Here’s the plan. I’m setting aside two weeks. August 13-27, 2016. I intend to travel Washington state from north to south. Along with a support crew, I plan to navigate through the state on multiuse paths and roadways, all the while posting about my experience on social media. The idea is to find out firsthand and share with the public how accessible our state is for nonmotorized users, specifically people in wheelchairs. I'd also like to help a worthy cause.
I live in Port Angeles, Washington, so ideally, the Port Angeles to Victoria ferry would be the best way to start, then pass through the San Juan islands to Anacortes. The north section to Seattle has not solidified, and I welcome all suggestions. South of Seattle, the STP (Seattle to Portland) is the likely route unless I get better ideas. Our state is chock full of avid cyclists. I'm hoping to tap their knowledge and support for this adventure. In addition to my support crew I will have ridealongs. More ridealongs are welcome. I travel at a maximum of 7 mph. My wheelchair range is about 30 miles per day. I will have a spare chair with a full charge for days which need to go longer. I’m hoping to end each day’s ride with a visit to a craft brewery. I enjoy a good beer.
Where possible, I plan to use multiuse paths. There are many areas however where bike paths are not available. In these cases I will be restricted to shoulders on roads and highways which are far from ideal for wheelchair or bicycle travel. I’m hoping that my ride can bring awareness to the lack of trails and bike paths to our otherwise very accessible state. This brings me to the beneficiary of my fundraising. I’m teaming with Washington Bikes, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, an advocacy organization for safe roads and bike paths in the state of Washington. We are accepting donations and sponsors for the ride for my expenses, with all excess going to Washington Bikes. Sponsors will be mentioned and thanked via social media, radio and this blog. There will be daily posts along the way. Many riders are forced to use their vehicles rather than ride because there is no safe route. An increase in bike paths would benefit much more than wheelchair users.
Stay tuned… The planning is stepping in to high gear.