Feb. 22.17 – Riding around America

Chris and Ties set off on their touring adventure around America last year, striking out from Toronto towards the western edge of Canada, before heading down the Pacific Coast into the USA. We caught up with Chris as he and Ties were resting up in San Diego, bracing themselves before setting off to cross the continent once again – this time through the Deep South.

Chris, I guess you’d better begin by telling us how you got started on this adventure of yours?

Well it all started with this idea I had to do a big trip riding along the Pacific coast, from Vancouver in Canada to San Diego. I’ll admit initially I’d had it in my head to do it in a car! However, eventually the cycling aspect started to appeal more.

I started looking at maps of the coast as a starting point to planning the trip and then eventually my imagination ran away with me.

It went from doing the coast, to trying to connect up the south of California across to Florida, and then it became ‘just do a loop’. Only, around an entire continent.

Do a lot of people just “do a loop” of North America?

Some parts of our route are more established than others – the Pacific coast is pretty well-trodden by cyclists as well as car drivers. That’s the bit we’ve just completed.

Then the cross-country leg to Florida from the west coast and the leg up to New York are less common, but they are still things that people do.

The Trans-Canada bit though, is very rare. It’s especially unusual to do it the way we did it because of the strong prevailing winds. You would find way more cycle tourers inclined to do it coming back from the West towards Toronto, rather than starting there as we did.

In the time we spent crossing Canada we only met about ten tourers – and they were all going eastwards rather than west.

And you’re doing this trip on a custom-made Donhou bike. How is she treating you?

Honestly, the bike is absolutely fantastic. I’ve always had knee and shoulder pains when I’ve ridden – nothing major, jut niggly discomfort – this is the first bike that doesn’t give me that.

It’s a robust and stiff build and it’s set up with a big dynamo inside the front hub, which has been a real boon for charging things and keeping lights powered.

Thanks Chris, happy riding!

You’ll be able to read a full version of the interview, including Chris and Ties’ encounters with raccoons, bears and thunderstorms over at Pannier.cc very soon.

 
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