== Bike-Walk Alliance of NH ==
Linda does it again in 2012!
Some of you likely read about Linda Gould's 2011 tour of the US Southern Tier, but if you missed it, see below. In July 2012 she set out on another "little jaunt" from New York state to Minnesota via the Adventure Cycling "Lake Tier", and all by herself for self-contained camping and a few motel stops. Here is her account of her most recent adventure!
"Another heart warming and heart improving solo self-contained
ride by your BWA-NH Executive Director during this past hot July. Last year
my ride on my Trek 520 on the Adventure Cycling Southern Tier was so rewarding
that I decided to ride the Great Lakes/Northern tier route from Buffalo, NY/Fort
Erie, Ontario, Canada to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The 900 miles offered gentle hills and moderate headwinds. On the northern shore of Lake Erie, I saw agricultural farms, wind farms, fishing harbors and views of Lake Erie. After ferrying across the St. Clair River from Ontario to Michigan, pedaling across the state and visiting with two friends, I took the 4 hour ferry across Lake Michigan to Wisconsin- renown for it dairy products. The route in Wisconsin went through countryside of abundant lakes with flora similar to that in northern New Hampshire. There were several beautiful, well-built bike paths that would make us envious here in New Hampshire.
Shortly after I arrived in Minnesota I was pedaling on a bike trail that leads into the heart of bike friendly Minneapolis - how easy!
On these trips I definitely believe that my guardian angel is
helping me. Whenever there was a lightening storm or I needed some kind of help,
something good would happen. When lightning struck the TV tower of the house
in which I was waiting out a storm, the electricity traveled from the tower
to the house and blew off the door jam. Fire trucks rushed to the scene and
all the firemen dashed out to check the premises; but I was safe and sound sitting
in a lovely kitchen overlooking Lake Erie, drinking coffee, and enjoying a hamburger
These are the types of simple adventures a person has while touring (and I had no flats- again). Since having no time constraints gives a bicycle tourist more opportunity for these experiences, I highly recommend planning a generous allotment of time for the distance of the trip.
I used the Adventure Cycling maps to lead me on my merry, carefree way. May you have the opportunity to plan and experience a self-contained tour. The rewards are many and you may discover, as I did, that the people you meet are what makes a trip so memorable." Linda Gould (at 70+), Bedford, NH
Biking the Southern Tier in 2011 - Alone!
Can a woman bike 2,275 miles solo and self-contained from Phoenix, Arizona to St. Augustine, Florida? Yes, it is possible and I urge every woman to realize it is possible. I experienced such a ride this spring and it was wonderful - and no flats! My Trek 520 touring bike carried my 40-plus pounds of gear as I rode from 25 to 65 miles per day. The Adventure Cycling route maps provided all the information I needed to find my way and my accommodations. One third of the accommodations was camping, one third motels, and one third at homes either of complete strangers or through an organization called "Warm Showers".
To answer the question "What was the best part?" I would have to say it was the people. Unbelievable interactions, conversations, hospitality, and assistance filled my days. Pedaling with 25 to 40 mile per hour head winds, 95 degree heat, and sometimes no convenience stores to refresh at was a challenge but, when needed, out of the blue there was a handout of a cold bottle of water, a sag for a few miles to reach the next destination, a companion met at a hostel to share a stretch of desolate, barren Texas countryside. Then there was the young man who loaned me his truck so I could go to Big Bend National Park for a couple days! In Franklinton, Louisiana, meeting the Mayor in a restaurant, having my picture taken with him and receiving the "pin" to the city was just another heart-warming encounter with a fellow American. Having my tent almost blown away while camping under the stars in Texas and being offered a place to stay by complete strangers added heartwarming memories. Riding past farmland, pecan groves, miles and miles of forestry, rice fields, crawfish traps, the Gulf coast, southern style homes, crossing the Mississippi, climbing the hills of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas were experiences for a lifetime. It's a wonderful country!
Here are a few shots taken with my iPhone:
Finally -- the Altantic Ocean!
Remember to keep pedaling so you too can do it someday - even when you are 70!
BWA-NH Executive Director