A change of plan but not a change of direction 

Just before we left Bristol, Freecyle brought cycle touring guru Tom Allen to our door. He needed a phone and we had a phone we didn’t need. Once we’d explained why we were having a clear out he offered the sage advice that the best way to plan our trip was to not make too many plans. Anyone who’s seen his film Janapar (and if you haven’t  you really should watch it here) will know that his own journey took a wildly different direction from his original detailed plan thanks to some unexpected events, and very much for the better.

As we sit in Japan with our toes on the edge of the Pacific our next step was always going to have to be by plane and the plan was to head south from here. But accepting that we have to fly opens up infinite other options and the continent on the other side of this huge ocean has come into view as one of those possibilities.

Parked on the East coast of Hokkaido

With that in mind and with our original plan lying on the grass outside the window we’ve decided to continue East instead of the disjointed leg down under. For all those friends in Australia and New Zealand who we were looking forward to visiting, consider this a postponement rather than a cancellation. We will head down there and help you fire up those extra coals that you’ve been stock piling for the barbie. Just not quite yet.

Instead we’re going to jet over to Vancouver next week for a short visit to British Columbia then we’ll drop down to begin the not inconsiderable challenge of the Trans Am route across the USA. This is one of the world’s classic cycle journeys and it seems fitting to ride it this year as it celebrates its 40th birthday. Taking in 10 states, some spectacular national parks and a few mountain ranges over its 7000km length we’re going to need every one of the 90 days the US government will allow us to stay without a visa to complete it. 

From the Pacific to the Atlantic 

Then it’ll be another hop over to Europe and the final push for home in time for mulled wine and mince pies (depending on any new visa restrictions for British citizens). Lap one rounded off nicely yet still plenty to explore when we go round again.

So that’s the rough outline of plan B but we’ll leave the fine details to fate.

11 thoughts on “A change of plan but not a change of direction 

  1. OMG! We are green with envy, or rather husband Richard is! Whilst in the USA a couple of years ago, we met a chap well into his 70’s who had taken this route MORE THAN ONCE! He was cycling it once again as we met him. He loves it. Our tandem riding friends are inspired too, to spread their cycling wings, having read your blog.

    All the very best for your trip. Enjoy the mind blowlingly beautiful Teton Mountains and all the magic that the trip will reveal.
    Hilary Stockwell (Alan’s sister)

    1. Hi Hillary, yes we’re looking forward to this next bit. Hope to meet lots of characters like that on the way too.

  2. Congratulations on your ability to be flexible, Marcus and Kirsty! Should you want a good place to stay in Bellingham, WA, my son Steven will be glad to host you—he’s a bike mechanic. Let us know and we will pass on his info. Julie and I live just a short ride down the coast from WA now, having moved from Cape Cod on the Atlantic to the beautiful Coastal Hills in northern CA. How I wish I could take a few days to ride in your slipstream!!

    1. Hi Rick, that’s a very kind offer. Once we know when we’ll be near Bellingham we’ll let you know. How about taking 90 days and coming all the way with us?!

  3. Hello to you both! What an amazing plan and I wish you all the very best with your change of plan – looking forward to keeping up with you on your next stage of your journey!!
    God bless and lots of love to you both Annie x x x x

  4. Marcus and Kirsty you legends. I can postpone getting married for a bit longer. We all miss you but are mostly just jealous. Take care

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