Falling upward into North Dakota

Bike the US for MS 2014-16

We’re at a point in the trip at which we’re counting down the days left, opposed to just counting them. Over half of the time and mileage is behind us, and only four states stand between us and the Pacific Ocean. By now, we have a group dynamic of a huge, multicultural, eclectic family and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I never thought I’d have heart-to-heart chats with an Irishman in the middle of the night, ride 100 miles through the Indiana countryside with a German anesthesiologist, or camp out amongst the bears in New Hampshire, but Bike the US for MS has enabled me to do all that. There are already so many stories which sound like they came from a Mad Libs book, and the back end of the trip is shaping up to be just as uncouth.

I feel like I’m in a honeymoon state with the trip. The winds are at our backs, the daily mileage right around the average, and a desolate, yet beautifully paved bike path has been carrying us through Minnesota up toward North Dakota. Most of June was spent looking forward to the Great Lakes, Cleveland and Minneapolis. Now I’m really psyched about Fargo, N.D., Glacier National Park and, well, running into the Pacific!

It only took me 2300 miles, but I finally have my entire daily routine perfected. Waking up at a consistent time, eating just the right amount, riding at around the same pace, and keeping entertained while riding (be it music, podcasts or just chatting) are some of the ancillary details which are way more difficult to fine-tune than I’d ever have imagined.

The daily essentials

Some of the daily essentials.

Upon reflecting on it I’m realizing these last few days have been really ideal, so here’s to hoping this streak continues!

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