We are on the web – the beginnings of an epic US tandem road trip.

22 Sep 2020

So without getting too tangled up in the colour of the top bar, the headers and footers and the different widgets, let’s just create some content for this blog. This blog is about the tandem bicycle trip that we will take next year. We are going to take an epic US road trip on a tandem to the state capitol buildings. Which ones? All of the lower 48!

Crazy idea during the night shift.

One quiet evening at work, probably a few years ago, I stumbled onto the work of Randal Olson. I don’t know Randal but it seems he is a very clever gentleman who does some very clever things with data. This is the post that I found.

Randal had come up with an optimal route for a road trip to all of the lower 48 US State Capitol Buildings. That really caught my imagination. I know many people might cross the US from coast to coast or even a trip which will enter each of the lower 48 states, but that type of trip doesn’t do it for me. Despite the hugeness of the country simply crossing it does not excite me. And routes that enter each state, maybe just crossing a corner hear or barely skirting a state border there smacks to me of ‘cheating’ and don’t let you really get to the heart of the state and it’s people.

Going to each State Capitol? Now that’s a journey that peaks my interest and I want to embark on! And what better way to do it than as a couple on a tandem bicycle?

Google Maps image of a route to 48 US State Capitols
Epic US Road Trip

What is Plan A?

In 2021 (Covid-19 permitting) we are going to ride a tandem bike to each of the lower 48 US state capitol buildings. The ride will be over 23,000 kilometers or 14,000 miles. It will take up to one year (US Visa permitting). That is going to be our Plan A. We will start the trip in Seattle. Seattle is the home of a great custom bike maker R+E Cycles who will be building our tandem bike. From Seattle we will head south to Olympia, Salem and Sacramento before going to see some very old friends in San Francisco.

After a bit of rest and recuperation we will head back to Carson City and Boise to pick up the route in a clockwise direction. This will bring us across the Northern states during the spring and summer of 2021 and round to the Southern states during the autumn winter. Finishing up sometime early 2022.

Plan B, C & D

There are many, many options and alternatives for such a long journey. We may be restricted in how long we can remain in the US on our tourist visa. We are hoping to be given a year long stay. If we can’t stay for so long then we will only do part of the route, maybe only crossing the US to the East coast which is still a huge trip. Of course if we can’t get into the US for this journey there are many other places we can explore. China, Japan, The United Kingdom all come to mind. If it really is restricted by Covid-19 we will be sure to stay safe and will see which countries are open for travel at the time we are ready to leave.

On the way we will be sharing our journey here as well as looking for ways to make the journey a meaningful one for those less fortunate than ourselves.