…Where am I goin’? I don’t know. Where am I headin’? I ain’t certain. All I know is I am on my way.
When will I be there? I don’t know. When will I get there? I ain’t certain. All I know is I am on my way! -Paint Your Wagon (I’m On My Way)
As many of you know, (and can see here on the blog) my sister Jane and I rode the first 500 miles of the Mississippi River Trail in 2015. Little did I know at the time that Mike had an interest in riding the MRT himself. When we started talking about the things we might do after he retired, he said the first thing he wanted to do was the MRT – all the way to the end. I said (hopefully)…”Oh you mean starting where Jane and I left off in Iowa?” “No.” he said, “From the beginning.” Mike retired in May and we tentatively penciled the bike trip in for Fall 2018.
Life has been incredibly busy since we first made our MRT plans -but we stayed determined to get to the starting line as planned. However, as our deadline quickly approached and we started realizing that this trip could mean up to two months away from our new home. With so many projects still needing to be finished, we began to waffle a bit on exactly how far we’d actually want to ride, how long we wanted to be gone -all sorts of questions and second thoughts. Did we even want to, or could we, go all the way to New Orleans in one trip? Should we break it up into sections to be completed over time? Should we just ride until we felt “over it” and call it quits and never go back? We just couldn’t figure out what this trip should look like. Thus, the “seat of our pants” tour.
We originally planned to ride unsupported (at least at first), carrying our own belongings. Then my sisters Nicky and Laura started fussing, saying we shouldn’t be without a support vehicle on such a long trip and offered to share “sag hag” duties.
Traditionally, the support vehicle on a bike trip is called the “sag” -but somewhere along the way, my family started referring to the sag driver as the “sag hag”.
Of course the temptation was irresistible… to be able to bring even more stuff along – exemplified by the set of golf clubs in the back of the mini-van as I type – stuff that would make the trip more comfortable, along with the benefit of being able to ride without packing everything onto the bikes… How could we say no?
We still don’t have a clue about how this trip will unfold or how far we’ll go. With the addition of our “hags”, we do feel a bit obligated to try to go the distance. We’re extremely grateful that they’ve given us their support and are willing to each give up several weeks of their time to help this trip become a reality. So much will depend on weather, conditions, and our abilities. Ride along with us and see what happens!
Categories: MRT Bike Trip 2018 & 2022