Northern Tier Ride Prep: FAQs

The biggest question on my mind is, “Will Spring ever get here?”. Yesterday was the official first day of Spring and this morning we woke up to this.

Spring in Indy

As we begin to talk about our little summer adventure with friends and colleagues more questions are popping up. Some we can answer and others are anyone’s best guess. So for those of you who are asking, here goes:

How many total miles will it be? Depending on which route we take around the great lakes, about 4,200 miles.

How long is it going to take? No more than 10 weeks if we take off one day a week.

How many miles a day? We will probably average about 70 miles a day.

What are you going to eat? As many grains, beans and greens as possible and we’ll cook it ourselves on our Whisperlite stove. Fresh veggies and fruit when we can find them and an assortment of oatmeal, energy bars and junk food when Deb can slip it into her bike bag will round out the menu. We were inspired by Angie and Dusty who completed the Northern Tier route a couple years ago.  If you have time check out their vids here. We got to talk to Angie last weekend about her coast to coast trip.

Where are you going to stay? In our tent!  Our maps are super helpful pointing out campgrounds and city parks. Warm Showers and an occasional motel will also round out our deluxe accommodations.

How many people are in your group? Two. Tom and Deb.

What if it rains? We get wet. What if it snows? I’ll def take a pic! What if there is lightening? We’ll ride like he!! and take shelter.

How do you know what roads to take? You’re not putting Deb in charge of directions are you? Peeps knowing Deb and her sense of direction know there’s not a chance of that happening. Fortunately, Adventure Cycling has detailed maps that include distance, elevation, services and points of interest on and off the route.  Tom has the maps downloaded to his Garmin; Deb has the paper maps (but does she know how to use them?)

What are you most looking forward to? Tom: Living a simple life where I need to think only about three questions, 1) where I’m going to sleep tonight, 2) what are we going to eat and 3) how far are we going to ride today. I am also looking forward to seeing more of the country from a bike. Deb: As much as I like routines, I’m so grateful to get a break from them!  And I can’t wait for the physical and mental challenge each day will bring, the scenery and new friends we will meet along the way.

What are you going to miss the most? Tom: Tuesday dinners with my mom, Wednesday family dinners with the kids, cutting grass (yes I actually enjoy cutting grass), my runs, trips to the gym. Deb: Seeing the kids and our littles, family dinners and my routines. I live a charmed life that includes some solid routines like daily Mass, running with my buds, volunteering at the Pantry and visiting my dad and auntie. I’ll miss those. And I’ll especially miss the birth of our third little expected at the end of July. I might have to increase that daily mileage. Watch me try so I can get back sooner.

When you say lift up Saint Vincent de Paul (SVdP) and Back on My Feet (BoMF) in prayer what do you mean? Pretty simple. Every day we will begin by saying prayers for the mission of each organization, the volunteers and folks receiving help from them.


Why 1 John 4:19 on the biz cards? We have a few fave scripture verses, like: Phil 4:13Luke 37-38,  John 10:10, Mark 5:36, Romans 8:28, Psalm 51:10 and 1 Cor 13:13.  But the understanding that Jesus is our teacher of perfect love as exhibited by Him loving humanity first, loving all humanity, loving us without expectation and loving us to the end is a big part of who we strive to be.  That verse? Easy to remember; difficult to live at times. But isn’t that something awesome to shoot for. #purpose

And I have one last question… when is it going to stop snowing?




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