I post to this blog both when familiarizing the exotic and exotifying the familiar, but I pay special attention to it when traveling. It has expanded from a travelogue about my bike travels to any thoughts I have by bicycle – which basically means the topic range is unlimited! Here’s a brief overview of the trips that inspire continuous blogging in the form of travel writing and photos.
WEDDINGS AND BEYOND: Summer 2014 | Boston, Denmark, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Turkey
This trip is built around two weddings, my fascination with bicycles and desire to inspire more people to get on bicycles, and my curiosity about Kurdistan. It starts with my Godmother’s wedding at a castle in Gloucester, Massachusetts then is shortly thereafter followed by my friends’ wedding at a castle in Malcesine, Italy (the one in James Bond). Since it didn’t make sense to head all the way back to San Francisco in between, I chose Copenhagen for my interim place – a great place to research bikeability in a thriving city! How on earth did the bicycle become so normalized as a mode of transportation in Copenhagen? Anyway, post-wedding in Italy, two of us will be be heading to Istanbul over land and sea via some combination of Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegoniva, Serbia, and Bulgaria. After a few days in Istanbul, I’ll head to the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir and spend some time with my Kurdish friends’ family there.
Map to come!
BIKE TOUR PART 2: August-September 2013 | Seattle, Washington –> San Francisco, California | 1,000+ miles
I graduated from college this past May in Washington, D.C, which also means that I’ve encountered the question “what’s next for you?” about a bajillion and one times. Maybe more. I grew tired of responding “I have no clue!” and adopted the answer of “I’m going West. That’s all I know. I’m going West.”
Commencement came and went, and thence began my summer of Northwest US exploration. I’ve been branching out from my base in Spokane, Washington and have experienced bits and pieces of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, California. For a long time, I’ve been dreaming and scheming of moving to San Francisco and attempting to find a job there, so it’s time to head down there as my savings begin to run low. One more exploration before settling down in a single place (for a bit), though. Beginning around August 24, I’ll be biking about 1,000 miles of the Pacific coast route from Seattle to San Francisco!
But first! Speaking of beginnings (commencements), I want to share a song I recently wrote about the pre-and-post-graduate identity crisis that I’ve been facing and am currently attempting to tame with a bicycle. It’s called the Graduate’s Conundrum. I wrote the first verse shortly before graduation, and the second verse shortly after (during my last bike tour, actually!)
I’ve found that these tours are useful in disseminating thoughts as I try to figure out which life direction I want to go next. As reflected in the lyrics posted here, I feel like I’ve been headed in 50 different directions over the past several years and am having trouble deciding which path I want to pursue. Thus, the lyrics of The Graduate’s Conundrum are deeply connected to this phase of my life, and related thoughts are going to be very present during this next ride when I have 6+ hours each day on a bike alone with my thoughts. Big decisions to come!
(In the meantime, check out a video of my Graduate’s Conundrum posted on a friend’s blog whom I met on my first tour)
BIKE TOUR, PART 1: July 21-July 31, 2013 | Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming –> Missoula, Montana | 471 miles
I’ve been dreaming of doing a bike tour for more than a year, but have not yet found someone who has both the time and desire to join me. I waited and hesitated, very aware that it’s more dangerous for women to travel alone than for men. For that reason, one goal of this trip is to move past this fear associated with traveling alone as a female. I see travelers like Anne-Sophie Rodet, a woman making her way around Patagonia by unicycle, and I see that it’s possible!
Inspired by women like Rodet, I’m taking the plunge and embarking on my first solo, self-supported bike trip. It should take me about 10-13 days, and you can read the blog or follow the map as I pedal along (assuming energy, battery life, and internet access are on my side!) I’ll meander up north to Missoula, Montana (headquarters of the Adventure Cycling Association!) from Jackson, Wyoming (an outdoors mecca), totaling approximately 500 miles. This little trek will take me through Yellowstone National Park before I hop onto Section 4 of the popular TransAmerica route. I’m very excited to really be using an ACA map for the first time!
My main blog, The Bike Beat, exists as a place to gather and share photos and stories relating to bicycle innovations, advocacy, and eccentricities. This little section you have stumbled across will be an offshoot specifically for hosting info and adventures from own bicycle journeys!
Fun Fact: the first person to bike around the world was a 25-year-old woman in 1895 named Annie Londonderry