Wheeled Migration

Content Map

tour mapIn the summer of 2004, I sold or gave away most of my possessions from my apartment in Minneapolis and hit the road on my bicycle for a year, pulling a trailer full of gear behind me. The idea was to go south through the midwest, spend the winter along the gulf coast, go north along the east coast with the spring, and return to Minnesota via Canada in the summer. Because the movie Winged Migration was popular at the time, I called the Yahoo! Group that I used to communicate with my friends and family during the trip "Wheeled Migration." Below are the messages I sent to that group, in reverse chronological order, but you can find them in chronological order in the menu that will appear at left, or click a pin on the map above.

To Foley, AL

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 03/22/2020 - 11:22

If I could live this Groundhog Day over and over again, like Bill Murray's character in the movie, I don't think I would bike all day in the rain.  I'd watch the 6 AM broadcast of the Buffy musical until I was sick of it.  I'd try all of the thousands of ways to order Waffle House hashbrowns, including the ones that involve Bert's Chili, without fear of getting sick tomorrow.  I'd call a cab and give the cute, sleep-deprived waitress the ride home to Mobile she was fishing for, and then I'd go to the airport and fly to Pittsburgh to meet my new nephew.

June 18: Da U.P. and northern Wisconsin

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 06/18/2005 - 09:43

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on June 18, 2005]

I strained my right Achilles tendon just before I wrote you last time, so I made an effort to cut down on my daily miles. I decided to forego the Midwest Renewable Energy Association's annual Sustainability Fair this weekend (you may recall I visited their location in the second week of my trip and nothing was going on at that time) because I'd have to ride fast and hard for six days... besides, it happens every year. My joints are feeling much better now.

June 12: Reflections and Q&A

Submitted by Ben on Sun, 06/12/2005 - 12:09

[posted to the Wheeled Migration Yahoo Group on June 12, 2005]

Some reflections on my ride through "the north": The region I rode through is referred to as "Northern Ontario" even though it's south of most of Ontario -- it's just north of most of the inhabited part. Sometimes it's just called "the north" or even "northern Canada" even though it's actually south of most of the Canada-US border and the majority of the provinces!

to Deep River, ON

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 06/04/2005 - 00:00

I should have gone farther yesterday... as it was I had to ride 13 hours today, some 105 kilometers instead of my target 80.  And it was a really hot, humid day.  I went through 5 liters of water plus a liter of other drinks -- that's more than I drank in a day while hiking the Grand Canyon in the peak of the summer!  At least the roads were flat; I hear tomorrow I won't be so lucky in that regard.

I stopped for lunch (poutine!) and ate it outdoors so I could dry my camping gear, so that i wouldn't have to worry about it tonight.