Touring on a bicycle allows us to do and see things that usually pass us by if we are using another mode of transportaion. The slowness of bike travel allows the rider to see hear and experience things in a whole different way. It can get dicey but in general it's one of the best vacations a person could have.
The Crazy Guy on a Bike website has been a boon for those who tour on bicycles. The journals can be entertaining, a good source of research and a place to fantasize in the off season. Another important benefit is that it can also eliminate a tour choice. That was the case with DC to Pittsburgh, where every journalist complained mightily about the condition of the trail. Rain makes the canal impossible to ride.
We soon discovered the The Underground RR bike route. This is a 45 day ride from Mobile Alabama to Owen Sound Ontario. Just over 2000 miles.
Next came The Natchez Trace bike route. We were talked out of them by people who had done journals and both seemed like the only reason to do them was to say you did them. The C&O can turn into a mud pit very quickly and the Trace and URR present challenges that personally neither of us care to undertake.
We have things narrowed down to three rides. Two are door to door round trips and one is 5 hour drive on top of a six hour train ride. The later is the Erie Canal, which we did in 08. We want to do it again but differently. We had a time constraint that forced us into too much rushing.
Another choice is riding Cape Cod and Martha's Vinyard. This one is really easy for us and although we will be out riding and camping for a week, we will never be more than 80 miles from home.
The top of the list right now is Cape Cod to Montreal. It looks like a moderate, not easy yet not that hard, ride. Just over 400 miles each way and we figure we can do it in two weeks or less. A viable option is to take a train or bus back to Boston from Montreal, and ride the 50 remaining miles home. This journal is the one that put the bug in our pants to do the Montreal ride.