Category Archives: Bike Touring

Unexpected Letdown

Almost two weeks have passed since Felkerino and I were last turning our tandem wheels through Idaho and Montana. This bike tour, combined with my recent work travels, really helped me appreciate my Washington, D.C., home.

The District is bikeable and diverse. Career prospects are good. Over the last decade more and more people have moved into the city proper, and chosen bikes as their main form of transport.

This has led to improved bike infrastructure (not perfect, but better!) and provided opportunities for local businesses and restaurants who can cater to these residents. Travels have taught me that this is not a given in all places.

Capitol

Usually I end our summer bike tours with a sense of sadness or a wish that life on the road would continue, but not this time.  Unlike past trips, I thought our tour lasted just long enough and I welcomed the return to life in the District.

While for some, life inside the Beltway is a subject of constant grousing, I’ve realized that D.C. has become a comfortable home base for Felkerino and me.

The readily available resources within walking and cycling distance spoil me, and sleeping in my own bed and 24-hour access to a washing machine have been a real treat. Life here is good.

Idaho bike tour days, Felkerino and me

I miss aspects of the road, though. My windowless office brings a longing for the outdoors, and the bright sun’s rays on my cheeks and neck. I miss the gradual rise of daily temperatures and the freedom of sweating up and not wearing deodorant.

I love that dusty sweaty odor that builds up on my body and absorbs into my clothing over a full day of riding. It’s refreshing to breathe in the smell of a day outside, the scent of physical effort.

During our bike tour, every site was new. It takes energy to always be wandering through new terrain, but it’s also exciting. We began many days in rural areas. Now it’s a 30-mile ride from the built-up city to the countryside, and almost all of the paths between here and there are familiar.

Idaho bike tour, Felkerino and me

Mostly, I miss riding our tandem on the open road. For now, we’ve ditched our minimalist touring setup for full commute panniers and short rides here and there. We’re tending to business like the flat tire on the Quickbeam that I kept procrastinating (thanks for that, Felkerino).

Oh, and planning future tour. We’re doing that too.  I tend to drift into the post-tour funk, but Felkerino wards it off by thinking ahead. He likes to keep the anticipation of the open road within reach. I married a dreamer, which is a good antidote for the unexpected post-tour letdown.

Crouch to Boise, Idaho: Coming Full Circle

I’m wrapped in the good vibes of finishing our loop of Idaho with a brief foray into Montana. As you may have guessed if you read my previous post, we took the pavement today. Continue reading Crouch to Boise, Idaho: Coming Full Circle

Cascade to Crouch, Idaho: Taking Off the Training Wheels

Greetings from Crouch! It smells delicious here, like a sweet wildflower I don’t recognize. The dry air heightens my senses; the afternoon sky is pure blue, and there is no haze, anywhere. Continue reading Cascade to Crouch, Idaho: Taking Off the Training Wheels

McCall to Cascade: An Invitation to the Idaho Mountains

After days of roadside observation of the stand-offish peaks on our tour, Felkerino and I received an invitation to the mountains in the form of the Adventure Cycling Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route. And so we went. Continue reading McCall to Cascade: An Invitation to the Idaho Mountains

Riggins to McCall, Idaho: 50 Miles Up

Today Felkerino and I had a hard time getting our bike touring act together and ended up leaving Riggins at 9:30 a.m. Gasp! Continue reading Riggins to McCall, Idaho: 50 Miles Up

Kooskia to Riggins, Idaho

To make up for our 90-mile gradual downhill to Kooskia, we spent much of the following day climbing. Continue reading Kooskia to Riggins, Idaho

135 Miles from Missoula, Montana to Kooskia, Idaho

After our layover day in Missoula, Felkerino and I rose early for a 135-mile day over to Kooskia, Idaho, via Lolo Pass. Continue reading 135 Miles from Missoula, Montana to Kooskia, Idaho

Adventure Cycling Headquarters

We are currently overnighting in Missoula, Montana, after a short mellow 50-mile day from Hamilton. Continue reading Adventure Cycling Headquarters

Lost Trail Pass into Montana

After three days of riding and fretting about my bike tour fitness, I’ve now decided that it’s a much better plan to focus on pedaling rather than worrying. This approach makes the day better. Continue reading Lost Trail Pass into Montana

Pickup Truck Dreams in Idaho: Lowman to Challis

We began today with a quiet exit from Lowman, a town nestled between the mountains. As we rode I wondered how life would be if, in order to go anywhere, I had to climb thousands of feet away from home. Continue reading Pickup Truck Dreams in Idaho: Lowman to Challis

Riding Out the Bike Tour Kinks: Boise to Lowman, Idaho

It’s our first day touring Idaho and I already feel in the teeth of it all. After some urban trail riding out of Boise that took way longer than it should have due to our lack of familiarity with the area, we ascended away from town. Continue reading Riding Out the Bike Tour Kinks: Boise to Lowman, Idaho

Letter from Jerry: 3500 Kilometers into Bike Touring Alaska to D.C.

As I write this, our friend is out on the road somewhere, pedaling steadily eastward. Jerry talked with me before he departed for his big cross-country bike tour, and you can read those thoughts here.

Now that Jerry’s been traveling for a few weeks, I thought it would be great to catch up with him and see how his travels are going. Thanks, Jerry, for sharing your progress with us, both here and through your Instagram (tenmetersfromthehut). 

Continue reading Letter from Jerry: 3500 Kilometers into Bike Touring Alaska to D.C.

Our Friend Jerry is Going Coast to Coast: Bike Touring Alaska to D.C.

Over the last couple of years, Felkerino and I have had the pleasure of getting to know Jerry, a local cyclist and fellow D.C. Randonneur who will be riding a solo coast-to-coast tour from Alaska to Washington, D.C. Continue reading Our Friend Jerry is Going Coast to Coast: Bike Touring Alaska to D.C.

Choose Your Own Eventure: C&O Bike Tour to a Marathon

Hello friends. I’ve just returned from a weekend concept ride I’ve been plotting for the past year. It involved a 134-mile mini bike tour from Washington, D.C., out the C&O to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and the Freedom’s Run marathon.

Leaves  on the C&O

I don’t know what I was expecting, but what I ended up with was a satisfying fall weekend full of movement that was also 100 percent car-free. The perfect eventure. Continue reading Choose Your Own Eventure: C&O Bike Tour to a Marathon

Colorado 2014: By the Days and Miles

Co-Motion and Felkerino Rollins summit

Every day that goes by, our 2014 Colorado tour becomes more memory. I’m surprised to feel saddened by that, since one of our intentions while there was to feed our wanderlust and tire ourselves out so that we would be at peace with settling back into our life in Washington, D.C.

Maybe that peace will come in September, but in the interim I’m left daydreaming about the two weeks when I felt small, invigorated, and satisfied.

Felkerino uploaded our routes to his Ride With GPS page, and I’m posting the overall image of our daily profiles along with a link that provides more details about each day’s ride.

I wish I could figure out an easy way to sew the routes together so I could display it as one big loop as well as by days, but seeing it in segments is okay. UPDATE: Thanks to Ronnie, who commented below, I was able to put our routes into one image.

Through this post I have an overall record of our trip and I keep the good memories flowing! Again, many thanks to all of you for taking an interest and encouraging us throughout our time in Colorado. Continue reading Colorado 2014: By the Days and Miles