The year of cross-continental bike travel!

Happy new year!! :) And, how was that for a grandiose title to a blog post? :)

I very rarely write about adventure before I do it, because it turns out I’m kinda superstitious about that — I don’t like to say that I’m going to do something until I’m actually doing it; I don’t want to jinx it. BUT, that being said, this is the year that James and I bike across the continent!! Yes, continent: I say “continent” because 1) it just sounds more grand and I’m enjoying feeling grand about this, and 2) we legit may end up riding partly through Canada, so, there you go, we can’t be confined by only one country;)

I’m kind of hoping for your input here.

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(hopefully we’re still smooching after three months of joint bike touring, ha!)

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Our general plan is to leave in mid-June, from the west coast, and spend the next three months riding across the northern portion of the US (and maybe southern portion of Canada). James is very excited to end up in Lubec, Maine, although then we have to figure out how to get home again, so who knows. I hadn’t thought about it until I typed this, but maybe we need to end somewhere near an airport or a train station;) But we want to balance that with ending up on the actual east coast, ocean in sight, as east as we can go.

There are a few other factors:

  1. We want to start at the ocean somewhere; it doesn’t necessarily have to be the Oregon coast near Portland, although I think ideally we could access it by train/bus.
  2. We are planning mostly to camp and will be self-sufficient.
  3. We want to ride the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.
  4. (I want to ride through North Cascades National Park on the way there, though James is unconvinced about this one. And I’ve already done it, so I suppose we’ll go with James’ preference here;)
  5. We probably want to bike through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
  6. Yes, I know that Adventure Cycling Association has cross-country bike routes, but I also know that in the few places where I’ve accidentally ended up on their routes, I have not liked them (they have been car-busy!!). So, I’m open to using parts of their routes but not necessarily excited about it (does anyone have thoughts about this?)
  7. Paved roads are better for our bikies, though the occasional well-graded gravel is alright. No sustained single-track though.
  8. With three months, we do not plan to make this a must-ride-hard-every-day kind of trip, but would like to stop and sometimes stay a day or two or maybe even backpack somewhere. And then ride hard on other days;) Anyone have any must-see locations?
  9. We are very happy to entertain the notion of people joining us for parts of this ride, or meeting up somewhere for a day or two, though clearly we will have to better figure out what the heck we’re doing before we plan anything.

Have any of you ridden any portion of across-the-country northern style? Or been in various places along the north of the US or south of Canada that you would absolutely recommend? Or do you have strong opinions about NOT staying in the north? Please let me know! I’m definitely still in an information-gathering/stewing phase before this all magically coalesces into a fun trip (that, let’s face it, we will probably mostly figure out as we go anyway).

Also, if you know anyone wonderful who wants to rent a sweet little furnished SE Portland home for three months in the summer, please let me know:)

And happy new year to all!

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