Northern Tier Ride Prep: Farewell Family Feast

We’re going to miss our weekly family dinners! The bigs had some travel advice they wanted to share with us before we take off. Not sure why so much advice related to bodily functions. #guything


And the bigs might have been schooled on cooking with the Whisperlite, on-the-road bike maintenance and navigating across the country on a bike. #heavenhelpDeb

Life is moving forward for the bigs while we are away.

Three moves.

Two jobs changes.

One new grandbaby.

So as much as we are eager to begin, we will be even more stoked to return home to the bigs AND the littles.



Northern Tier Ride Prep: FundRiding | 100 Mile Challenge

Riding 100 miles in a day, or a century as cyclists call it, is a solid ride.  Riding 100 miles in a day when you’re hauling bags, or panniers as cyclists call them, is freakin’ outrageous.

As an incentive, a friend offered to donate $100 for every 100 mile day we rode.

Disclosure: Have we ever ridden a century? Yep. On lightweight carbon bikes.  The RAINSTORM ride in southern Indiana is five centuries in five days finishing with the 160 mile RAIN ride on the sixth day.  Steep elevations, hot temps, tasty food and deluxe state park inns at night are included in the price.  BTW if you’re into cycling, ride RAINSTORM. It’s an unforgettable, well-organized, arduous ultra cycling adventure.

Five centuries complete. Time to RAIN.

Back to the 100 mile challenge on our coast to coast ride.  Tom’s two back panniers weigh as much as the 21 pound Specialized bike he road on RAINSTORM. Now that’s going to be a challenge. Is a century ride even possible if he’s hauling 85 pounds with bike, bags, fuel and water? We’re going to find out over the next two months.

And then there is me. Deb. I’m not doing the math on that for my Cannondale and bags. #disincentivizing

Find our trip data hereWould you like to match our friend’s 100 mile challenge for a donation to St. Vincent de Paul or Back on My Feet? If you’re in, click on Contact (located at the top right of this page) and message us on the blog. Knowing there are folks willing to make a donation if we push ourselves a little harder is what I call incentivizing.

Northern Tier Ride Prep: FundRiding | Camping for Cash

What is FundRiding? It’s when you’re riding for FUN but you add a “d” and decide to pedal for a purpose to raise funds for organizations in which you volunteer and believe. The St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry and Indy Back on My Feet are two such orgs.

We thought it might be interesting to throw a couple challenges out there. Challenges, dares, wagers, incentives… #whatever

That makes it a little more fun, doesn’t it?

Tom and I will donate $5 to either St. Vincent de Paul or Back on My Feet for every night we camp instead of taking the easier route and hoteling or warm showering it.   Because we are spreadsheet geeks, we are keeping data here.

We challenge our readers to donate $1 a night for every night we camp. Or double the challenge and make it $2 a night!  If you’re in, click on Contact (located at the top right of this page) and message us on the blog. That will give us an incentive to rough it a little bit and camp for cash.

Disclosure #1: We’re not beginner campers. We have some camping experience and we may air out our dirty laundry occasionally. Stay tuned for pics. Who knows what Montana will bring besides mountains.

Katy Trail, June 2017

Disclosure #2: Sometimes we pitch our tent but if it looks like there are gators nearby, we hotel it.

Such was the case in the Florida Keys where we pitched our tent in what looked like to me, a gator invested swamp.


We left our tent set up for the gators and high tailed it to the nearest hotel in town where we grabbed some grilled cobia at a local restaurant and hoteled it. #nogatorsallowed

Florida Keys Camp
Swamp just beyond the treeline
Florida Keys Hotel
Gator free hotel room



Northern Tier Ride Prep: Bye Bye Bikes

We finished our last “loaded” ride last weekend. No we weren’t carrying Baseline IPA or Weizengoot from Bier Brewery in our water bottle cages. Last weekend was our last ride with panniers (bike bags) loaded.  Post ride we tuned up, cleaned up and boxed up the bikes and shipped them to Bellingham, Washington where we will pick them up two weeks from today. That’s TWOA folks!

Thanks to Jon at Carmel Cyclery for the Cannondale tune up and Nick at REI for preparing them to ship.

Folks have been asking about our bikes and bags and how much they weigh. The answer? Too much.

Here’s the “skinny” on the “fat” bikes. BTW Damon and Vic will have conniptions. What can I say? I won’t go without my camp chair; Tom won’t go without his underwear. #essentials

Weight before water, food and fuel:

Tom’s REI Coop:
Bike weight: 39 lbs.
Panniers: 44 lbs.

Deb’s Cannondale:
Bike weight: 29 lbs.
Panniers: 25 lbs.

Click on the image below for a weekend recap video.



Northern Tier Ride Prep: What To Do With a Weekend Off of Cycling

Why not run in the 20th annual Flying Pig Marathon!  Tom and I decided it would be fun to scoot over to Porkopolis for a quick run, check in with some college buds and visit family. Check, check and check!

Finished! with a bag full of SWAG and snacks.

Hot and hilly but only one minute slower than my marathon time 20 years ago when I ran the Pig. I’ll take it! Tom on the other hand is running half marathons and getting faster and faster after taking six months off from running.

Xavier University friendships, almost 40 years running. #LetsGoX
Thumbs up for the fam!

And finally it looks like the North Cascades Highway, the road we take through the Cascade Mountains, will be cleared of snow by this Friday giving way for scenic and challenging cycling in just about four weeks.  #thumbsup

Cascade Highway
East and west side crews are just six miles apart clearing SR 20 for traffic. #byebyesnow #seeyanextwinter
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