Total Miles… 1,607.6

So apparently I wandered around a bit… as Google estimated the route to be 1,322 miles.  Of course, I’ve learned (frequently) that you should really just ignore what Google suggests for route planning on a bicycle.

I have been relaxing today and just resting and putzing on the computer.

I tallied up the mileage for the trip and it looks like it took me just over 1600 miles of pedaling (not including the couple of lifts I got along the way.)

Not once during the entire trip did I wear a bicycle helmet, nor did a crash the bike.  That statement was not made for political reasons for or against, just stating that being aware, observant, and performing routine maintenance are key to safety.  Accidents still do happen, and they did, but they helmet didn’t work for or against any of the incidents that occurred.

That gives me a 38.27 mile per day average, if I include days off… if exclude days off, I did 44.65 miles per day!

A little under my 60 mile per day desired average, but the days were short and cold.  I wasn’t tired on many of the days, there was just no daylight left.



Day 34: what’s new, pussycat?

I stayed at Jeff Busby campground last night. It didn’t freeze like I expected, but plenty of condensation on the inside of the tent fly thanks to my exothermic temperament.

I spent some of the morning drying my boots some more and wondering if I should head straight South of keep on the Natchez.


I could motivate myself to leave the sleeping bag earlier than 8am if the weather was about ten degrees warmer at night. I’m just getting anxious with being about three hundred miles from New Orleans and the idea of being off the bike for more than a day.

The desire is to stay here another day since it’s free, but my batteries are low and I need to find a place to recharge them to keep my phone going; and the real reason, tomorrow I’d still be 300 miles from my destination.

Although the dynamo on the bike is good to generate electricity, it needs assistance from time to time. I mailed back the solar panel since I had no plans of sitting around in one place until New Orleans.


I decided to take a day off and relax. It’s free camping here and I’ve got enough food for a few days. If I get off the Natchez Trace and head South I’m less than 300 miles away from my first waypoint.

I’ve seen a few cats around camp today. It seems they’re living in the drainage culverts, part of the time, anyway.


I unpacked everything this afternoon, adjusted the rear fender on the bike, cleaned off some mud, aired out some clothes…


I am carrying a heck of a lot of colorful junk!!

Time to repack and strip, service, and rebuild the stove so I can eat Mac and cheese tonight with flax seed.

Day 25: Chester to the Cape


After waking up in the cabin at the Eagles club and heading out, I headed out through Chester, home of Popeye.


I ran across Jodie’s farmhouse Cafe and stopped in for breakfast…


Heading down south out of town in the overcast, windy, and slightly chilly weather. Looks like the rain is going to hold off another day, so time to put on some miles.


The goal today:


Day 18: Grocery Shopping

Those sure look like fluffy moisture heavy clouds to me… But they also insulate and can keep the air warmer. Everything is a tradeoff.

Today’s menu is: ham and cheese sandwiches, peanut butter and rye crackers , and a bottle of cheap wine. … And probably a Clif Bar or two.


Day 1: Getting Moving

I stayed up most of Saturday night finalizing all the packing up of my things and cleaning of the basement and house before leaving.IMG_1411

Iwas struggling with figuring out how much to take and what exactly to take (see the gear list.)

So after spending all day doing “just one more thing” before I finally headed out around 6pm and said goodbye to my neighbors who met me with some questions and some with drinks and shots.













I knew that even though I’d be leaving late on Sunday, I needed to get out of the house just to get started.  So I jammed everything on a wobbly bike and headed down the road five miles to my friend Chris’ house.

We spent the night hanging out with him and his girlfriend and unpacking and repacking everything discussing the rational reasons as to why I’d need to travel with four spare tire tubes or four pairs of socks.

Some things left behind: Harp neck holder, notepad, and a few other items.

After finally getting to bed around 4am I prepared to the early AM wake up call to work my way out of the Twin Cities along the Mississippi River to Red Wing, Minnesota.




Day 0: Packing and Planning

Packing and planning is such an exhausting part of the process.

In the packing and planning stage, I suffer bouts of self-sabotage where the anxiety and fear of the unknown take over the rational part of your brain.

Do I need a pair of gloves in case the weather turns cold? yes!
Do I need a second pair of gloves in case the first pair gets wet? um, yes! I had better be safe…

All of the frame and rack hardware installed…

This leaves you with a pile of gear that looks more like you’re packing a dog sled then a bicycle.
At which point I attempt to pack it all onto the bicycle. There goes another few hours to figure out how to fit everything and then finally attempting to lift the bike (difficult!) and then riding the bicycle around a bit to realize how ridiculous my concept of essentials really was.

I carry about 10 pounds worth of tools and repair parts on the bike and even though it would feel good to have used the tools to repair something on the road, I hope I never need to dig them out of the bags.

The bike loaded down with only the essentials.

The first and maybe also the final part of my planning is route planning. I’ve done enough small tours around Minnesota to know that the only thing you can really plan for is where you’re going to stop – not what’s going to happen in-between.

I guesstimate that I’ll do about 60-80 miles per day on average, figure out how many days I have, and then find a place in the mileage range that is my end point. I like to figure out my daily stopping points the day or two days prior, but not much before that, because life on the road is unpredictable… Expectations only lead to attempting to control things that you can’t like the wind, flats (kinda,) and traffic. Mitigation is a possibly with pro-active bike maintenance, being aware of the world around you (no headphones!,) eating frequently (stop the hangry,) and not running over pointy things in front of you.

Ultimately when I make plans I find myself rushed and frustrated, so hence, I make one day goals. Living in the now, because the now is really what I need to deal with. I acknowledge tomorrow and next week and the week after, but my world operates one pedal crank at a time. If I want to climb a hill faster or reach a stopping point sooner, my only option is to pedal faster and harder. The flip side is I’m not obligated to climb that hill or reach that destination, so I can stop any time I’d like. To me, the trip becomes much more enjoyable when I don’t have much for plans outside of the final stopping point of the immediate trip and miles and miles to think about plans in my head to decide how to proceed with determining the next waypoint on the trip. There’s always plenty of excitement along the way to keep things interesting.

The finished product with me freshly showered!

More stories about the adventures on the road coming soon…