Since I was a kid I have always enjoyed riding my bike --to me it was independence, adventure and simple transportation. By the time I was in my 30's it was good exercise and fun amidst a busy work and family life. My experience with bike touring was limited to a 4 day unpaved mountain epic from our house in Marysvale, Utah to Capitol Reef National Park. I estimated the mileage to be a little over 100 miles but it ended up being about 165 miles. At one point I was lost on the Aquarius Plateau and I came across a rancher doing fence work. He pointed me in the right direction and then seriously asked me if I was doing this for fun, taking time off of work and such to ride my bike. When I said I was he laughed and suggested that I might as well just close myself up in the closet and hit myself on the head with a hammer. I must have appeared pretty odd to him.
Since I moved to Albuquerque I have been commuting by bike and I've run up at least 8000 miles on my mountain bike going back and forth to school in the last 8 years. For many years I have been intrigued by the idea of a long bike trip. My youngest son Ted and I have talked about riding our bikes to Uncle Bob's house in Wisconsin since he was about 6 years old. I always said that when he was big enough we would go. Last spring, when he was 13 years old and kicking my butt at the end of the Santa Fe Century Ride, I realized that it was time.