Year 2015 was a good one. From a cycling perspective, it might have been one of the very best. For the first time ever, I was able to participate in multiple cyclotouring excursions in the same year. Multiple tastes of touring on the bicycle left me hungry for more, and in some ways it felt like I learned more about my true identity. Maybe that is why I enjoy S24Os and riding to places for coffee brew-ups so much. So as 2015 fades, the local weather deteriorates, and as I fight a bronchitis bug, I look into possibilities for 2016.
Many make plans for cyclotouring in exotic or faraway places. This allows the tourist to see famous places or things they can’t see in their local geography. It often requires them to “travel”, and work out extra logistical challenges before they begin their tour. In 2015, I did the same thing myself, touring in Wisconsin and Maryland. I wouldn’t turn down an opportunity for cyclotouring farther from home, but in 2016 I’d like to plan some trips that start/end at home.
I am learning that planning these kinds of trips is more challenging than I expected. I’ve been spending a fair amount of time planning 50-ish mile ride segments north and west of my house to see what I might be able to put together. But there just aren’t much in the way of camping options within my desired mileage constraints. That makes piecing together 3- or 4-day touring loops difficult without hotel stays. Maybe this is why folks travel to other places to start their bicycle tours.
Challenges notwithstanding, I believe a couple of options (with variations) have been identified. One option is a 3 day, 2 night credit card tour on a loop route (with a possible option for camping on one of the nights). The other is a 4 day, 3 night out-n-back route that involves camping each night (with an option to make the first day long and eliminate one of the nights). For this second option, I think I prefer the longer variation as that allows for more time at the turnaround point. But who knows, if time is limited, maybe a long first day challenge would be a good thing.
Why all the details? I’m hoping to encourage friends to join me. If someone wishes to join, that would be fantastic and we can target dates that make sense. Otherwise, I’ll be watching my calendar and weather simultaneously for opportunities to explore the history and geography right outside my door. Got to be ready.