Life Without Wheels: Chronicle of a Car-Free Lifestyle
 
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Sigh, Astro doesn't look too happy does he? Well, while his dejected look is because he is not a big fan of his Burley Tail Wagon (YET!), I'm feeling dejected because of the weather forecasts for Memorial Day weekend. 

Astro and I have been planning our first bike overnight, or sub-24-hour (S24O) trip this weekend. I am really excited about this trip because I've got the trailer, I've figured out the gear set-up, and I've chosen a route that only has a few miles that are a little tight with traffic. In fact, about 15 miles of the route is on a dedicated bike path, and I can hook Astro up to the Springer and let him run (pull) beside me. 

When it rains in Missoula, typically it rains for a little while then the clouds move on. So the forecast could call for rain, but that doesn't mean it will rain ALL day or even ON me. So I have to continue to prepare like we are going and just wait to check the weather forecast (and the weather itself) on Saturday morning. 

Preparing to travel by bike with a pet like Astro--50lb border collie--is definitely an undertaking. After conferring with colleagues, I discovered a few routes and destinations within 40 miles that would be suitable for us to travel on our first time out. 

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Bike touring with Astro makes me very excited for the continued development of the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS), which I am proud to work on as part of my position at Adventure Cycling Association. Someday my four-legged friend and I might even be able to  ride (pull) cross-country together. I look forward to a day when I can look at a road atlas of America for bicyclists, and Astro and I can easily traverse the country together--it's one thing to brave the roads by yourself; it's quite another to do so with another being dependent on you, like your dog or, sure, maybe your kids too.  

My dreams of bicycle travel with my furry partner in crime are just one reason I'm raising money to help develop the U.S. Bicycle Route System. Certainly providing access to bicycle travel for all Americans is a big motivator. Also, doesn't it seem sort of disappointing that the U.S. doesn't have a national bicycle route network? I mean, England has one, Germany has one, even in Canada, Quebec Province has a state-wide network. I don't mean to get all patriotic on you, but it's Memorial Day, and I'm feeling a little "Yay! America!" Shouldn't we have the best cycling network and conditions in the world? 

Okay, before I go too far on that tangent, consider a donation to support the further development of an official U.S. Bicycle Route System. Donating just $10 can go a long way to making progress in designating more routes, just like the two that were designated last week--USBR 35 in Michigan and USBR 45 in Minnesota.

 


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