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.

On the other hand, I live only a couple of days ride from the "Great Divide Road Bike Route"; and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the Trans-Am Trail, and the Great Parks South ACA routes. The Great Divide Road Bike Route was a potential destination for the summer of 2021. So, I may settle for doing part(s) of that route over one of the following summers.

But given that the weather here is really nice in the summer, but cold and snowy in the winter, as opposed to the opposite in Phoenix, there are some other Ideas:

  1. Go visit the bottom of the world (Austrailia or New Zealand).
  2. Do the Southern Tier. As noted about, one issue is what to do with my dog. But given that my AZ dog sitter / Ex Wife still lives in the Phoenix area, doing the Tempe - Saint Augustine part of the Southern Tier in winter becomes a consideration. Sections 2-7 cover about 2600 miles, and should take about 7 weeks. I could also drive to Tempe, ride west from Tempe to San Diego, fly to Saint Augustine, then ride back to Tempe... Including section 1 adds 432 miles - making the total about 2900 miles, or 8 weeks.
  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.

Either way, I'll leave this section as-is until more is known.

Notes on the above...

I have now done most of the long ACA routes in the US that appeal to me, at least at this time. There is however, one non-ACA US route I am intereseted in. I picked up the book "Great Divide Road Bike Route" by David Plaskett & Barbara Breuning. It 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, the road version does have some appeal. This is probably a 6 week or so trip. While a significant portion of the route uses ACA routes I have riden (Trans Am, Northern Tier, Lewis and Clarke), and thus means a repeat, those sections were ones I liked.

I also am interested in several of the EuroVelo routes. Numbers 6 and 15 have been recomended by one of the people I rode with in 2018 who lives in England. Another possiblity 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 oportunity to do something different. However, the current COVID situation doesn't look like it will be settled until the fall. Therefore, international travel in general, and European touring specifically, will likely need to wait until 2022.

I am also finding that shorter tours might better suit my interests, and that as I get older, indoor accomodations (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.

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. This makes it significantly easier to travel with, and thus could be a better choice for shorter trips.

If I switch to doing Credit Card Touring, I can simplify baggage by taking the Friday, and using only a front rack, and 2 small panniers. 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, uhhhhh, March of 2022... 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.