Saturday, August 1, 2015

It's almost Go Time!

Tomorrow Owen and I take off on our bike packing adventure. We are mostly packed but will finish up in the morning. We have some time as we are not due to drop our son off at camp until 1:30 p.m. at the earliest. It's likely we'll leave our home for Shell Lake, Wisconsin around 10 a.m. and be biking by mid-afternoon.

At present, our plan is to bike 30 miles to Siren on Sunday afternoon and overnight there. We talked about biking to Danbury, another 10 miles further north, but I could not find a non-smoking hotel room open (at a reasonable price) at the local casino hotels. It's not that we are really picky about non-smoking vs. smoking rooms but that combined with the fact that we have just a few hours to get anywhere on Sunday made us decide we'd bike a shorter distance on our first day. Seems less stressful.

On Monday we plan to bike about 70 miles all the way to Superior. We'd make it a shorter day except that hotels appear to be scarce along the Gandy Dancer Trail so we'll just make a day of it and pedal away.

Once we're in Superior, we overnight then Tuesday morning head back south again for Shell Lake. I think we can make Shell Lake in two days of about 50 miles a day. If not, we'll take longer. We have an extra day built in as we don't have to be back in Shell Lake to get Ryan until Thursday.

I'm a bit stressed about carrying everything on my bike but I think I have things under control. I packed all of my clothes and some toiletries and a book to read (Neil Gaimon's The Ocean at the End of the Lane) all in my Pika seat bag. It weighs about five pounds and I still have room to spare. I'll finish packing a first aid kit, some other toiletries and some food in my handlebar bag tomorrow morning.

Tonight, Owen and I took the bikes out for a little test ride around the neighborhood with our seat bags all packed. The bikes rode great even with extra weight hanging off their back ends. In theory, we should have biked a lot longer and tested things out even better. But, oh well, we didn't. We'll be fine.

Here we are with our bikes packed and almost ready to go!
I'm feeling pretty excited about our upcoming adventure! I've wanted to go on a bike packing trip for well over a year now and I'm so glad we are making it happen!

I feel excited about something else, too. This morning Owen and I rode the 25 mile route of the Tour de SAVE charity bike ride that raises money and awareness for suicide awareness and education. We've done the SAVE ride several years and are glad to help raise money for SAVE. The weather was perfect for the ride this morning and the attendance was good - I don't know how many rode, maybe 60? I met some great people and enjoyed myself immensely.

I feel doubly good about the ride because 1) we helped raise money for a great cause and 2) I, for the first time ever, rode 25 miles without taking a break. Normally on a ride of 20 or so miles I stop and rest about 10 miles in. Today, I felt great and just kept on pedaling.

After riding so well this morning, I'm feeling pretty confident about being able to ride strong this week.

I'll write as often as I can to keep you up to date on our bike adventure!

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