Early April 2006, I started finding a riding partner by posting a message at the NYCC message board. I got a handful of message replies. Some people wanted to do it but didn't have time. Others told me about their great adventures and that I was welcomed to contact them for trip advice. There were a few people going back and forth on the tailwind vs headwind of going Eastbound vs Westbound.
I did get an email from Scott saying he was thinking of riding to Minnesota but could be persuaded to continue to San Francisco. I replied saying I could be persuaded to ride to Minnesota if he finished to San Francisco. Through a series of emails, I realized I already kind of met Scott at an earlier SIG workshop. He noticed my charm (but more likely my University of Virginia jacket) and made a reference to the NCAA Final Four; I replied, "Go George Mason." Anyhow, we met and got along well. We did lots of planning over dinner where I made him authentic Vietnamese cuisine. All was going well until he called one day to tell me he no longer could go on the trip due to family emergencies. Bummer.
I didn't have time to be upset or sad. It was now early May and my expected departure date was early July. I immediately went to Adventure Cycling's "riding partners wanted" section to try to find someone else. Here, I found Dave from Seattle. He was anxious to start pedaling and was open to any route. He did the southern tier a few years back. It was good to have someone with road experience. Since he was in Seattle and I was in New York, I had a friend, Todd from UVA (Todd, there's your shout-out - Holla!), meet and check him out for me. He checked out okay. We did virtual planning via email and phone calls.
Meanwhile, when I was still planning with Scott, Steven replied to my craigslist activity partners posting just trying to learn more about the trip. I hadn't heard much from Steven since then until miraculously the transition time between Scott and Dave. By this time, Steven was very interested and we started trading a bunch more emails. Having just graduated from college with all the free time in the world, Steven took the plunge and officially signed on. Once Steven moved back to New York City (from college) and I finally finished my world-wind trips in early June, I finally met Steven for a ride. We got along really well and I was excited to have a 2nd riding partner - safety in numbers and just more people to hang out with, you know? But unfortunately, just like Scott, Steven had to back out due to family emergencies.
Back to Dave... Dave originally wanted to bike from Seattle to New York to pick me up to pedal back West. However, time ran out and as of this writing, Dave is pedaling to Spokane to catch a bus to Illinois to pedal to New York in time for an early July departure.
This is how I found and lost riding partners and hence, "and then there was one"...