The General Plan (daily routine, route-planning)
The general strategy is for me to bike and Shan to run ~40 miles per day, making fuel stops throughout the day (breakfast, lunch, drinks). Similar to past expeditions, we will wake up with the sun and start moving (after a quick snack and coffee), finishing early enough to enjoy dinner and relax before getting a good night’s sleep. Repeat 70-80 times.
The Daily Schedule (mile by mile):
Sunrise - "Start"
10 miles - stop for breakfast
20 miles - stop for lunch
30 miles - snack break
40 miles - "Finish",
Shower, dinner, relax, plan the next day
Sunset - bedtime
And where will the support "vehicle" be while Shan is running? On workdays, I will cycle ahead to find a spot to take meetings and do work. We will lunch together if we can, otherwise, we'll meet at the end of the day. On weekends, I'll be close by, supporting Shan by cat-calling, taking pictures, and enjoying breakfast and lunch dates with him as much as possible. There may be days when our food options add a lot of miles, so I will pick up breakfast or lunch and meet him somewhere on the trail to save him time (and reduce the extra, unnecessary miles). We're pretty easy-going so figuring out the details day by day shouldn't be too much of a problem.
One of my favorite parts of big adventures is planning, especially if a spreadsheet is involved. I made an interactive spreadsheet that Shan used to estimate where his supporters could meet up with him on his first USA run. It made a great template for our
East Coast Greenway (ECG) planning. I mapped out a bunch of segments connecting major cities along the length of the ECG so we could estimate our general timelines for friends and family who want to support us. We wouldn't have been able to do this without the awesome online ECG mapping tool (check it out here). The mapping tool provides mileage from any address to the closest section of the ECG, which will be especially helpful when we start calculating daily mileage.
An average pace of 40 miles per day (with a few rest days sprinkled throughout) will have us finishing around the 4th of July. Our progress could be impacted by a number of different factors, so it's still only a ballpark estimate. As you can imagine, we didn't just study maps and mileage to prepare for our trip. There is plenty of information online, especially from others who have cycled the entire length of the trail (no one has run it, yet!). We made some social media connections and have been directed to a lot of first-hand information on blogs and YouTube videos.
JourneyonaBike - YouTube channel with a 9 part series of videos highlighting map sections and street views of the East Coast Greenway from NYC to DC (link here)
Suits2sandals - YouTube videos covering this awesome couple's trip on the East Coast Greenway (with a dog in tow). You can check out their YouTube channel here
Gene Villeneuve - His website has a wealth of information on bike-packing (https://genevilleneuve.com/) and some great stories about his own adventures, too
Note: Feel free to send me a link via Facebook or IG if there are other good resources I can add here. Thanks!
There are many sections of the Greenway that are off-road/protected but there are also parts of the trail that are less bike- or pedestrian-friendly. Some segments are impassable (e.g. bridges without pedestrian/bicycle access) and others are on sketchy, high-traffic roads. This is something that is changing every day, thanks to the efforts of the East Coast Greenway Alliance. Learning about these "hard parts" was an incentive for us to stock up on blinky lights and high-visibility clothing. These sections will also be covered in more detail in later blog posts as we encounter those sections. Stay tuned!