08.27.15

Well, I did it.

My pictures tell the story more effectively than any words I might share, so I'll let them do most of the talking.

(Knowing which shots to throw away is the mark of a good photographer; I hope you understand I make no claim to be such.)

Brief stats:

Days to complete trip (New Haven, CT to Anacortes, WA):  62 (6.19.15 to 8.19.15)

Approximate number of miles traveled: 3957 - 4157*

Average number of miles traveled daily:  67-74*

Number of Snickers consumed:  too numerous to count

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*Below is an approximation of the miles ridden (mileage is based on map distances between cities; realistically, I rode several extra miles each day to get to off-route campsites, stores, roadside attractions, or because I took wrong turns along the way, so the total probably underestimates my actual mileage by a couple hundred miles or so).

Start (New Haven, CT to Albany, NY) - 144 miles
EC (Albany, NY to Buffalo, NY via Niagara Falls) - 432 miles
LEC (Lake Erie, ON to Wolf Point, MI) - 505 miles
NL3 (Wolf Point, MI to Mackinaw City, MI) - 203.5 miles
NL2 (Mackinaw City, MI to Escanaba, MI) - 151 miles
NL1 (Escanaba, MI to St Paul, MN) - 435 miles
NT6 (St. Paul, MN to Bowlus, MN) - 166 miles
NT5  (Bowlus, MN to Fargo, ND) - 193 miles
NT4 (Fargo, ND to Dickinson, ND) - 351 miles
NT3 (Dickinson, ND to Cut Bank, MT) - 544 miles
NT2 (Cut Bank, MT to Sandpoint, ID via E. Glacier) - 375 miles
NT1 (Sandpoint, ID to Anacortes, WA) - 457.5 miles

Total:  3957 miles (on-map), conservative estimate of 4157 actual miles traveled

EC = Erie Canalway
LEC = Lake Erie Connector
NL = North Lakes
NT = Northern Tier

4157 / 62 = 67 miles per day

When you exclude the six full rest days I took along the way, my average daily mileage traveled was about 74 miles per day.

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Equipment:

I'm happy to answer any questions about gear, but the major items I used or carried were as follows:

Bike Set-Up:
2014 62" 700c Surly Disc Trucker
Tubus Cosmo Rear Rack
Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus Panniers
Ortlieb Ultimate 6 Plus Medium Handlebar Bag with Map Case
Gilles Berthoud 700c x 50mm stainless steel fenders
MKS Grip King (Lambda) Platform Pedals, 9/16"
Brooks B17 Standard Black Steel Saddle, Honey
Brooks Handlebar Tape, Honey
Busch & Muller 4D Toplight Rear Permanent Tail Light
Brooks Mud Flaps, Honey
Iris King Water Bottle Cages
Camelbak Podium Chill Water Bottles x 2

Sleeping System:
Tarptent Moment DW
Tyvek Ground Cloth
Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 degree quilt, wide
Therm-a-rest ProLite Sleeping Pad

Bike Repair & Maintenance:
Alien III multitool
Topeak Road Morph G Pump with gauge
Digital tire pressure gauge
Spare tubes x 2
Spare tire x 1
Tire levers x 3
Patch kit
Chain-L oil
Microfiber cloth rags x 2
Brooks proofide
Spare chainlinks

Clothing:
Inner bicycle shorts x 2 (Pearl Izumi & Zoic)
Outer bicycle shorts x 1 (Zoic)
Icebreaker shirts x 2
Showers Pass rain jacket x 1
Light jacket (First Ascent) x 1
Leg warmers x 1 pair
Darn Tough merino wool socks x 2 pair
Keen Men's Arroyo II Shoes
Board shorts x 1
Underwear x 1
Planet Bike gloves x 1 pair
Bicycle helmet
Glasses & sunglasses

Toiletries:
Sunscreen
Dr Bronners soap
Small microfiber towel
Toothbrush
Toothpaste
Shaving kit
Moist towelettes
Toilet paper x 1 roll

Electronics:
Motorola G smartphone (used as camera)
Kindle Paperwhite
AC charging cables x 2
Main battery pack
Spare battery pack
USB cables x 2
Etrex 20 GPS

Miscellaneous:
Clothing sack
Bike tools sack
Adventure Cycling Association maps (Northern Tier, North Lakes, & Lake Erie Connector routes)
Erie Canalway maps
First Aid Kit
Paracord
Plastic grocery bag for a seat covering at night
A few other odds & ends

Cooking equipment:
Snow Peak Short Titanium Spork

The bike, tent, and sleeping quilt all deserve high marks for their utility, and I would recommend any of them without hesitation.  I found I used the sleeping pad mostly as a pillow.

Vitamin D, Endorphins, & Good People:

I started and ended the trip solo but wouldn't have had anywhere near the same experience without the company of many fine folk along the way.  I met so many kind people on the road and will be ever thankful to them for their hospitality & for those kindnesses that were extended toward me.  A special thanks to Steve & Gay, my riding partners for much of North Dakota & Montana, for being such fantastic companions.

While I did this trip without the explicit goal of raising money for charity, if you found my trip interesting / inspiring / exhausting and want to donate to a cause, I'd ask you to consider sending a couple bucks to the EOD Warrior Foundation via Steve's fundraising page.

After arriving at the end of the road, I hopped on a ferry from Bellingham to Juneau, Alaska (my amazing new home).  I consider myself very lucky to have had the chance to see so much of this beautiful country and would highly recommend bicycle touring to anybody interested in slowing down for a bit.

Thanks again to everyone who made this trip special.