18th June, 2024
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Where shall I cycle to next year?

Over the last month, or so, I’ve been wondering where I should spend a month cycling. I originally started out with one idea. As always, the more I think the more my ideas grow. I now have options both domestic and abroad. Please note: This post will be updated with any changes/additions to options I dream up. You may wish to keep it bookmarked!

Option 1: Sydney to Warrnambool

An early idea was to cycle from Sydney to Warrnambool (which is located in southwestern Victoria – about 260 km from Melbourne). This route would take me over the Blue Mountains, down through Canberra, through the Snowy Mountains, along the Great Victorian Rail Trail (via Bonnie Doon), through Melbourne and on to Warrnambool. The return trip back to Sydney will involve a mixture of train and cycling.

Option 2: Kyle of Lochalsh to Buckingham Palace

This more recent idea is kind of like ‘unfinished business’. I had originally intended to cycle from Kyle of Lochalsh to London last year, but that idea was abandoned after a run in with a couple of trucks. I still went to the UK, but travelled around by train instead – it was probably what I needed to do at the time. But now I’m again wanting to do it by bicycle. The route will be different, as I won’t have the same amount of time as I did previously. it will also give me the opportunity to attend the Crick Boat Show and also Home Farm Feast (a charity fundraiser for School in a Bag – one of the charities I support).

Option 3: St. Louis, Missouri to Washington, D.C.

This is an idea I came up with today. I would fly in to Dallas-Forth Worth (Qantas fly direct from Sydney) and then hop on a train to St. Louis. From there, I’d cycle to La Grange, Kentucky (a place I’d been wanting to visit for years), before making my way up to Pittsburgh, down the Great Allegheny Passage and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpatth to Washington, D.C, finishing at the Lincoln Memorial. I’d then catch the train back to Dallas and fly back to Sydney.

Option 4: A tour around New South Wales

This is idea is kind of an update on an old tour I was planning – when state borders were closed during Covid. I’ve decided to re-visit that idea, as I do wish to see a lot more of my own state by bicycle (though, I will make a brief entrance into Victoria – between Corowa and Albury). Parts of this ride will be through quite sparsley populated areas, which suits me fine. As this also involves returning to the point of origin, I don’t have to worry about flights or trains.

Option 5: Sydney to Hobart.

Despite this being one of my lesser likely options, I’ve been toying with this idea for about a month or so. For the last few years, I’ve been taking part in Pedal Cure 4 MND rides in support of Fight MND. The first year (2020) I did it, it was a ride from Ungarie, NSW to Essenden, Victoria. The second year (2022) was a bit of a tour around New South Wales, starting from Temora and ending in Ariah Park (not via the direct route!). In 2024, it’s around 650 km around Tasmania. If I choose this option, I won’t be officially part of the Pedal Cure 4 MND ride. However, I will meet up with them on some of the evenings. Instead of flying down to Devonport, to meet up with them, I’ll be cycling down.

Option 6: Chicago, Illinois, to Omaha, Nebraska (or maybe only as far as Kansas City.

At the beginning of August of this year (2023), there will be a weekend of events at the Keokuk lock 19 river and dam in Iowa (located on the Mississippi River). I won’t make it this year, as I don’t have enough time to organise (not to mention that I don’t have enough annual leave). But if there were to be one around the same time next year, I might well go. So, I came up with this route.

So which route will I take?

At the moment, my heart is leaning more towards option 2 (Kyle of Lochalsh to Buckingham Palace) – but my wallet is leaning more towards option 1 (Sydney to Warrnambool) or option 4 (A tour of New South Wales). However, each one is quite possible. I have a little bit of time to think about it.

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