I recently made a trip to the library (first visit, its amazing!) and got a bunch of books on bicycle touring. I've decided that at some point in my life, I'd like to go across the United States on a bicycle. I think it would be one big gigantic fun camping trip. Currently, though, I'm only commuting to work and back. I'm a school bus driver, so I go to work for am and pm routes, and go home in between. The route I take is 4.6 miles one-way, making my daily mileage just under 18 and a half miles.
I think I've found a roundabout way home to make a big loop of 13 miles, with work the same 4.6 miles from home so that I don't have to wake up any earlier. It would be a start to increasing mileage, anyway. Do you think that would be too much of a jump in distance? I thought it seemed reasonable, especially since I'll have a break to be in the school bus and only do the extra distance on the way home. Perhaps I won't be able to do it daily, but I don't see why I couldn't if I am careful not to wear myself out.
Reading these touring books, I have the urge to GO SOMEWHERE. I want to tour now, even though I'm not ready for it. But maybe by Thanksgiving I could be?
My idea is to ride from Longmont, CO to my family in Colorado Springs, CO. By car using Interstate 25, GoogleMaps says there are 109 miles. A bike route would be bit more than that, I'm guessing, maybe 120-130 miles. I have a week off of work for Thanksgiving Break. I'm not sure what the weather will be like, but I assume it will be cold. I don't think I'd want to camp in wintery temperatures, so maybe a hotel room is in order. The other thing is I would likely have to take my dogs. They aren't used to going anywhere with me on a bike, so I'd need to work with them more to get them used to the bike trailer. I have a Beagle (8 years old) and Jack Russel Terrier (rescue dog, simply ancient. maybe 16?). My first attempt, at least with the canopy closed, was promising, so maybe that won't be the hard part. If staying at a hotel, I'd have to ensure pet-friendliness.
My parents may or may not be interested in coming with me. They like camping, so they might see it as an adventure and offer to accompany me. I haven't run the idea past them yet but I know my mom likes camping. She's not keen on cold either though. Maybe they'd help with hotel costs.
Being a short trip, I don't think I'd need to bring very much stuff in the way of supplies. This way I'd get around my lack of actual touring gear. If anything does happen such as a mechanical breakdown or the need to abandon the trip (say, for really bad weather maybe?), I'm only a phone call away from being rescued.
Does this sound like a good idea?? I've never been through a Colorado winter before, so I don't know if there will be 4 feet of snow and ice or something else to prohibit such a trip.
Ideas, encouragement, advice, discouragement- anything is welcome so please leave a reply!