The trip is on again.

I’ve decided to set out cycle touring this summer after all. Plans are not as grandiose as originally envisioned, but something I can scale up or back as I see fit.

My current idea is to follow the Adventure Cycling Association’s Northern Tier Route from here to Maine. The popular route goes all the way from Seattle area to Bar Harbor, and passes through Lockport just blocks from my home, so it makes sense to pick a direction and go. East is shorter, so it gets tried first.

The rules – more like guidelines are:

Average 50 miles a day.
5 days a week.

That makes for the chance to stay over if I find a place I like and want to explore, or just need rest. 250 miles a week is not much, really, and I could do more, by why make a goal I can’t keep up. I’m sure once I settle into the routine, I’ll do more than 50 miles per day, but there will be hills, mountains, in fact, so there may be days where it’s all I can do to get to the next town.

I’ll Follow the ACA Route because the maps are great and have a lot of lodging information, but won’t be afraid to stray off them or make side trips. One good thing about being on the ACA route is lots of cyclists have gone before me and the local people are used to seeing touring cyclists. Lots of accommodations are noted on the maps and it shouldn’t be hard to find more.

There is no timetable. I’ve been to Bar Harbor before. If I don’t make it that far, it’s okay. If I want to turn back, or beg for a ride home, after I’ve had enough, that’s good too. I’ve never done this before and won’t force myself if it’s not fun after a while.

Camping will be the norm, but if it’s raining or I’m really sore, a hotel is allowed. Visiting people may be a possibility too.

All “rules” can be broken.

Departure looks like next week – August 8-10-ish.

The return trip is undecided yet. I could ride back, or turn south and continue on. I’ve been wanting to do the C&O trail to the GAP Trail to the Underground Railroad Trail. Or I could box the bike up, ship it home and ride the Greyhound.