After the Natchez Trace Bicycle Tour, I made a vow to try and do two short bicycle tours a year. I didn’t have any clear idea of when or where when I made this vow, but I enjoyed being out on the open road so much that I just knew I had to get back out there as soon as possible. My thought was that I would do one bicycle tour in the Spring and one in the Fall. Money, time and energy permitting, I would try and do an extra tour in the Summer if possible. However much like Icarus, I have soared too high on my dreams of cycling and I’ve been dashed upon the rocks of reality – I’ll be lucky if I can get one tour in this year. 🙁
The first tour I had hoped to make was up to Milwaukee Wisconsin to visit my good friend Mike Rohde during the month of June. He and I planned on doing an extended weekend about like I had done for the Natchez Trace last year. I would fly into Chicago, he’d pick me up and then for the next 4 days, he and I would ride a large loop around his house. If we ran out of time, his wife could rescue us. 🙂 We had the rough outline all planned out, but as is typical in this day and age, we simply didn’t have the time to make it happen. It was nobody’s fault, we just couldn’t get it scheduled.
With my spring tour cancelled, I set my sights on where I would try and go in the fall. “Ok, so I can’t make two tours this year, I can still make one”, I thought to myself. Ideally, I would get a bunch of friends together and we’d all go riding, but I didn’t limit myself to that ideal. I’m just as happy going solo, so I thought about where I could ride close to home.
While standing in my local REI store, I eyed a Hatch Show Print poster hanging on the wall in the bicycle section. It was for a ride called the Bicycle Ride Across Tennessee (BRAT). My interest was instantly piqued and when I got home, I looked it up on the web to learn more about this ride.