In years past I have meticulously planned my trips, creating day-by-day plans by scouring ride reports and Google Earth, creating daily routes in Garmin Basecamp, then uploading them into Captain Bligh (my GPS). And yet, for all that planning, I was finally forced to admit that not once have I actually followed my route. Part of the thrill of riding solo is the ability to follow whims, to get input from locals, to veer off the beaten track simply to find out where a particular side road went.
So this year, instead of planning every mile of every day, I planned just a few must see sections – Ohio’s Amish Country, the backroads of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and a few rural roads that would allow us to bypass crowded urban centers – trusting to chance to connect the dots. I tried really hard to worry about all the things that might go wrong, but experience told me that Barley and I had already overcome plenty of obstacles in our travels, and that worrying about them hadn’t been much help.