Simon Beckford

Living Adventure

And so it begins…

The light of the sun is shinning through the ice on the  trees and setting the whole forest alight in a world of glistening silver splendor…the white snow shines clear and bright as it reflects the golden sun back up into the sky…it’s a stunning sight to be hurdling through, gently shacking side to side as the train speeds along.

For me and Ari, this trip has been a long time coming…

The original plan was Mongolia, but the soonest we could pull that off would be 2019, Europe might be an option this coming summer, but we didn’t want to wait that long.  Where can you go cycle touring in January?  Ari had the month off from school and we decided to stick to the US for logistical reasons, quickly ruled out California and Florida, and then settled on the Southwest.

We chose Albuquerque and Tucson from an Amtrak map, and then checked and double checked our plan until we felt confident that it was worth a try.  We still don’t know if it will work, we wont know until we are there, finding out moment to moment.  Some times it’s like that, you plan and plan and plan and then eventually you just give it a shot and see what happens.

So far so good though…two bikes on the bus worked out (eventually) and a lucky encounter with a friend saved our butts big time as we tried to navigate from bus to train with heaps of gear…specifically a big duffel bag, a bigger duffel bag, and a large wedged shaped bike trailer box (packed with a bike trailer, sneaky right?).  Also a small backpack…and then two bicycles of course.  As it was I managed to knock my bike into pretty much everything I came across and some how I managed to get it stuck on my own backpack half way up a stair case (requiring a special level of skill I never knew I had).

Yup, pretty happy to be settled in on the train now 🙂


It’s been a nuts couple weeks!  Life, trip prep, holidays, trip prep, snow storms, trip prep…hmm maybe we should pack our stuff?  Yes we can mail stuff to a bike shop in Albuquerque, where can we mail something in Tucson?  Do we really need all 72 clif bars? Oh right…wrapping Christmas presents…

Stepping back it’s amazing we managed to plan this as well as we have…here’s the rough idea of it…

  • Bus to Boston, train to Albuquerque, cycle to Tucson, then train and bus back home.  The cycling will mostly consist of paved rural roads, but also some dirt and a dash of single track if all goes well…yeah 🙂
  • I’m rocking four panniers, Ari’s pulling a trailer, I’m hoping the bike shop can help me get my front rack on because I sure as hell couldn’t.
  • The whole trip has been informed by my interest in photography and video work and Ari’s interest in podcasts and audio, all told we have for microphones three cameras two audio recorders and a partridge in a pear tree…or a solar panel?  Something like that, it took up a lot of Ari’s floor when we where packing, that’s for sure…of course one mic and audio recorder is Ari’s and all the rest of it is mine…and I haven’t even gotten into tripods (two) and extra lenses (three) and extra batteries and memory cards and on and on and on and on…
  • Neither of us has been on a cycle touring trip like this, and I’ve never ridden more than 15 miles in a day, nor have I ridden my bike even once in the last year…I’ve actually spent more time scouting our route with a flight simulator than doing any kind of physical training.  Always a good sign 🙂
  • I’m going to blog when I can (here) and might toss stuff on Instagram once in a while (or maybe not).  You’re welcome to share anything I post, and I might repost some stuff to facebook, but all the written content will be here first.

Oh, and I’m just getting this web site of the ground…so thanks for baring with me 🙂

Any questions?  What details did I forget to mention?  Like it being three weeks of cycling?  Or averaging 30 mile days?  Everyone wants to know this stuff, and as they say if you have a questions someone else has that question too, so ask away and I’ll do my best to respond and include answers to questions in future posts…

That’s all for now, the train is humming along past marshes and forests, horses and brick buildings and a shinning golden river of ice that’s sparkling in the sunshine…


  1. simonbeckford_047nni

    December 29, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Could someone leave a comment here just so I know yall are able to comment? Bit o trouble shooting going on over here 🙂

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