I originally wrote this from Arizona, but in March of 2021, I moved to Colorado. As a result, I no longer have scorching summers to get away from.

One issue with my move to Colorado is figuring out what to do with my dog if I am to take long rides. In Arizona, I was able to hire my ex-wife to take care of her. Since they liked each other, that was a good solution. But here in Colorado, I need to find other options.

The weather here on the "Front Range" is really nice in the summer, but not so nice (very cold) in the winter. On the other hand, the weather in Phoenix is not so nice in the summer, but nice in the winter. Given these differences, here are some trip Ideas:

  1. Do the eastern part of the Southern Tier - Saint Augustine, Florida to Austin, Texas, potentially adding section 7 of the Atlantic Route: Key West to Saint Augustine.
  2. Go visit the bottom of the world (Australia or New Zealand).
  3. Do the non-ACA "Great Divide ROAD bike route"
  4. Do one of the EuroVelo routes
  5. Do ""LEJOJ" - Lands End to John o'Groats - About 1,035 miles, or about a month.

The first 2 options have the advantage of being winter routes, and option 1 has the easiest logistics, so at least at this point, option 1 may be the most likely.

What ever I decide, I'll leave this section as-is until more is known.

Notes on the above...

Option 1: The Southern Tier from Saint Augustine to Austin Texas (sections 5-7, and part of section 4) is the ride that appeals to me most
I could still use my my AZ dog sitter / Ex Wife by driving to Arizona, and flying to the start / and from the finish. To make this and even better option, my Granddaughter (who absolutely adores my dog :-) has moved in with my Ex Wife to attend Arizona State University. So, if I choose this option, I could Drive to Arizona, fly to Saint Augustine, ride to Austin Texas, fly back to Arizona from Austin, and drive back to Colorado.
This would be is a bit less than 1500 miles - mostly flat - so at ~60 miles/day, about 24 days.
If I add section 7 of the Atlantic Coast route - Key West, to St. Augustine Florida - this increases the total to ~2000 miles, or about a month.

Option 2: Australia and/or New Zealand...I have no idea what this entails yet, but again, it is a good "get away from the cold" idea.

Option 3: The book "Great Divide Road Bike Route" by David Plaskett & Barbara Breuning describes a fully on road route from Mexico to Canada along the Continental Divide. While I don't think I want to tackle ACA's Mountain Bike version, road version does have some appeal. Plus, it’s passes about 2 days from where I live. This is probably a 6 week or so trip.

Option 4: There also are several of the EuroVelo routes that appeal to me. Numbers 6 and 15 have been recommended by one of the people I rode with in 2018 who lives in England. Most of the EuroVelo routes go through well developed and populated areas, making riding logistics simple. Flying to other countries with a bike is a difficult and expensive proposition, but can be greatly simplified by using my Bike Friday.

Option 5: Another European possibility is to do the classic "LEJOG" (Lands End to John O'Goat) ride that covers the main British Isle from South to North (or vise-versa). So Europe seems a good choice to do something different.

Option 6: As I get older, I am finding that shorter tours better suit my interests, and that indoor accommodations (i.e. Credit Card touring) might be a better choice... That is, unless I can count on good camping spots... While the Great Divide Road Bike Route would mean mostly camping, it is shorter (1 1/2 months instead of 3) and the camping would mostly be good, so it fits; But so do some other US Rail-Trail options. If I were to go this route, here are some other Ideas:

  1. The KATY trail (~238 miles). If I add the Rock Island Spur to the Katy Trail, (Windsor to Kansas City), I get 238 + 18 (back to Windsor) + ~50 (Windsor - Kansas City); I get just over 300 miles, or about a week. Following this route has me starting and ending at towns with major airports (St. Louis and Kansas City)

  2. The C&O path + The Great Allegheny passage (GAP). This one is about 330 miles and again, about a week. It stretches from Washington DC to Pittsburgh. As with the Katy trail, following this route has me starting and ending at towns with major airports (Washington DC and Pittsburgh)

Both of these are crushed limestone, off the highway routes, and either could be done with my Bike Friday, thus making Logistics even easier.

I used a Bike Friday on my 2019 Canada to Mexico ride. I found that while the bike wasn't without it's quirks, it was a workable alternate to a "big wheeled" bike. and made it significantly easier to travel so, it could be a better choice for shorter trips.

If I switch to doing Credit Card Touring, I can simplify baggage by taking y new Bike Friday, and using only it's "Brompton Block and T-Bag" and perhaps a bikepacking style seat bag. This means I could get away with taking my Bike Friday in a box, and my gear in a carry on size bag. That would really simplify the logistics for shorter and/or international trips.

So there you have it. I'm writing updating this in, October of 2020, ughhhhh, March of 2022, double ughhhhh... May of 2023 so my thoughts and feelings are (still) subject to change. None the less, if you have any suggestions, I'd like to hear them. So

Send ideas to me at rick at cactus rider dot com.