By now we've told many people about our upcoming trip, and we've had some very common responses. I wanted to address some of these in case you haven't asked yet:
"It's going to be hot!" - We get this one a lot, but its meaning changes based on who tells it to us. Some people have lived in the southeast and tell us that August is unbearable. I bet it is, and that's why we're taking the northern route. Some people have lived in North Dakota/Montana and claim that August is insufferable, but we won't be there until September. From conversations with people who have lived in upstate New York, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota, I think it will be warmer than optimal, but not insufferable. I've never been to the first 8 states we're going through, so I honestly don't know how the weather will be, but we'll let you know if the timing was a mistake.
"It's going to be cold!" - We biked over Wolf Creek Pass two weeks ago and we stopped at the top of the pass to take a break. This park ranger saw us and we told him where we were biking that day and he suggested that we bike across the country. "Actually we are... Maine to Oregon in August and September." His replied "Oh, so you're going to go across the southern states?" I was staggered! After correcting him he responded that Montana could be cold in September. I agree that there's a chance we could get snowed on in the passes in Montana, or that it could be cold. That's why we won't be sleeping at the top of the passes.
"You guys are crazy!" - I want to thank everyone who has told me that I'm crazy. Some people say it because we're taking 2 months off work. Some people say it because they cannot imagine the desire to propel themselves across the entire country. Some people say it because Leanne and I will be spending days and days together having no other friends, little alone time, and struggling to push and balance a single bike. And some people say it because they're concerned about our safety. But bottom line, we're very excited about it and can't wait to get going. I understand it's not a typical desire, but when you get excited about something it's easier to get over some of the inconveniences.
"But what are you going to do when it rains?" - Biking in the rain isn't as fun as biking in beautiful sunshine. But biking in some rain (or days of rain) shouldn't completely stop us. If we go through serious rain, we may take some shorter days and stay in some more hotels to dry off. Or if our gear isn't adequate we can always stop and buy more rain gear. Right now we have good rain jackets, good shoe covers and one bright pink, gently-used poncho.