I'm riding my bicycle from Boston to Oregon leaving this Saturday, May 22 at 8:30. I’ll dip my wheels into Boston Harbor on Friday at 4:30 under the Seaport Boulevard Bridge at the Dragon Boat dock next to the Barking Crab. Then I'll go to the 5pm Boston Cyclist Union ‘Build Back Bikeable’ rally at Government Center.
I would love it if you could join me either Friday for the dip-in and BCU rally. You could even accompany me part of the way on my first ride to Woodstock CT. I'll end the trip with a dip in the Pacific sometime near the end of July and then spend a week enjoying Portland. This has been a dream since I was a teen that retirement and good health have made possible.
I have two objectives in addition to visiting friends and family and having fun: 1) promoting bicycling as a transportation solution and 2) raising awareness about climate change. I will post daily to Twitter @AlanBikeClimate and Facebook pictures and videos, accounts of my travels, snippets of conversations with people, and observations about climate change. I will have signs on my panniers asking "Have you experienced climate change?". In my social media, I will have links to bicycle and climate change organizations for followers to learn about and donate to. Please help me promote these causes by sharing my social media links.
An inspiration for my trip came last year when Harvard ornithologist, Scott Edwards, set off from Boston for Portland Oregon in the midst of the pandemic. I followed his daily posts on Twitter at @ScottVEdwards1. You can read about his trip here: "Journey Complete, Scott Edwards Looks Back On His Cross-Country Bicycling Trip"
My route is partly based on Adventure Cycling and Rails-to-Trails routes with some customization. I expect to cover 70-80 miles per day on flat routes, 50-70 on hilly terrain, and 30-50 in the mountains.
Here is my planned route and tentative schedule:
- Boston - Great Barrington MA - May 22-23,
- from above to Albany to join the Erie Canal bike path to Niagara Falls & Buffalo,
- then if permitted cross into Canada north of Lake Erie, if not then around the south,
- to Kalamazoo – @ June 3. This is a family and rest stop 3-day layover,
- on Kal-Haven bike trail to South Haven (on Lake Michigan) and then south of lake Michigan on more rail trails to Joliet IL,
- to my hometown LaSalle IL to visit a friend on the Illinois-Michigan Canal – @ June 11,
- to Saint Louis (Adventure Cycling Route 66) to visit a friend,
- to south of Kansas City on the Katy Trail that follows the Missouri River,
- to Lindsborg KS to visit a friend via the 173-mile Flint Hills Trail - @ June 21-23
- to Beverly, KS, where my parents grew up and are buried,
- to Jewel, KS to visit farming cousins,
- north into north-central Nebraska to the 203-mile Cowboy Trail and on to Oglala National Grasslands,
- north to the Black Hills,
- then I will work my way northwest through Wyoming to Missoula Montana,
- the rest of my route is still in planning but I will follow the Columbia River to Astoria and dip my wheels into the Pacific at Sunset Beach before the end of July.
Then back to Portland for a week of visiting family. (In case you are wondering - I'm flying home.)
I hope you can follow me on this adventure, contribute with your comments to my daily postings, and donate to my causes:
- World Bicycle Relief
- Bikes not Bombs
- Your local bicycle and/or pedestrian organization
- Climate Reality Project
- Citizens Climate Lobby
See you in August,
About Alan Wright
Alan is a cycling advocate and cyclocross nut out of Roslindale who is freaked out about the pace of climate change. You can follow along with his cross country cycling journey for climate change awareness on twitter at @AlanBikeClimate.