2009 Bike Tour: Canyons

April 24th, 2009

Ok, I’m about to start a bike ride tomorrow. I know what you’re thinking, “blah blah blah, Neil’s off on another tour, I heard that story before.” And in fact, you probably have. This will be my fourth multi-week tour in the last 5 or 6 years, and although it’s still pretty darn exciting for me, it’s probably less exciting for you, because now when you hear about a bike tour, you no longer say “WTF? He’s going to do WHAT?!” like the first time you heard about such a thing.

But wait, this one is different!

For the first time, I’ll have a partner! (*crowd rises in anticipation…*) Sorry, it’s not a new girlfriend. (*crowd sinks in disappointment*) Instead it’s my good friend Dennis. Having someone else along will definitely change the dynamics of touring, and perhaps I’ll even write a little less because I’ll have someone else to talk to besides my computer.

Also for the first time, I’ll be neither starting from nor finishing at my front door. Instead, we’ll be boarding an Amtrak train in Chicago, and riding it out to the western edge of Colorado. Then we hop on our bikes and spend four weeks weaving a drunken path through Utah and a slightly more sober-looking path through Arizona, ending in Tucson, where we fly home. In between, we’ll be hitting something like 9 National Parks/Monuments and a whole bunch of other interesting piles of rock.

So another difference is that this trip will hopefully be a bit more relaxed, with hiking and camping being at least as important as the biking part of it. That’ll make it a bit more like my tour in northern Wisconsin. We only need to average something like 60 miles per day, and we’ll be stopping for a couple days at a few places like Bryce Canyon, Zion Canyon, and a Canyon They Call Grand.

So what’s the same? Well, I’ll still be taking my computer along, writing journal entries and posting pictures as we go (and so will Dennis, if you want a different perspective). I’ve got the same bike and most of the same equipment, though I still somehow managed to collect a bunch of new gear; due to the high altitude, we’ll face a bigger temperature range than I have before. I planned the route out myself, so I’ll only have myself to blame if it sucks (but I’m pretty confident that it will do just the opposite). And finally, we’ll be finishing at my cousin’s wedding, which is the second time I’ve done that. Well, it’s her first wedding, but I ended my Wisconsin trip at another cousin’s wedding. This will be my third vacation that I built around a cousin’s wedding (the first led to a vacation through Europe), which made Swati ask “what are you going to do once all your cousins are married? You’ll never go anywhere!!” She may be right!

Ok, time to finish packing!

The photo that made me decide "I'm doing this trip!"
The photo that made me say “I’m doing this!”

The route

4 Responses to “2009 Bike Tour: Canyons”

  1. JP Says:

    Well Dan and I are about to bike around our neighborhood with a 2-year-old. Beat that!

  2. PRash Says:

    Celebrating your birthday ‘Over the Hill’? 🙂 Your trip sounds awesome.. keep taking pictures.. and do entertain us with some armchair facebook travels. 🙂

  3. Swati Says:

    Happy Happy Birthday, BFF!!

  4. Jyothy Says:

    Maybe once all the cousins are married, Neil will bike to his own wedding and arrive at the altar in style.