The Plan

Several months ago I decided I was going to do some traveling by bicycle during my summertime sabbatical from single parenting. I’ve decided to set up a blog to give myself a central place to post details so friends and family can keep up to date with where I am and what I’m doing. The route will be between 689mi and 1644mi depending on how things go once I’m out on the road. I’ll be starting on June 9th from Avon, NC and returning home to Lexington, KY about the 22nd of July, giving me about 42 days to travel, explore and see what I can see. At this point I’ll thank both sets of parents and my son’s mother, without their help and cooperation, I’d never have be able to even attempt this. Thanks guys.

You’re biking how many miles? Why?!

Well why not? I’m 26 and I’ve emptily said “I want to travel” too many damn times. It’s time to change that. I want to see the world and this seems like a decent start. More importantly the decision to undertake this marks a turning point in my thinking about everyday life, one in which I worry less about why I can’t do something, more about what I want to do and figure things out as I go. Will this be the biggest mistake of my life? It’s a distinct possibility. I could very easily get flattened by some teenager texting while behind the wheel of mommy’s Escalade. But that could happen every time I step out my door. Maybe it’s a little cliché, but in some ways I hope to grow a little as a person or maybe just prove that I have. I also hope to not get pancaked by semi. That’d be cool too.

Okay, but how?

One mile at a time. My hope is to travel on ten dollars or less a day. That’s food, shelter, water, entertainment… the whole nine yards. For shelter I’ll be using couchsurfing.com and warmshowers.org to find hosts willing to put me up for a night. Barring that I’ve got a tent, a sleeping bag and a willingness to sleep outdoors.

Here’s a rough approximation of the route I’m planning on taking:

First Portion- 600mi.
  • Start in Avon, NC (on the Outerbanks, off the coast)
  • Bike 120mi/193km to Virginia Beach, VA
  • Cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge
  • Bike 136mi/219km from the opposite side to Lewes, DE.
  • Cross the Delaware Bay using the Lewes Cape Mays Ferry into NJ.
  • Bike 85mi/136km from Cape Mays, NJ to Philadelphia, PA
  • Bike 123mi/198km from Philly to New York City using the Raritan Canal State Park Trail
  • Bike 136mi/218km from NYC to Hartford, CT using the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail
At this point I have two options.
Plan A + 89mi./143km
  • Take the Amtrak from Hartford to Cincinnati, OH. (this includes 12hr layover in DC)
  • Bike 89mi/143km from Cincinnati, OH to Lexington, KY (home) by late July.
Plan A entails 789mi/1270km (100 miles [161km] added for buffer as I may wander, screw around and travel out of the way for a place to sleep).  If I plan for 32 of my 42 days to be travel days, that sets my pace at 24.7mi/39.8km a day. Currently I can do that in less than two hours riding as hard as possible in windy conditions so it should be no trouble what so ever to do it daily at a leisurely rate.
Plan B + 1044mi./1680km
  • Bike 103mi/166km from Hartford, Ct to Albany, NY.
  • Bike 336mi/540km from Albany, NY to Buffalo, NY along the Erie Canal Heritage Trail.
  • Bike 202mi/325km from Buffalo, NY to Cleveland, OH along the NY State Bike Route 517
  • Bike 190mi/306km from Cleveland, OH to Columbus, OH along the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail
  • Bike 213mi/343km from Columbus, OH home to Lexington, KY by late July.

Plan B entails 1744mi/2807km (100 miles [161km] added for buffer as I may wander, screw around and travel out of the way for a place to sleep). If I plan for 37 out of my 42 days to be travel days, that sets my pace at 47.1mi/75.8km a day. This might be stretching my current abilities, but I still have a month of training left before I leave. Furthermore, the majority of this option goes along bike specific trails.

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