What next?

Since riding the TransAmerica Trail in 2018, Monika and I have not ridden our bikes nearly as much as we would’ve liked for a few reasons. Life happened to take control of our time as we got buried in work and we moved to a new house which needed some tender, love and care. We find that riding around Reykjavik after work is monotonous and riding on the roads just outside of Reykjavik is dangerous because the roads are quite narrow and the drivers are much less considerate in Iceland than in the US. We miss the warm American summer weather which is totally different from the Icelandic as a warm Icelandic summer day rarely goes above 15° Celcius (60° Fahrenheit).

We love riding our bikes but we miss the freedom and simplicity of a long-distance journey where all one has to do is pedal, eat and sleep.

It therefore seems inevitable that we will again embark on some sort of great journey sometime in the (near?) future but we have no idea yet what that adventure will look like. A few ideas have been tossed around such as:

  • Across America – Northern Tier (4293 mi, 6909 km)
  • Across America – Southern Tier (3022 mi, 4863 km)
  • TransAmerica west-east (again) (4218 mi, 6788 km)
  • TransAmerica east-west (4218 mi, 6788 km)
  • Pacific coast (1848 mi, 2974 km)
  • Atlantic coast (2643 mi, 4253 km)
  • Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (3083 mi, 4961 km)
  • EuroVelo 2 Capitals Route Ireland – Russia (3107 mi, 5000 km)
  • EuroVelo 4 Central Europe Route. France-Ukraine (3169 mi, 5100 km)
  • EuroVelo 6 Atlantic – Black Sea (2765 mi, 4450 km)
  • Something completely different? Perhaps in Australia, Asia or South-America.

We find ourselves in exactly the same mindset as in 2016-2017 when the TransAm idea became real. Watching YouTube, reading articles, getting excited about the thought, wondering about gear-choices, thinking about how we could document our trip better and day-dreaming. Additionally, we constantly remind each other of some of the great moments we experienced during our trip.

With COVID19 and ongoing home improvements we will not go on a long trip this year but we are hoping to get in some bikepacking in the Icelandic highlands which has some great scenery but limited trails and very unpredictable weather.

With limited exercise lately we need to start getting our bodies back in shape. Monika never seems to gain weight but the same cannot be said about the myself but we have both obviously lost quite a bit of our strength and stamina which means we better get back on our indoor trainer!

Any thoughts or suggestions on our next adventure would be appreciated!

11 thoughts on “What next?

  1. Bruce Thompson

    I’m glad to see that you haven’t given up on the U.S. despite the insanity that Trump unleashed on us and the world.
    The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is my suggestion for you.
    1. You and Monika are young, healthy and have a positive attitude. You can do the road trips when you are older.
    2. You are accustomed to riding off road and are comfortable with life in a tent.
    3. You have the bicycles and gear.
    4. The trail is very well documented with books, journals and maps.
    5. The dollar might weaken against the Krona, lowering your expenses here.
    6. The U.S. needs the money! 😁
    7. As with the transam ride, you will probably be the first folks from Iceland to do the route. You will have a place in history! 😄

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    1. Great to “hear” from you Bruce! Long time since we met yet it feels like yesterday!
      You list some great reasons for doing the GDMBR! I must admit that we are afraid of riding far away from any civilization in bear-country!!! 🙂
      Hope you are doing great. Perhaps we will meet again sometime! 🙂

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      1. Bruce Thompson

        I watched parts of a YouTube video titled “My Full Experience Bikepacking the GDMBR” from a trip during the summer of 2020. It is almost two hours long so you can see a lot about the experience. I sent a comment and he indicated that bears are not a problem. From my perspective here in the middle of the U.S. it seems like living on a volcano 🌋 as you do in Iceland would make you immune to any kind of danger 😀🐻. Whatever route you choose should provide an interesting journal. I will be looking forward to it!

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      2. I watched the same video from Ryan Duzer and was really inspired. Monika and I actually met him and his girlfriend at the time while they were riding across the US and documenting their LoveCycles. We didn´t recognize him as a Youtuber but since then I have watched many of his videos.
        You are right about the volcanic threat 🙂 but our lack of real wild animals (except fox, mink, mice, rats, rabbits and reindeer) makes us rather wary of real dangerous wild animals 🙂

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  2. Three options I can comment on:

    The Pacific Coast trip is a fun one but at your pace you’d probably knock it out in three weeks. I did it Seattle to San Diego in 88, with a side trip over to Crater Lake and then back to the coast. It’s gorgeous every day and during the summer you will likely have a nice tailwind every day. You might encounter some weather in the NW but CA should be great weather except for maybe some morning fog. There’s a lot more traffic on those roads than back in the 80s, particularly in Oregon. I was on a tight schedule but this would be a fun trip that you could easily knock out in a month or less.

    Northern Tier – I did my own version of the Northern Tier in 17/18 on the 30th anniversary of my TA crossing. We rode from OR to NJ and left the TA just east of Dubois, WY. Staying north from there. I’m happy to share those route details but the tour was more of a straight line trip and lacked the connections you’d make with other riders on the TA route. We encountered very few bike tourists after leaving the TA. I found the TA trip to be a lot more rewarding and enjoyable.

    Great Western Loop – This is the one I did in 89. It was an epic I did with a few friends after college graduation. It was a 2.5 month trip but we took time to visit each park. It can be done in less time if desired. We started in Vegas and headed north into UT. First visiting Zion NP, next we rode down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, then up to Bryce Canyon NP, next to Capitol Reef NP, and then over to Moab where you have Arches NP and Canyonlands NP. Next we headed to Telluride, CO and then east from there eventually finding our way to Breckenridge and the TA. We followed the TA up to Missoula via Teton NP and Yellowstone and then continued up to Glacier NP. From there we crossed over into Waterton NP in Canada. We followed the Rockies north through Banff and Jasper NPs. This is an AC mapped route. From Jasper we headed south and west to Vancouver and then ferried to Vancouver Island and then ferried on from there to Seattle. From Seattle we followed the Pacific Coast route down through Astoria to the central coast of OR and then inland to Crater Lake NP. From there we continued south into arid NE CA and down to Lake Tahoe. From Tahoe we rode into Yosemite and then from Yosemite back to Vegas. I think it was 4800 miles. I can’t think of a better tour.

    There are some weather constraints. We left in late May, Utah was hot by then. Not KY in July hot but still something that might be a difficult adjustment coming from Iceland. You could probably leave in mid-May but you’d need to check the opening date for the North Rim of the GC (I think it’s at 9,000 ft). Also, while typical late May/early June days in the CO mountains can be very nice, you’re likely to encounter a late season snowstorm. Just keep that in mind as you might have to hunker down for a few days. But, generally, you should have temps in the 60’s and 70’s in the high country in June. Also, Yosemite back to Vegas in August was a real cooker. I remember 112 degrees on our final day.

    If you want more details on this route just let me know. It was a first tour for my two buddies who joined me and a life changer for both.

    Cheers – Brian B

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  3. Jack Perkins

    So excited that you may come to the US again!
    We want you to know our house has been remodeled- your bedroom and bathroom are just waiting for your visit. Only this time for a longer stay! If your route does not include Eugene, it would be fun to meet you somewhere.
    Please say hello to Monika for us.
    Jack

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  4. Jack Perkins

    So excited that you may come to the US again!
    We want you to know our house has been remodeled- your bedroom and bathroom are just waiting for your visit. Only this time for a longer stay! If your route does not include Eugene, it would be fun to meet you somewhere.
    Please say hello to Monika for us.
    Jack

    Like

    1. It was wonderful staying with you and Pam and we would definitely love to stay with you again on our (hopefully) next trip.
      Too bad we can´t do a long distance bike trip in Hawaii and meet you there! 😀
      Say hi to Pam from us!

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  5. Kathie Darland

    We met you in Pacific City, OR, at the pizzeria. Our home is located in Southern Oregon. We would welcome you into our home.
    Crater Lake is about 70 miles away and the rim is visible from our deck !
    Check out the Rogue Valley area of Southern Oregon.

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    1. Hi Kathie,
      We still remember meeting you in that pizzeria. We are still amazed at the size of that pizza and remember you talking about your family gathering nearby.
      Thanks so much for your offer! A true sign of American hospitality.

      Like

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