Final Post (for now) At Home in Waunakee
Final Stats and Rambling Thoughts
- Total mileage 3250 miles,
- 48 ride days (average 68 miles per day)
- Average speed = 13.7 mph
- Fastest speed = 47.9 mph along the Delaware River in New York (that’s too fast)
- 17 days where we climbed >3000 ft
- We camped 27 of the 53 nights we were gone, hotel 17 other nights and 9 nights we had other inside accommodations (Warm Showers, friends, and new friends).
- Other than the creaking noise, our rig had no mechanical issues – bike had just one flat and BoB had two.
- Physically, we both did great, with the help of lots of Advil of course. Most amazingly was, with often questionable water and basic sanitary conditions, neither of us got sick!!
To contract to last year’s trip, in our ride from Anacortes WA to home, we rode 2728 miles over 38 days (ave 72 miles per day). Even though we climbed the Cascade mountains and the Rockies around Glacier, we only had 8 days were we had total climb of >3000 feet. We had a lot more flats last year – 13 on the bike (none for BoB).
There is no flat ground in Virginia (except maybe the Eastern Shore)
People are proud of their communities, and it’s so much fun to travel in this slow fashion and really get a chance to talk to people about the area, what people do for work, what the politics are like, etc. There are a lot of good people in our country, but you have to put down the paper and turn off the TV in order to find them!!
New Jersey is an amazing state for bicycling!
Kentucky and Virginia have a lot of REALLY big trees!!
The Appalachian Mountains are so beautiful, and different from the Rockies and Cascades in that they’re dense forests with hardwood trees. They’re steep and they catch clouds in their valleys to give the most amazing contrast.
We really enjoyed Warm Showers (warmshowers.org) and the people who hosted us. We think we made some great connections with fellow cyclists and we hope to be able to host them (and others) as they tour through Wisconsin.
The Trans-AM route was established in 1976 (my brother rode it that year as a 17 year old) from Yorktown VA to Astoria OR. As we rode the Kentucky and Virginia portions of the route, it was neat to hear about churches, fire stations, businesses and individuals that have a long history of taking care of cyclists riding the route. It’s amazing to think that for almost 40 years, many of these churches and fire stations have been opening their doors to cyclists – asking for a donation and a simple request to “leave the place better than you found it.” That level of trust and commitment to serve cyclists, and believe that people won’t take advantage of a situation was amazing to us.
One of the neat parts of traveling by bicycle, especially on the Adventure Cycling routes, is meeting others that are out there touring. Some for the first time who are just trying to figure it out, some veterans that are out on an adventure every summer. Some young college graduates with their lives in front of them, and many new retirees who have dreamed about a tour like this for a really long time and finally have the time to do it.
So, one of the biggest questions we’re getting is “what’s next?” We don’t really have a plan for that, however our bucket list just keeps on growing! For now, we’re content to be home, re-engaged in our business, puttering around at home and in our garden. It’ll just be a matter of time though until we formulate our new plan.
The following poem is one I first saw in Jimmy Buffett’s book “A Pirate Looks at Fifty.” It epitomizes the feelings we share, it’s great to be home, but …
The Double Life by Don Blanding
How very simple life would be
If only there were two of me
A Restless Me to drift and roam
A Quiet Me to stay at home.
A Searching One to find his fill
of varied skies and newfound thrill
while sane and homely things are done
by the domestic Other One.
And that’s just where the trouble lies;
There is a Restless Me that cries
For chancy risks and changing scene,
For arctic blue and tropic green,
For deserts with their mystic spell,
For lusty fun and raising Hell,
But shackled to that Restless Me
My Other Self rebelliously
Resists the frantic urge to move.
It seeks the old familiar groove
that habits make. It finds content
With hearth and home — dear prisonment,
With candlelight and well-loved books
And treasured loot in dusty nooks,
With puttering and garden things
And dreaming while a cricket sings
And all the while the Restless One
Insists on more exciting fun,
It wants to go with every tide,
No matter where…just for the ride.
Like yowling cats the two selves brawl
until I have no peace at all.
One eye turns to the forward track,
the other eye looks sadly back.
I’m getting wall-eyed from the strain,
(It’s tough to have an idle brain)
But One says “Stay” and One says “Go”
And One says “Yes,” and One says “No,”
And One Self wants a home and wife
And One Self craves the drifter’s life.
The Restless Fellow always wins
I wish my folks had made me twins.