Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Idea

Map courtesy of Andy Strang at

Long before I ever passed driver’s ed, I sat down one day with an atlas and planned a summer tour of the United States. At the time my plan involved a VW bus with a pop-up top (yes, it was my hippie phase) in which I could sleep comfortably on the cheap. I mapped out a route that included America's great cities and rural landscapes, its natural beauty and historical sites. In some neglected box of childhood mementos, I probably still have the list of stops on that dream tour.

Now, two decades later, I’m hoping to make that trip across the United States but I’ve traded the VW bus for a bicycle. After two and half years at a Chicago law firm I've decided to move into government work. Rather than settle right in to my next job, I’m taking this opportunity to make my cross-country tour a reality. My plan is to start biking the Transamerica Trail on May 7, 2008. This bike route, created over thirty years ago in honor of the country’s bicentennial, runs from Yorktown, Virginia to Astoria, Oregon -- 4,247 miles across ten states. The Transam runs through small town America, which will be a welcome change after spending the last nine years in Chicago. I’ll be riding solo, carrying all of my supplies on my bike, and staying at both campgrounds and motels along the way. The trip is open-ended but I imagine it will take about three months.

This blog will document my travels. An interactive map that can be viewed in Google Maps or Google Earth will chart my progress and link to photos from the Trail. Postings will highlight noteworthy sites, events, and pictures. I will try to post regularly, though I’ll be at the mercy of wireless signals. Over the next few weeks, before I begin my ride, I’ll post a few entries on my preparations.

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