I ride bikes to get places. Sometimes those places are far away. Often, I enjoy taking my time. And that’s Lael. She is almost always in front of me or behind me or beside me. We spend half the year working and saving money, and half the year riding bikes. In fact, we ride bikes all year.
We have recently arrived in Cairo, Egypt, headed for Sinai and Israel, and possibly Jordan and Lebanon. Eventually, we wish to spend the spring and summer in Turkey, Armenia, and Georgia.
Flying from Athens to Cape Town, we avoided the northern winter by passing three months in the southern hemisphere, riding from Cape Town through South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland to the border of Zimbabwe, before turning back to Johannesburg to catch a flight north to Cairo, to avoid the intense heat of tropical summer.
In July 2014, we landed in Vienna to continue our search for dirt routes across Europe, riding through Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, and Greece.
We spent the winter working and riding fatbikes in Anchorage, AK.
Fall 2013, we returned from Ukraine to catch the last few months of summer and fall in the southwest. We began riding out of Fruita, CO on Kokopelli’s Trail to Moab, UT, and chased the last few week of summer on the Arizona Trail and assorted routes through Arizona, before returning to Alaska for the winter.
In May or 2013, Lael and I landed in Amsterdam with the goal of exploring footpaths and off-pavement touring routes across Europe. We enjoyed riding off-pavement and on small trails in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Czech, Slovakia, Poland, and Ukraine. Briefly, we also spent some time in Germany and Switzerland. All of these places offer incredible cultural bikepacking, blending great riding and rich communities.
In two consecutive years (2011, 2012) I have ridden to the start of the Great Divide Route in the Canadian Rockies– from Maryland and from Alaska– which means I have ridden well over twice the distance of the route, simply to reach Banff! In 2012, I rode from Anchorage on my secondhand Surly Pugsley, connecting with the Divide Route at Banff, some of the Colorado Trail, and assorted dirt routes before settling in New Mexico for the winter. Summer and fall 2011 I rode from Annapolis, MD to northern New York, then westward to Banff, Alberta to hook up with the Divide for the first time.
Most of these travels are documented here in the archives. Any and all of it was great fun, and is recommended. Rather, I’ve never been on a bike trip I didn’t like.
I condone any and all travel by bike or on foot, by ski or snow shoe or regular shoe or no shoe; by air, in a balloon; by water, swimming or by canoe or kayak, sailboat or board. Disregard them (naysayers), you can transport yourself!
I am fascinated with cycling utilities in the form of signed and mapped bicycle routes as well as cycling facilities such as rail trails, canal trails, bike lanes and paths. Off-pavement touring is blissful, and popular routes such as the Great Divide are affecting a new season of cycletourists, of which I am one. I am perpetually infatuated with bikes; old bikes, new technology that makes life better, and cheap creative solutions to problems. I love bikes, but they aren’t sacred. Make your bike better for you. Make it yours.
I have toured the US, Alaska, Canada, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Czech, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Mexico (Baja and Sierra Madre).
I have ridden some or all of the Great Divide Route, Kokopelli’s Trail, the Colorado Trail, Arizona Trail, GAP/CO rail and canal trails, Traversée du Massif Vosgien, GR5, GR12, the AlCan and Cassiar Highways, the Taylor and Top of the World Highways, the Denali Highway, the Denali Park Road, the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route, the Northern Tier, the Southern Tier, the East Coast of the US, the entire coastline of Florida…
He said, “I’m not a homeless man
I’m a gypsy by trade
And I’m travelin’ this land
I’m not a homeless man”
J.J. Cale -“Homeless”