Across the US Again

Around May 6, I’m going to start cycling across the US again. Last time, I cycled about 4,000 miles from east to west on the Trans America Trail, Virginia to Oregon. This time, I’ll cycle about 2,000 miles north to south on the Mississippi River Trail (MRT), from Minnesota to Louisiana. My route is below, click on it to see more.

This trip is special since I started my first bike tour 10 years ago, by cycling 1,100 miles across Britain. That ride was solo, and most of this ride will be, about 1,500 miles. The last 10 years of bike touring have changed my life, especially the consistent generosity of strangers.

Bike touring has made me trust the news less and trust strangers more. Of course, there are some bad people in the world but not nearly as many as the news suggests. Bike touring taught me that, after 10 years and 7,000 miles on a loaded bike.

People sometimes ask which ride is my favorite. My answer’s always the same–the next one. Here’s more information about that ride, following the Mighty Miss.

The Start, before arriving at the actual Mississippi River Trail

  • Cycling with family on the Lake Woebegone Trail
  • Stopping by Art in Motion (aka BoHo) to see friends from my hometown, Holdingford.

The Middle

  • Cycling from the Mississippi Headwaters in Northern Minnesota to New Orleans
  • Dipping my rear tire into the start of the Mississippi River, where it’s about 5 yards wide.
  • Taking a deep dive into Mark Twain’s work, so I can compare what he wrote to what I see, when I write in this cycling blog. The links below show a bit about Mark Twain.

The End

  • Dipping my front tire into the end of the Mississippi, where it’s over a mile wide.
  • Enjoying music, Cajun food, and more in New Orleans

Please Join Me Here

I hope to describe each day in this blog, with stories, pictures, and comments from Mark Twain. I always enjoy hearing from people, so please stop by this blog when you can and add a note, by clicking the link “Leave a Reply” at the bottom of this blog post. If you’d like to know when I write something about the trip, click the “Subscribe” button in the upper-right.

More videos about the Mississippi River and bike touring are below.

21 thoughts on “Across the US Again

  1. Hey Steve,

    Enjoy the ride!! I am leaving the U and moving to California. If you ever get out that way, please look me up!

    • Congrats on the big move! I’ll definitely look you up if I’m in California, especially since I’d probably be on a bike and would enjoy a place to rest. 🙂

  2. Not sure how long this will take but ya might want to start in LA and head north. LA is realllllly hot in June/July…. 🙂

    What a great trip, though! Enjoy! We will enjoy watching/reading about it from our comfortable lounge chairs!

    • Thanks for the tip about the reallllly hot days in LA. I like the idea of starting a bike tour from my front door, so I’ll probably still start from MN. But when I reach LA, I’ll likely start sooner when it’s cooler and cycle fewer miles.

  3. That’s great, Steve! Although I wish you were coming back in this direction… Maybe next time? Anyway, we’ll be following your journey. Please keep us posted. And please blow the froth off a few cold ones – or eat an ice cream or two – for me on occasion. (With all that peddling you’ll need not worry about the extra calories. 🙂 )

    As ever,


    • Thanks Karl. Hopefully, I will make it out your ways someday. And these days, “having a few cold ones” tends mean to mean ice-cream, which I actually like a lot. 🙂

  4. Hi Steven,

    Thanks for coming over yesterday. It was great to catch up and hear about the upcoming ride. Look forward to “going with you” on the blog. And like Karl said, have a beer and ice cream for me!

    • Thanks Beth, I’m looking forward to having you join me on another ride, with this blog.

    • Thanks Kent, and I’ll be a bit more careful with the backward video, as you suggested. Since of this ride’s going to solo, I won’t be pointing a camera backward as often, but pointing a camera forward is still pretty likely. 🙂

  5. There is a terrific biography from PBS on Mark Twain, available on Amazon Video. It was directed by Ken Burns, in two parts, about two to three hours in total. Very moving.

    Looking forward to updates on the ride.

    • Thanks for the suggestion! I enjoy anything by Ken Burns. I’ll definitely check it out.

  6. Exciting! And fabulous initial post. Thanks for the Mark Twain links/history. Looking forward to the vicarious ride!

    • Thanks for stopping by Sue! I’m looking forward to sharing the ride with you, in a bike blog sort of way. 🙂

  7. Hi Steve,
    This is great. It was nice talking with you yesterday. Good luck and if I wasn’t out of town, I would join you for a segment. Looking forward to hearing about your experience and I’m accepting all advice and tips for my future planned trip.

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I sent some friends the picture of me on my cargo bike. It made them laugh and wonder if that’d be the next kind of bike I’d get. I’ll be sure to share some ‘lessons learned’ on this trip, so you can use them while cycling the MRT.

  9. Hi, I’m the librarian you talked to at Merriam Park! This looks so very exciting. Good luck with your ride, I’ll be following along!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Maggie!
      As a librarian, I wonder if you’ll be able to recommend some books that are similar to the one I want to write after this trip. My hope is to combine key moments from what I see with relevant comments from Mark Twain. I’ll use this blog as a “sketchpad” or notebook for the book. Please let me know if you have suggestions for similar travel books or ideas for expanding upcoming blog posts into a book chapter. Or you can just stop in sometimes and write whatever you’d like.

  10. Hi Steven, I was hoping to connect with you this summer when cycling through the Twin Cities with Joyce and Roadrunner Tom, but you will be off on an adventure of your own. Have a fantastic trip, and I look forward to reading your blog!

  11. Looks like a great route! Enjoy every peddle stroke and may all your headwinds be at your back. Stay safe and Iill live vicariously through you this year. ‍♂️

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