May 1st begins my 7th long distance USA solo bike tour since retirement, but this one will continue further north, up to where those folks talk funny. I tend to pack in a lot for each trip due to my advancing age. I don't know how many rides I have left. The adventure begins in Mississippi, following the Natchez Trace to Nashville, TN where I will cut over to the Appalachian Mountains and catch the Blue Ridge Parkway up into Virginia. I will then parallel the Appalachian Trail to its USA terminus in Maine before continuing on into Canada, through the Maritimes to Newfoundland.
When my bicycle touring first began, I quickly came to realize that the Warmshowers connection and the use of other hospitality sites were a very important part of my ride. It's the people one may encounter on a journey that determines the level of enjoyment. Every host that I have met was interesting in their own way and a culture unto themselves. Camping is fine, motels are okay, but that means you are only passing through. The opportunity to connect with those generous and hospitable enough to bring a stranger into their home should not be ignored. These are like-minded quality people, the best I have found anywhere. We learn and grow through interaction, not through isolation.
I'm a social animal and post photos/video with comments to a Facebook ride page almost daily along the route in order not to forget. And I try new things on each adventure. Last year I added an EBO electric assist to my touring bike and it worked fabulously. I conquered our three main mountain ranges with a gentle hand urging me along. This year it's a drone and two new cameras. I tend to damage or obliterate a camera every year so this time I am going to test the durability of the Olympus Tough. Indestructable they say. In addition, I will be posting 360 degree shots of points of interest with a Ricoh Theta SC. And a couple other items have been included that you have never seen before.
Follow if you like for the four months of the expedition. Mileage is around 4,000 plus. Hope to see you out there.
Red lines in the photo are past rides.