Friday, May 27, 2011

Getting Ready for Tour!

We are planning a bicycle tour from Helena, MT to the coast at the Canada-Washington border, down the coast to Northern California, and then back to Helena.  We have been planning this trip for over a year and it seems unbelievable to me that we are actually about to do it!

Here is our very tentative route:

For the last year we have been riding our bikes everywhere in anticipation and preparation for our trip, (as well as to save money on gas and avoid burning irreplaceable fossil fuels and displacing the Carbon they contain into the atmosphere).  Brenton definitely had the more impressive daily commute to school every day, his being about 5 miles one way and mine being only half a mile.  Our commutes to work are each about 7 miles (14 round trip).  We did a good job of sticking to our guns and even rode through snow storms, sub-zero temperatures, and plenty of rain.  We each have a trailer to pull for transporting things like groceries, but the trailers were purchased for the purpose of pulling the dogs on our tour.

I realize that it sounds a little bit crazy for each of us to bring an extra 40 pounds of dog along as we pedal impossible climbs through the Rockies, but in having traveled cross-country with them on several occasions we have found that the entertainment they provide is priceless on a long and sometimes lonely journey.  Not to mention kenneling them for two months is simply not an option and my sister is already doing me the enormous favor of taking care of Pickles (the big dumb, but very sweet, coonhound) while we are gone.  I couldn't possibly ask her to take care of all three of them.

This is Pickles the coonhound at her best.

Another plus of having the dogs is for an alarm system, in particular to scare away bears, as we are going to be in some prime Grizzly country and will be tent camping every night.  We will have to use bear bags and be very careful about our smell-ables.  Brenton is pretty nervous about bears but I'm not to worried.  We will be camping right off the road, mostly in established campgrounds with plenty of other people around.  Plenty of people back-country camp all of the time, (and we will not even be in the back-country), and a very small percentage of them have any bear related incidents.  

I think we have all of our gear and our bikes ready to go!  I will post some pictures of our touring rigs, as I am very proud of my new Soma Saga that Brenton and I built from the wheels up!

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