claim, fingers and toes crossed that my bike had been put on the right flight and it was in one piece, both wishes came true and in no time at all, I was in the arrivals hall, putting my bike back together again.

Frankly this was a lot easier than getting it in the box and in no time at all I was outside the terminal, looking at the traffic coming from the wrong direction and working up enough courage to bite the bullet and go for it. Deep breath and off I pedaled, talking to myself as I went... keep to the right, left lane on the right, can turn right at a red light, oops need to change lanes. ....  making sure I looked over my lt shoulder instead of my right one took a bit of getting used to but I discovered that it all fell into place pretty quickly, my confidence grew and I found myself grinning from ear to ear as I started to enjoy.

I was making gd speed 14 to 16 mph, there was wierdly no wind in the windy city, which suited me fine and it was if anything slightly too warm!
So merrily I biked along, remembered to look lt and eventually came to where the gps said I had arrived at my cousins, only to find out that there was no number 2222 and that my phone didnt want to call anyone here. But more of that later.

So thanks to the garmin edge I borrowed (big big thanks to matt d) I realised after about 30 mins of panic that I could just programmein the address and use like a sat nav. I do know that it took me a l8ng time to do this but I was quite tired by this point.

So another few miles of good speed and I actually arrived.

Brilliant to see my cousin and her family who I hadnt met before and hadnt seen her for over 10 years I reckon.

so the phone, well my plan was to buy a sim card and fit into my phone, but a visit to a slightly dodgy repair shop told me that it wasnt unlocked and i couldnt so we went to a wallgreens (pretty cool shops these, they sell pretty much everything, and bought a cheap phone. The saga continued when at the house, after a quick trip to the very cool local brewery, (where f the second time in the 30 min shopping trip i got told my hair was cool btw) and also took the opportunity to drop off some of my cards advertising my ride thee., (just realised this is a very long sentence) , and it then took an hour to set up the phone, as i coulnt find the phone number on the sim like in the uk but had to register online first. 

But that got sorted and i am now the proud owner of an american mobile number ! 

So that was my day. 24 hours of being up and travelling and still making sense when speaking. 
Just about..........