Bicycle Tour. 1500 Miles. Organic Valley.


Bicycle Tour. 1500 Miles. Organic Valley.

After a 3 day break in Chicago, I continued my tour and headed westward. My next big segment took me from Chicago to Alexandria, Minnesota. I cycled through Illinois, Wisconsin, and most of Minnesota along the most quite trails and farm roads. The farm lands I traversed collectively make the farms of Organic Valley, the independent cooperative and organic farmers brand. 

// Trail System just shortly after Leaving Chicago

After 85 miles of cycling, I arrived at my Warmshowers host and I helped him plant a few acres of soybean using the tractor above. The tractor was GPS operated, so I helped by keeping the guy company as the machine went out and back on the field. 

// A Farm just south of the Wisconsin Border

The photo above was taken while on a century long ride which took me from Rockford, Illinois to Dubuque, Iowa. 

After a very short stay in Iowa, I left and headed north into Wisconsin. That day I rode 75 miles and ended in Gays Mills, Wisconsin - my favorite town of the whole trip. Gays Mills is a town of 64 people and I stayed with a family that has been living the alternative lifestyle I'm after for many years. 

// Organic Valley

// Along the Mississippi River heading towards La Crosse, Wisconsin

// Some Horse 

When I arrived at La Crosse, I felt really tired and decided to not continue to my destination which was another 30 miles north. I got in touch with another Warmshowers host and he was kind enough to let me take a extra day of rest in La Crosse. 

// Very windy day along the Mississippi River heading to Red Wing, Minnesota 

Minnesota's trail system is incredible. After nearly 1500 miles of cycling I met 4 bicycle tourist on a 50 mile long trail system and I rode with two of them, top right two - Dave and Gary, till Alexandria, Minnesota.

// My stay in Alexandria, Minnesota

This segment marks about 1600 miles of my trip. It took me 8 days to cycle 550 miles with 1 rest day. My next segment will take me from Alexandria, Minnesota to Bismark, North Dakota. 


Bicycle Tour. 1000 Miles. The Rust Belt.


Bicycle Tour. 1000 Miles. The Rust Belt.

The next 500 miles will take me to Chicago. This section, though it doesn't cover the entire Rust Belt, it will take me across Ohio and Indiana and I will stop for my extended rest just past Indiana's border in Chicago. All 500 miles will on farm roads expect the parts where I enter the cities. 

// Mechanical Equipment for Hydroelectric Motors adjacent to Lake Erie 

// Lake Erie

// Cycling along Lake Erie 

I crossed my first state line and entered Pennsylvania. Thought my ride in Pennsylvania was relatively short, I remember the roads being well maintained and having a lot of bicycle signs. The roads and drivers being aware of cyclist instantly changed once I entered Ohio. Ohio was a really bad to cycle through as I spent most of my time on very narrow shoulders or poorly maintained farm roads. 

Right outside Cleveland, I noticed one back spoke broken and stopped at Eddy's Bike Shop for a quick service. The guys in there were really nice, they replaced my spoke for free and let me take my lunch inside their break room. 

// Cleveland, Ohio 

The farm roads in Ohio had a lot of rolling hills which made for a lot of these type of scenes after struggle to climb every hill. 

// Rest Stop between Cleveland and Toledo 

Indian was the best of The Rust Belt. I went through several Amish communities over 60 miles and the farm roads were all horse and buggy. 

// I stopped to use this Guy's Restroom in his Steel Shop

// View from the Trail

This was a small segment of trail before entering Chicago. Entering Chicago after 10 days of farm roads felt like a rush. The traffic was so heavy that it took me 3 hours to cycle my last 20 miles. 

// After 12 Days of Rain the Sky Clears Up

I stayed three days in Chicago and had a full recovery. Hung out with family and friends and toured the city; which after living in NYC, Chicago felt like The Bronx. 

// Relaxing by Lake Michigan 

This segment marks approximately 1200 miles of my trip. It took me 19 days including 2 days off. My next segment will be from Chicago to Alexandria, Minnesota, I'll be cycling through Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. 


Bicycle Tour. 500 Miles. Erie Canal Trail.


Bicycle Tour. 500 Miles. Erie Canal Trail.

The first 500 miles of by bicycle tour took me from NYC to Niagara Falls along the Barge Canal Trail colloquially known as the Erie Canal Trail. I left NYC on a Sunday morning and I began my tour on highway 9W (a stretch of highway west of the Hudson River) -- by far the most horrible bike riding I've ever done. From NYC to Albany, 130 miles,  I was on 18-24 inches of shoulder and finally I connected to the trail 30 miles north of Albany. 

// Crossing over the George Washington Bridge

// First Night of Camping at Hook Mountain State Park

During my second night of camping I had this guy stop by to chat and it turned out that he's done cross country trips on his bicycle and motorcycle. He gave me 20 bucks and said that I should start a donation jar. Though I never took him on that advise, throughout the trip I had plenty of people share their hospitality and generosity. 

// Crossing Train Tracks off of a Road from 9W

From this point on I was on the Barge Canal Trail. There were a few times the trail disconnected and I got on highways or farm roads, but it was 90% trail for about 350 miles. 

// Crossing over a Bridge as part of the Trail System

// Crossing over the Barge Canal

I relied heavily on Warmshowers to secure hosts throughout my trip. Andy, in Utica, was kind enough to let me have my first rest day in 6 days (left). And the stop after that was Syracuse (right).

// Resting before Entering Rochester

// Abandoned Rail Line along the Trail

Communities along the trail varied a lot. I by passed tiny house communities, trailer home communities, and there were water base communities. The pictures above are of these communities that had their entire structures built on the canal.

// Grain Silo

// Niagara Falls 

// View from Outside of my AirBNB for the Night.

The first major section of my tour is done. I completed 500 miles in 10 days of cycling and my next segment will be going through The Rust Belt. 


Blueprint for Armagedon III


Blueprint for Armagedon III

Dan Carlin did a six part series on World War I on his podcast, Hardcore History. The third episode is my favorite, it covers a part of the war that demonstrates a moment of peaceful rebellion. It's the best of the blueprints.


Faith and Reason


Faith and Reason

Waking Up with Sam Harris is a podcast I started listening to in April. In this episode, Sam Harris speaks with Eric Weinstein about an array of topics. 

So far, this is my favorite episode from this podcast and from podcasts in general.