Today I rode 50 miles on with my touring bike, Xena, loaded to about 90% capacity. It was tough, but I’m figuring out how to evenly distribute weight and making decisions on what can be left behind. I’m staying at my parents’ home just outside of Kansas City, MO where I spend my days exploring cycling trails in the area, working on my new website, and stressing over what to pack for New Zealand. I’m also getting a chance to really catch up with my family before spending such a long time on the other side of the world.
The weeks following my departure from Austin have certainly flown by. My first stop was New Orleans where I had a blast with some of my bestest friends and rode a sweet little cruiser bike all around the city. New Orleans is always one of my favorite places to visit, but this trip was the first chance I’ve had to explore on two wheels and it made me adore the Big Easy even more. Next up was Cincinnati for another best friend’s wedding. I had a few days to spend in the city before the big day so I hopped on a bicycle, of course . Cincinnati is truly becoming a great cycling town and I swiftly fell in love. Check out my blogs on Six Authentic New Orleans Rides and How to Fall in Love with Cincinnati on a Bicycle to read all about my experiences and see my photos.
My farewell tour then took me to my hometown in Kentucky to see my sister, her family, and many of my childhood friends. I even got to go back to the farm where I grew up. My parents sold it a few years ago to move closer to my grandma in Missouri. The longer I am away from Kentucky the more strange it feels when I go back. Just when I feel that I’ve grown so far away from that place and time in my life, I discover an important part of me still calls it home.
Next I am preparing to ride the Katy Trail. I’ll do about 225 miles in four days. It will be a real test of all of my equipment and packing. After that I will have only a few days to pack for New Zealand. I leave for Auckland on September 27. Ready or not 🙂