Getting ready for an around-the-world bicycle trip calls for more than collecting maps and making sure there's air in the tires. You have to prepare yourself physically and maybe more importantly, mentally. So for the next year, I'll be taking some extended bicycle trips.
Last week, I took a four-day tour around the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula with my cycling pal, Michael.The Olympic Peninsula is only 50 miles distant from Seattle but it's a wold away.
The back roads around Port Townsend and Sequim provide stunning views of the Salish Sea, a large body of water that includes the Strait of Georgia, Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound. Until recently, this part of the Pacific Ocean coastal waters didn't have a collective name.
Whatever name you choose to call it by, this part of the country is nothing short of fantastic. The Olympic Discovery Trail follows an old rail line through deep evergreen forests and flower-strewn meadows bordering a rugged shoreline. Two old narrow-gauge wooden bridges cross deep gorges, the view from which is breathtaking
On our second day, we rolled into Sequim where we stopped to buy groceries for that evening's dinner. As we were loading up our already heavily-loaded touring bikes, we began to draw a crowd. People stopped and struck up conversations; "Where are you going?" "Where are you from?" and "How much does all that gear weigh?"
We've found that almost every time we stop, people want to know all about us. It's one of the nice things about bicycle touring and a great way to make new friends.