My bike is ready for the road, panniers are packed to the brim, and I’m as prepared as I can be for the first leg of my cycling trip from Lawrence, Kansas to St. Louis, Missouri on September 20th.

This is my first cross-country bike trip (and first blog post), and although I’m nervous, I can hardly contain my excitement. I have no idea what the road will hold for me during the initial 360 miles and after.

I feel more prepared after taking an overnight ride with a fully loaded bike south from Colorado Springs to Canon City. This trip took about 9 hours of riding while covering 100 miles in two days. Hills are difficult to climb with a full load, but doable with a great deal of patience.

In addition to the 100 mile two day ride, I’ve been completing training rides in town (anywhere from 100-120 miles per week), lifting at the YMCA four to five times per week, and doing as much research as possible to enhance my maintenance abilities and learn as much as possible about touring.

Needless to say, I won’t fully appreciate the physical, mental, and mechanical challenges this trip will bring until I throw myself into it, but I’m excited for the experience and adventure ahead.

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all, and hope that it may convince some people to step outside of their comfort zone and try something completely new, in whatever capacity that may be.

Until next time,
Ben