We’re Katy and Rob. We live in Bristol, UK, but from spring 2018 to spring 2019 we explored North America and the Caribbean on a tandem.
We’d wanted to do a big bike tour for a long time. Bigger than a regular holiday. And we wanted to link up Winnipeg (a city for which we have much affection, which we tried to explain when we were there) and Trinidad (where Rob’s dad grew up and where his mum’s family has roots). This trip was a very roundabout way of doing that.
We rode a tandem because it guaranteed that we stayed together when cycling and could chat, and it’s a lot of fun. It also added a level of inconvenience at times (basically any time we weren’t actually riding it) and this made the whole thing seem like more of an adventure.
The rough route was: wiggle north from Washington DC to Montreal, west to Winnipeg, train to Jasper, back on the bike to Prince Rupert, boat to Vancouver Island, down the west coast of the US and Baja California, sail to mainland Mexico, across to the Yucatan via Mexico City, then the Caribbean. It was about 11,400 miles over 11 months, so we had enough time to stop in lots of places and explore a bit rather than just riding through. We’re involved in community bike projects and DIY music at home, and we especially wanted to check those things out along the way.
We updated the blog as went along, and sometimes the equipment list if we found we’d forgotten something essential, or we decided to ditch something that wasn’t. We uploaded each day’s ride to Ride with GPS, so you can see every inch of our route there. There are many dull (unless you like that sort of thing) photos of roads in blog posts for each section of the trip: usually between three days and a week. Hopefully they’re useful if you’re planning to ride any of the same areas as us. There are also tweets and Instagram posts @dtouringbristol.
We read a lot of useful stuff on other people’s tour blogs when we were planning, so we wanted to add to that pool of resources as well as keeping friends and family up to date with what we were doing. A lot of details might be boring for many readers, but hopefully some of it is some use to someone.
We also received quite amazing and humbling hospitality from Warm Showers hosts across North America. We’d really like to repay some of that, so if you’re passing through Bristol on a bike, please come and stay with us. We’re Katy and Rob Wall in Bristol on the Warm Showers website.
Anyhow, whatever your reason for reading, thanks, and enjoy this song, which was surely made for bowling along an empty road on a bike in the sunshine.