Trips Prior to The Loong Way Home
It all started way back when during the summer of 2010, when I bought my Surly Cross Check in order to have a road bike in Oregon while on vacation. After two days of bike touring I was hooked! Here are some of the trips I went on prior to The Loong Way Home.
Pacific Northwest, US & Canada 2011
I look back now and laugh about my first tour. I had no idea what I was doing, I probably still don’t! In fact my brothers had a bet that I wouldn’t make it more than 2 days before returning home. I set off on my first tour with my air mattress still wrapped in the package, never having changed a flat tire or camped on my own before. However, my first tour was a success and a true delight, a 3,000 kilometer loop around the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, Canada. The highlights of the trip included The Canadian Gulf Islands and The Cascade Mountain Range, impressive!!!
Corsica, France 2012
This was my first tour in Europe. My bike was supposed to stay in Oregon to be used on summer holidays, that didn’t last long! I cycled in 1,000 kilometers in a “figure eight” around the island starting in Bastia and going counterclockwise. I passed through the interior mountains and came out to the southern coast where I followed the route of the beginning stages of the100th anniversary of the Tour de France. Then, I rode my way back to Ajjacio. You can’t go wrong tour cycling in Corsica in the low season- everything is closed down except for the boulangeries!
Southern Thailand 2013
This was the tour that pretty much gave me a good idea of whether or not I was capable of doing an “around the world trip”. It was my first trip to Asia and touring in a completely foreign country. With very little trip planning, I somehow managed to organize my 1,500 km tour so that I pretty much road down hill the entire time from Bagkok to Koh Lanta, with a tail wind. Thailand is a great country for tour cycling, the food is delicious, the iced coffees and chai teas are never-ending, and the people are incredibly friendly.
Andalucia, Spain 2013
Cabo de Gata, The Alpujarras, the white villages, and the coastline,….there is so much to see in Andalucia! I had a hard time prioritizing, so I tried to do it all during my week of Easter holiday. My 1,000 kilometer route started north of Cabo de Gata, where the wind made for challenging and long days. Next I crossed the Alpujarras from Almeria to Granada, and then saw a bit of the processions in the deep south for Easter. I ended my tour, cycling around the white villages in the province of Malaga and Cadiz. Southern Spain makes for great tour cycling.
I call this “The Mini-Express” bike tour; “mini” for the size of our packs, and “express” because of our ambitious mileage in such a short amount of time. I convinced a friend to join me, taking our road bikes, with larger saddle bags attached to our seat post. It was an ambitious itinerary, 580 kilometers in 3 days, with the intention of arriving at a friend’s wedding celebration by bike. Needless to say we were exhausted at the end of our trip, but made it to the celebration and laughed a lot along the way!