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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Itching for touring

Lewis and Clark State Park, Washington. Night 2 of the big tour last year.
It was inevitable. We’ve been back in town longer than we were on the road for the Cross-Con Tour. We’ve done a few tiny winter “tours” to places like Stub Stewart and Battle Ground Lake. The first few springlike days have descended upon Portland, and looking at the calendar I realize March ain’t that far away. Most of the fall and eary winter my bike obsessions have leaned towards “vintage”, ogling over classic photos of British bikes on the flickr and resuscitating a Rudge. Now with spring at the door my bike obsessions have moved towards bike touring.

Yes, I know. After four months on the road, for awhile I couldn't really think about touring, not just yet. Being on bike, day after day? Yeah, it's not like I was eager. But even in the darkest moments of tour, I was thinking about 2012: Where would I go, for how long, and how?

I'm not just thinking of touring because of impending springitude. There's also a few other things that have helped.

First off, I've discovered the blog Rootless in Place. The gent who's behind it, Robert, lives in (or around) Seattle, and has been doing a substantial tour a year. Many of the places he's toured are familiar to me, because he tends to like to start and end his tours from his front door. And while I can't say that we see eye to eye 100%, his touring philosophy is similar to my own. If you look in the usual places* you tend to get the idea that so many cycle tourists are white, male, older, more affluent. While Robert is definitely white and male, it's refreshing to me to see someone who cut from the same cloth, so to speak. Take a gander through his archives to check out travelogues of his tours around the Puget Sound region, Olympic Peninsula, Cascades, and down the Pacific Coast.

And just the other day I was asked to review a book for an issue of Momentum. The book? Cycling Sojourner: A Guide to the Best Multi-Day Bicycle Tours in Oregon by Ellee Thalheimer. She's detailed a lot of great rides around the Beaver State, some of which I have done (either completely or part of), some I want to do. And after I read it, I wanted to ride them all-NOW.

Still, I don't know how this summer is going to turn out. I'm not going to do any really long tours this year, nor do I know what my work life is going to be like yet. But besides a bit of one-two-three day adventures, I want to accomplish a couple one-two-or maybe slightly longer-week adventures. I would love to explore more of the Oregon Cascades and east region, and would also love to do more exploring around the Northwest's "Inland Seas" of Puget Sound, Strait of Georgia, and Strait of Juan de Fuca (and all the islands contained within.) Cycle Wild is also doing a two week Oregon adventure in August, I might be able to tag along. There are also shorter, one night adventures coming up in the near future.

Spring can't come fast enough!



  1. I here you. Touring just gets in your blood. Not a bad thing though, it just means you're a healthy adventurer! If you need one more touring blog, hop on over to my site on Mondays where I post a new episode of our world tour. I get away every year for a 4 day adventure with my husband, now with growing boys taking our time. It will have to suffice for a while.

  2. I want my son and I (daughter and Wife are welcome too...daughetr may go,Wife has no interest in riding) sometime this I hear ya,my friend!

    The Disabled Cyclist


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