In the remaining days before my next tour begins, I'm certainly not the only one who does this packing, repacking, adding, and removing stuff. Is it essential? Can I get it on the road if I really need it? How much does it weigh? How do I balance the weight, side to side and front to back?
Oh, then there's camping reservations (many states don't have hiker/biker no reservations needed), finding local contacts, downloading likely routes to my Garmin 830, and general logistics.
The adventure starts with a 45 to 60 hour train ride to Chicago to visit with my friend there, playing city tourist for a few days. Then I'm on the road southeast toward Indianapolis. In planning routes, I'm delighted to see how many rail trails I'll be riding on. I hope to note each one with the number of miles I've traveled on each. One of the coolest is the OTET (Ohio to Erie, from Cincinnati to Cleveland) which is apparently 90% off roads! And reportedly very well marked. I'll be riding the entire length of that one, about 330 miles.
Stay tuned for reports from the great unknown (unknown to me, that is).