Several people have asked us, “what is your plan?!”
The plan is this: We will ride bicycles. We will ride them a lot.
Lao-Tzu said “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” If Lao-Tzu was joining us on this trip, he might say, “a bicycle journey of 10,000 miles begins with a single pedal revolution.” In our case, it also begins in a U-Haul parking lot. [JB: And with treats!]
We decided to start the trip on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The weather should be great, the roads are flat and bicycle friendly, there are lots of places to camp, and there are also major services like bike shops and grocery stores. It should be a great way to ease our mind and bodies into the trip without having to climb Mt. Holycraphowsteepisthis from the get-go.
Just to give you an idea of our planning, below is an outline for the first few days of trip.
Day 1 – 45 miles
After driving our little traveling road show to the East Coast in a rented U-Haul van, we’ll drop off the keys in Grandy, NC, unload the steel horses, and ride out of the asphalt jungle along Highway 158 to the Outer Banks. Highway 12 will then take us south along the coast to our first stop, a campground in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Only 9,955 miles to go!
Before we sleep, we’ll dip toes, tires, and paws in the water in a symbolic start to the journey. Biscuit will also lick some sand. It’s what he does. [B: It’s what I do. And just for the record, I don’t like to get my paws wet] [G: Mark claims Biscuit’s feet smell like Fritos. I think he’s making it up, or he just really likes corn chips.] [M: Frito Feet, Google it.]
Day 2 – 45 miles
We anticipate a huge breakfast, because we read that touring cyclists eat everything in sight. Yes, yes, it’s only the second day but there is no reason to delay on the caloric intake. [G: Ooh! I have a spreadsheet for that!] There is a lighthouse nearby, so we’ll check that out.
Day 3 and 4 – 35 miles
Another lighthouse near this stop! We’ll spend two days relaxing and recovering.
The journey continues via the Cedar lsland Ferry, a 2.5 hour float across Pamlico Sound.
During our two day break, we will have worked out the next few stops. We can’t plan them too far in advance as we won’t know how fast we’ll go, what detours we’ll want to take, or how long we’ll want to stay and visit a particular area.
Below are some of the cities we anticipate visiting for various reasons that you’ll find out along the way!
- West Palm Beach, FL
- Key West, FL
- Austin, TX
- Phoenix, AZ
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Topeka, KS
- Des Moines, IA
- Waterford, WI
- Minneapolis, MN
- Yakima, WA
- Seattle, WA
- End ->> As yet, a mystery.
We are planning our riding time as follows:
- We think we can average a solid 10 MPH during the first several hundred miles, as it will be relatively flat terrain along the eastern seaboard.
- Average daily miles: about 50.
- That works out to about 8 hours of migration time each day: 5 hours of riding, plus an additional 2-3 hours for lots of breaks to eat snacks, take pictures, and to stretch all 12 legs.
- We will ride about 5 days per week and take two days completely off.
- Average miles per week: about 250. That’s a fairly leisurely pace as bike tours go, but we aren’t exactly in a hurry.
- Average miles per month: between 750 and 1000, Every 1-2 months, we’ll take an entire week off from the road.
And folks, there ya have it! THE PLAN. Of course, all of this is subject to change as we reserve the right to follow the wind in whatever direction it flows. [M: And that is one of the best parts of this trip!]
Along the way, we have several ideas for adding a little more adventure into the trip. Some we’ll save as surprises, but here are a couple:
- We plan to challenge a few public figures along the way to join us for a bike ride. Some examples may include:
- Alabama Governor Robert Bentley. Alabama (where Mark lives) ranks #50 in bicycle friendly states. If you are following along at home, that’s dead LAST. Mr. Bentley is also a doctor, so should fully understand the benefits of healthy pursuits. On our ride, we’d like to talk to him about ways to get Alabama to #49 next year.
- Garth Brooks. Why? Because if Tomorrow Never Comes, We Shall Be Free. Plus, we went to his concert and in his own words, “I hold this guitar to hide my gut.” Mmmhmmm. Come ride with us chubs. [M: Bring a guitar.]
- We are going to try and convince organic farms to allow us to pitch a tent in exchange for farm labor [JB: I’m a good varmint chaser!] . Of course, if they have some extra produce, two hungry cyclists wouldn’t turn that down either. [B: And puppy snacks!] [JB: Yeah!]
We are currently working on some FAQ’s and other blog posts related to details about our bikes, gear, diet, and the pups. More soon!
— Georgia, Mark, Junebug and Biscuit