About a year ago, I asked my dad if he would go on a bike ride with me. I was standing on the top of Mt. Whitney in California, talking to him over the first bits of cell service I had in over two weeks. He was back in Minnesota. I told him about my idea, and he said sure, not realizing then that both of us would follow through and actually start this trip.
To ride our pedal bicycles from Portland, Oregon to St. Cloud, MN after I graduated from college.
It wasn't until 6 months later, that I actually got him to commit to the trip, after giving him and ultimatum to make a decision.
Then, as my last semester of college was coming to an end, and I scrambled to get our gear ready, finish our maps and finalize all the last details, we were really doing this.
My parents came out for my graduation at the beginning of May, and within a week, after spending some time on the beach with friends and their families, dropping my mom off at the airport, and one very hectic day of errands and last-minute modifications, we were ready.
We slept on the floor of my empty bedroom, and woke up the next day, ate some breakfast, put on our riding shorts and shoes, and walked out the door!
Both of us so excited and nervous, but not enough to say anything as we stood next to our fully loaded bikes, waiting for clayton to take the picture.
Here are most of the pictures that my dad and I posted to social media during our trip, it is mostly the captions from the pictures, with a few comments thrown in here and there by me.
My Instagram: @kylesovada
Dad's Instagram: @firericks
@firericks: If you don't give it a go it will never happen🚲🚲 MN here we come💙😃😇
Bike path on Marine Drive in Portland!
@kylesovada: Only One Wrong Turn Today. [day 1 and 55 miles into the many miles back to Minnesota from Portland, on bicycles with my dad]
Selfie as we enjoyed riding through the Columbia River Gorge, some bike trails, some roads, some hills, and great views.
Sometimes the hills are really big and really steep and really long and you are really tired!
Enjoying my Trek Bar from our friends Mike and DeNe and Great Harvest!
firebricks: I would have to say my tent is a bit nicer than Kyle's green blob
@kylesovada: Stopping In The Shade Because Its Over 100 Degrees Out. [dad with his Salsa Vaya... Day 2, 65 miles, beautiful riding, but hotttttttttt]
@firericks: When it hits 103 degrees ya just might need to cool off 🌞🔥🔥 @kylesovada: Big Thanks To Our One And Only Sponsor Momma Sue For Her Famous Monster Cookies! [having fun on our bikes, just keepin on peddling]
Arriving at our second campsite, about to relax on our comfy aluminum picnic table after spending all day on the bike!
Dinner in a bag: boil water, pour into bag, mix, eat, for more water, mix more, eat more, no dirty dishes.
We stopped about halfway up this climb to get some water, oofda! (seriously, this was about halfway!)
A cafe, in the middle of nowhere, a perfect time for some lunch!
@firebricks: Diary entry, "half way between here and there." Just a little cafe that all bikers stop at, so we journaled in it. 🚲🚲🚲
@firericks: As the Earth Turns the Sun Set's on another night on the road.
@firericks: Lunch in Walla Walla Washington. Graze Eatery 😃
@kylesovadad: No Tail Wind. Mostly Uphill. [day 4, 70mi, dad got a huge slash in his Tire, fixed it with a tire boot but got a replacement (and a small spare) later at the awesome Allegro cyclery in Walla Walla]
@firericks: Just following the yellow brick road, and a scenic one too. 💙😃😇🚴🏿 70 mile day and one new tire🚲
Today was my birthday so I had two burritoes at a mexican restaurant in the middle-of-nowhere, Washington.
@kylesovada: This Is How I Felt Too. [day 5, 75miles, uphill, headwind, uphill... Long but fun day :) made it to clarkston/Louiston]
@kylesovada: Oh The Places We See. [looking up the snake river near Clarkston today as we inched our way into town to our host house]
@kylesovada: Mi Casa Es Su Casa! [gregory and sky were so kind to open up their home to us... It is always so fun to peek into the lives of other people... Great night, even helped me patch my sleeping pad]
@kylesovada: New Friends In New Places. [spent a great night in Clarkston at Gregory's home that he opened up to us, connected on a site called Warm Showers, where bike travelers can connect with people who are willing to host! Took a quick picture before Sky left for school this morning]
@firericks: Scenic 🚴🏿🚴🏿🚴🏿
@kylesovada: Are We Almost To The Top? Do You Really Want To Know The Truth? [45 miles ends up being a long day when 13 of those miles are spent in the easiest 'granny-gear' spinning up endless switchbacks]
@kylesovada: Are We At The Top? Almost There? We're Getting Close Right? [day 6, 45 miles, made it to Idaho... Uphill, big]
After our underestimated 13 mile switchback climb in our lowest "granny" gear, we had to stop early, so we found this place in this tiny town, Brad was nice enough to share the kitchen too!
@kylesovada: And On The 7th Day, They Rested. Almost. [took a shorter-ish, easier-ish day today, day 7, 45 miles, beautiful rolling hills and then ended it with a nice downhill cruise into a valley]
@kylesovada: Huckleberry Country. [day 8, 56 miles spent riding on hw 12, up the lochsa river, absolutely beautiful, albeit the rough road]
@kylesovada: Punch It! [bike ride and a show.. Its been fun watching all the boaters on the Lochsa River, because it follows the road for almost its whole length. Also fun to meet them at the campsites, there are quite a few little communities of boaters from all over who all meet here around this time of the year]
@kylesovada: Awake For Sunset. [you'd be crawling into bed early most nights too]
@kylesovada: Headwinds And Bumpy Roads. [but we're still having fun! Day 9, 40 miles, still along day when its all up hill]
Day 10, Rest Day:
@kylesovada: A Busy Day. [packed full of sitting, eating, reading, walking, writing, sitting, snoozing, more reading and even some laughing.. Yeah, real busy]
@kylesovada: Stoking The Fire. [day 10, big rest day, 0 miles, staying in a rustic cabin at the Lochsa Lodge, a great place to recharge our bodies]
Taking our rest day at the Lochsa Lodge was too great, we weren't able to eat 3 meals a day, even though we wanted to, because breakfast stuffed us too full to eat till dinner time, and then dinner stuffed us too full to even think about desert!
@kylesovada: Just Pedaling Along! [made it over Lolo Pass to Missoula today! Day 11, 60 miles, moving along!]
@kylesovada: Friends Everywhere. [Matthew and Nathan Douglas are 1000 miles into their trip from Oregon to Virginia, check them out @thecrossamericaproject ]
@firericks: 60 mile day, Lolo pass, tonight my sister Marsha found us so we are in Missoula Montana on night 11
@firericks: Kyle and his friend Ryan, who came up from the Livingston Bozeman area to visit and he also cooked for us tonight😃
@firericks: Stopped in at Adventure Cycling headquarter in Missoula. They are the non profit that provides the bike route maps
At the Adventure Cycling Association's headquarters in Missoula, we met Greg, who has worked ad ACA since 1987 and has taken an estimated 4,500 black and white analog portraits of bicycle tourists, now including ours!
@kylesovada: PING! [that dreaded sound every cyclist dreads hearing, a broken spoke.. Dad broke a single front spoke, but heard it right away so we fixed it quick and the wheel trued up without a fuss]
@kylesovada: Right On The Water. [day 12, 65 miles, 1 broken spoke fixed, Browns Lake.. More than a ⅓ our way theough the bike tour!]
It was really nice to have my aunt Marsha join us in her camper, she scouted campsites for us and made us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch! Here we are, I am journaling and she is checking out the maps for the next few days.
@kylesovada: A Familiar Face. [my aunt marsha found us yesterday, she is going to hang out with us for a few days, much fun, she brings yummy food too!]
@firericks: Camp view's in Montana sure are have a Big Sky kind of look 🌞 Hey followers we peddled 663 miles so far.
@kylesovada: We Got A Trailer. [wont run out of water now!]
@kylesovada: Leaving The Mountains. [just before we got to the continental divide, now we are in the prairies and hills of montana]
@kylesovada: It's All Downhill From Here. [but not actually, nice morning up to the continental divide and them a long afternoon in the rolling hills and valleys and hills... Day 13, 71 miles, yeehawwww!
@kylesovada: Rolling. [day 14 today, started out rainy and wet, dried out mid day and then we ended early and just barely missed a big thunderstorm, 59 miles]
@firericks: Great food tonight. Thanks to my sister. 🔥🔥Cooked over the fire
@kylesovada: For Sale. [not much left of some of the towns we ride through.. Day 15, 84 miles, headwinds, sidewinds, tailwinds, rain, hail, and a bunch of fun]
@kylesovada: Nothing Beats Riding Half-Way Across The Country With Your Pops. [two weeks into our little bicycle tour from Portlandia to Minnesota]
@firericks: This one is for Lisa Frank Morgan and Luaren ....... Pizza place in Lewistown Montana
@firericks: That's Kyle checking out Aunt Marsha passing us. 84 mile day places us West of Lewistown MT. And now it is Pizza time.
@kylesovada: We Take Breaks Now And Then. [day 16, 83 miles, riding through all sorts of different Montucky landscapes]
@kylesovada: My First Century Ride. [hills that go on forever, bumps that shake your bones, and beautiful bad lands that go on as far as the eye can see... A nice day for a bike ride]
@kylesovada: Riding The Badlands. [day 17, 113 miles, middle of no where Montucky]
A stop for lunch in Glendive at a local pizzeria.
@firericks: Taking over main street Wibaux MT. The town is ours
Dad bought a new bike ;)
@kylesovada: Painted Hills. [in north dakota today, day 19, 80 miles, the roads in ND have been silky smooth so far, i guess we have the oil boom to thank for that, never thought id say that]
@firericks: Veteran's memorial in Dickinson North Dakota. Met and visited with Lenord a 98 year young WWII veteran who was visiting the memorial with his daughter. He was pretty spry for a 98 year old.
@firericks: Enchanted Highway ND😃😃🚲🚲
@kylesovada: Glitter Dream. [that's the color of my @intergalacticsurlybikes Straggler that i am bike touring on]
@kylesovada: Storm Chasing/Hiding. [day 20 was spent chasing storms, getting chased by storms, but mostly avoiding them.. 75 miles, motel tonight, it just started hailing.. Alot]
@kylesovada: Gravel Shortcuts. [north dakota roads are either silky smooth blacktop or chunky red dirt]
@firericks: Kyle is home on red North Dakota gravel 😃
@firericks: This one is for you Maggie 💙💙
@kylesovada: Mile By Mile. [inching our way east, 107 miles today, day 21, 3 weeks of seeing every mile of seeing the backyard of Amurica]
@firericks: Today we Ride as though no one is watching. But since you are we rode 107 miles today and even crossed the Missouri River on our Lewis and Clark bike adventure🐄🇺🇸🚲
@firericks: Prairie potholes of North Dakota
@firericks: Day 21, 107 miles the night spent in Nepoleon ND and 60 miles on Day 22 puts us in at my sister Marsha in Jamestown, we are traversing ND on Hwy 46 south of 94.
@kylesovada: Family Thrashers! [antique grain thrashers all lined up like they're waiting to work]
@kylesovada: Straaagler.. [headwinds shortened our day, 60 miles, day 22, vroom vroom]
@firericks: It was so nice to see this herd of horses on our ride today, much better than the two dogs chasing us😃😃
@kylesovada: Storm Racing. [getting chased by another storm today, made it just in time. Day 23, 88 miles, vrooom]
@kylesovada: We Sleep Well At Night. [putting in beautiful and long days on the bikes, just cruising along, day 24, 107 miles.. Dad and his sister marsha, she lives in north dakota so she came to hang out with us]
On day 24, we crossed the Red River, going from North Dakota to Minnesota!
On the 25th day, we rode 50 miles in the morning and surprised my relatives at my cousin's graduation party!
We hung out there for a few hours, and then headed the last 30 miles home!
We met my mother at Ellie's grave on our way through town!
@kylesovada: We Did It! [25 days, 1747 miles, 1 flat, 1 broken spoke, lots of camping, a few motels, some nights in a camper, a few hosts and a whole lot of fun!!]