Getting ready

After a year off, we are getting ready for our next adventure.

We had planned to ride from Munich to Budapest during the summer of 2020, but COVID kind of messed things up… We considered doing a ride in the Northwest, but in an effort to reduce the likelihood we could be the source of spreading it, we stayed at home and rode the trails near us. This year we are vaccinated and situation is looking much better. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to re-plan our European trip, so we are going to go explore the beauty of the American Northwest.

This year we will be sporting a new addition… Natalie’s brother Vance and his wife Page will join us for part of the ride. This will require us to plan a bit differently, as we’ll need to meet them at a specific time and place part way through our ride, but it is going to be great to have extra company for a few days.

We did a short two-day ride with Page and Vance last weekend. One of the cool logistical challenges we faced was fitting both of these crazy bikes in on vehicle. Luckily Harbor Freight (hitch rack) and the classifieds (wheel trays) came through and we were able to rig something up.

The ride was great, although one bike had a flat at the end of the ride and instead of fighting the rear wheel on the side of the road Vance and I paired up for a ride back to the truck and we used it to retrieve the other bike so we could repair it in the comfort of our garage. (Removing the rear wheel on a fully loaded tandem recumbent with a Rohloff hub is actually a bit of work relative to fixing a flat on a road or mountain bike.)

Now we are neck deep in route planning. It is looking like Natalie and I will leave from Helena and ride toward Spokane. We will try to get about 260 miles in the first 3 days, camping as we go. We’ll stay two days in a small town near our route to rest and go to church. For the next 4 days we’ll wander to the west, ending somewhere southwest of Spokane prior to heading back toward Harrison where we’ll meet Page and Vance on day 7. We’ll do a three-day circle to the east, retracing some of the trails Natalie and I will have already ridden at the beginning of our ride. We hope to ride on each of the following:

https://www.traillink.com/trail/milwaukee-road-rail-trail-(pearson-to-calder)/

https://www.traillink.com/trail/route-of-the-hiawatha/

https://www.traillink.com/trail/route-of-the-olympian/

https://www.traillink.com/trail/norpac-trail/

https://www.traillink.com/trail/trail-of-the-coeur-dalenes/

We’ll spend the weekend in Harrison and finish with a big single-day out-and-back from Harrison. On Tuesday the four of us will pile into Page and Vance’s truck and drive to Helena to pick up the truck we left there and then head home.

In my next post I’ll talk about how we are gearing up a bit differently for this ride.

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