Bike touring is my passion. I haven't had much experience with it, yet, but I dream of pedaling off one day and seeing where I end up a long time later. So far, I've been able to squeeze in an overnight every so often and the longest trip I've taken was when Big Brother was just 10-months-old, 600 miles around Oregon. I decided that this summer was going to involve dragging my children along on an epic bike journey. While trying to figure out where we were going to go, I started thinking about places I've been wanting to visit and people I've been wanting to see. Since I've been doing a few little trips here and there with the kiddos, I've realized that it really helps to have lots of people to help manage them after a long day of riding. After talking (twittering) with some folks, I think we have a general route set up that involves lots of stops at places we want to hang out and meeting other folks who will hopefully join us for sections along the way.
The plan: Jose will help us get up to the Eugene-ish area of Oregon. He only has a few days off so he'll probably just ride a little ways and take the train home. We'll head North, just as we did on our trip with Big Brother, stopping in Portland for a few days. Then, we'll be on our way to Seattle to hang out a couple of days and pick up some other mama-bikers (papas are welcome, too!) and heading North again. I'd like to reach Vancouver, just to say we biked to Canada (and also to explore the area and meet some other folks along the way). I have family in Victoria, BC that I'd love to stay with and get a chance to thoroughly indulge in their biking infrastructure. We'll take the ferry back to Seattle and catch Amtrak home. It sounds like we can fit *most* of the Mundo in an Amtrak bike box. We have about two months to do it all.
My idea is that we'll keep the number of miles fairly low--30-50 per day so that I can still be a functional parent after we've finished riding. On the trip I did with Big Brother to Chico, we learned that it's not a good idea to push ourselves. No one has fun when we're all exhausted. I'd like the boys to have a good time, too, so playgrounds, campsites, and other great off-the-bike activities will be incorporated each day. Having other people to hang out with after riding will be a big help, as well. Our trips staying with warmshowers hosts have been fantastic experiences.
I'm really excited about planning and training. Since I'll be lugging around two children as well as our gear, I really want to plan efficiently. We have most of the things we'll need already but I'd like to upgrade our sleeping bags for something smaller and lighter. I need to learn how to prepare wholesome meals on the bike so we don't lose steam. The hills will be the hardest, of course, so I need to start working on my strength and stamina.
If you have any suggestions on route options or gear, please let me know. I'm glad we have quite some time to get ready! I feel that if we can accomplish an epic adventure like this, we'll be able to do anything!