Today marks my first full ride, and I’m aiming for 60+ miles up Whidbey Island with my fully-loaded bike. Thanks to my sister Ellen for hosting me in her home last night, just north of Seattle. Her husband Rob kindly cooked us a fabulous salmon dinner last night, and a delicious egg and cheese sandwich, which I enjoyed much more than the food on my ferry. But all of this good chow reminds me of one of the many reasons why I’m riding my bike for three weeks: I’m trying to lose weight. My pre-trip weigh-in on Ellen’s scale is 178.2 pounds. Stay tuned for the post-trip weight, as my track record isn’t great in this department. Bike riding usually makes me very hungry.
Before leaving on this bike tour, my son Eli kindly helped his old man craft some code to integrate geotagged Flickr photos onto a map with a blue line to trace the route. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting, Eli, which code-fanatics can view on GitHub. My job is to improve the map appearance and interactivity during this trip, so expect to see some changes (and there’s always the possibility that I’ll accidentally break the darn thing). Scroll around the map below OR click here to view the full-screen version.
See also additional posts I wrote on this bike tour:
- Biking from Morrisville NY to West Hartford CT, 2017
- Southern Florida tour 2016-17
- Willimantic: The Cycling Trail Connector
- Biking Le P’tit Train du Nord, Quebec 2015
- On the C&O-GAP bike trail from DC to Pittsburgh, May 2015
- East Coast Greenway “One Week A Year” Tour 2014 from Philly to DC
- Follow my Portland-Oregon Coast loop 2014
- Follow my Seattle-Vancouver loop 2014
- Biking with Eli from Ohio to New York State, 2012
Today begins my Northwest bike tour. I left Seattle on my fully-loaded rig and will be pedaling for the next three weeks. Exactly where? That’s to be decided. For the first leg of this trip I’m headed north to Vancouver, British Columbia, then ride the ferry to Victoria to circle back to Washington state. If all goes well, then I’ll head south to the Oregon coast. But the best part about this trip is that I’m not following any set schedule. It’s a delightfully odd feeling for a guy whose sisters nicknamed him “planner boy” to go wandering on a bike. Many thanks to my partner Beth for allowing me to head off on this cycling adventure, and to my sisters Kris and Ellen for hosting my family in Seattle the week before my trip began.
Back in the Spring of 2012, when Eli was finishing up his first year at Oberlin College, we spoke on a Skype call. I asked him if he wanted me to give him a ride back home after his final exams. “Yeah, that’d be great,” he responded, then paused to confirm one important detail. “You are bringing the car, right?”
“No car. Just the tandem bike,” I replied. A few weeks later, I flew into Columbus Ohio with our Bike Friday tandem packed in two suitcases, and my old friend David Levine drove me up to Oberlin the next day. I assembled the bike, and Eli packed his summer gear into the suitcases, which David shipped back East for us. Eli had seven days to ride over 400 miles to central New York State for a family reunion and memorial service for my father, John, who also enjoyed riding his bike. Below is a photomap of our ride (see full-screen version). We originally planned to ride 480 miles across the Northern Tier bike route (by Adventure Cycling) and the Erie Canal bike trail (by Parks and Trails NY) to my hometown of Morrisville, NY. But we modified our trip and rode 429 miles in 5 days, then caught a ride with relatives in Skaneateles, NY to avoid some hills on a very hot day.