The airline industry has put substantial burdens on the passenger in the last year, deterring many travelers from booking their dream vacations or yearly visits to friends and family.
So what options does the weary traveler have for their inner explorer to blossom?
Sure, trains, planes, and automobiles are the “common” forms of travel – but now there are some new wheels sweeping the open road!
You will be excited to know that we are not talking about backpacking.
Although, hoisting everything you will need for your family vacation on your back as you use the old bipeds to explore uncharted terrain offers an experience you and your family will never forget, like hiking the beautiful trails in the Shenandoah Mountains, you may want to see more scenery than your hubby’s behind when you take a couple weeks off work.
It’s a little impractical to sit through four COVID tests just to board an airplane, or to have to pin your baby down to shove a mask on her for hours at a time in order to see grandma a few states over.
Ran Gardill from Lancaster, Pennsylvania has just the answer!
The 29 year-old former US Marine has uncovered the world of biking and all of its endless possibilities.
“I’d always dreamed of doing a thru-hike or bike,” Gardill said to CNN. “A guy from work talked about a trail going from Pittsburgh to DC. I said: ‘That sounds awesome!’.”
Like most people over the age of 21, he had begun to find that his knees and back didn’t agree with a 30 pound weight on his shoulders.
So, in August, when traveling by air required more hoops than a Barnum and Bailey Circus, Gardill set out for a 350 mile peddling adventure along a retired railroad from western Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C with a coworker.
This biking excursion, passing through Pennsylvania, Maryland, and D.C may seem like a huge undertaking, but as intimidating as it is to the novice biker, it is a recommended trail by experienced riders to get a love and feel for the non motorized road.
The Great American Rail-Trail is the bicycle nirvana, and is just one of many biking trails you can choose from if you decide to take on a memorable trip you can simultaneously reminisce on and feel proud of.
Be warned this is not the kind of trip you can take on a whim going from couch to 3,700 mile journey on a bicycle is not done overnight.
From the nation’s capital, across 12 states, and ending up west of Seattle will give you a view of countless major scenic spots without the need to go through the many hassles of traditional vacationers.
The trail connects more than 125 existing paths, but is not yet complete, according to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC).
The non-profit, RTC, is over half-way done, so booking that cycling class now you have wanted to do for the last two years would be recommended in order to have a one-of-a-kind trip in 2021.
Seeing the awe and beauty of the world’s greatest nation with nothing in between you and it’s wonder is a traveling experience beyond your wildest imagination.
Yes, you will feel more lactic acid buildup than when you push the gas pedal, but the wind in your hair and the nature at your fingertips will be worth every uphill pedal.
And you won’t want to pass up an opportunity to visit local breweries.
Gardill recommends, “Steubenville and Dayton in Ohio; Muncie, Indiana and Joliet, Illinois, all have burgeoning brewery scenes situated close to the trail,” according to CNN.
Whether you are looking to spend your blissful days away without being smothered by a mask, or are looking for something new to spice up your yearly vacation, cycling around the United States is your answer.
So pull your big boy spandex up and slather on the sunscreen to do something you never thought you would.
It’s just like riding a bike…literally.
(h/t Proud American Traveler)