Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Road West

I suppose that it is time to describe what this blog is all about.

The goal is to use it to document my bike trip across the US of A. The big plan is to start in Astoria Oregon and follow the Lewis and Clark Trail up the Columbia River , across the mountains , and follow the Missouri River to Council Bluffs , Iowa.

In Council Bluffs I will join the Ragbrai which is an organized 7 day ride across Iowa by about 10,000 other bikers. It starts on July 18. The Ragbrai ends in Burlington, Iowa which is on the Mississippi River. From Burlington it will be across Illionois and Indiana to Darke County Ohio for some R and R, the duration of which will depend on several factors including how long family/friends will tolerate my hanging around telling them about my last 2 months on the road. (in the 6 months before I left I was nicknamed "Bubba Blue" by sons because like that character in the movie Forest Gump who talked constantly about shrimping, I talked biking. I got used to watching listeners eyes glaze over and finding other places to be when I started up.

From Darke County , it will be across Ohio to Pittsburgh to ride on the Allegheny Trail which is a recently opened bike path following old railroad beds to Washington D.C. If all goes reasonably well that will be around the end of August.

I realize this is a big bite to chew on and will be a challenge on several levels but it is one of those things a guy has just gotta do, and in my case, before I get passed the time I am reasonably capable. I have been thinking about doing this ever since my son Russ and I biked the Mississippi River from North to South 6 years ago. That was a wonderful experience.

For several years I doubted whether the opportunity would present itself to take this on. Fortunately some stars lined up and here I am. I would be remiss if I did not thank the great people at Tigereye Design for making this trip possible and providing encouragement. There are many long time friends there and I look forward to staying in touch with them along the way.
Chad and Austen , the ace I.T. guys have prepped me on how to actually use this blog as well as upload pics , plot progress on map etc. Although I have not actually put thier instructions into practice I look forward to mastering those things in the coming days.
Steve Swallow, Ron Simon, Mary, Nancy, Grieshop and others all of whom will be named in later posts --I owe you large.

My family has also been very supportive about "dad's latest dream". Sons Jeff and Russ along with wife Monica have all been "go for it" encouraging.

As I write this , Monica and I are driving towards Astoria in our mini van loaded with bike, trailer and related equipment. We are roughly following the planned bike route. It is fun to just sort of mosey West , mostly along secondary roads where there is really a lot of America to see., especially at 50 miles per hour.

Reports of this drive will follow in days to come.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update! This sounds very exciting, and based on your experience, I may do this at some point in the future. Best of luck and post lots of pictures!!!

    Kevin Rismiller
    Greenville, OH