Jim Vallino's Cross-Country Bike Tours

I like to ride my bicycle. One of the earliest snap-shot memories that I have is when my father taught me how to ride a two wheeler. I was cruising along nicely and I told my dad to try and let go. At that point I realized that he was about a 1/4 mile back. He had let go a long time before and my lifelong enjoyment being on a bike was started. Commuting by bike began in the third grade when I lived one block short of the 1 mile from my grammar school required for bus service. My mother refused to drive me to school so it was either walk or ride. Riding seemed like so much more fun. I did this for the 6 remaining years of grammar school through sun, rain, snow and everything else in between.

Living in Rochester, NY I continue to use the bicycle for commuting to RIT during the summer months two or three days a week. My schedule and chilly weather keeps me from extending the commuting months more. I have lights but have not gotten to the point of using them for 0-dark-30 commutes in the cold.

I have also done a few long distance tours. I originally planned to ride home to Queens from graduate school in Madison,Wisconsin in 1976 but gave up that idea when the family pressure got too intense. Aunts who never spoke to me were contacting me trying to dissuade me from riding home. So instead I did a week long tour from Queens to Albany, NY. We were aiming for Montreal but bagged it after a week. There were no more relatives to stay with between Albany and Montreal.

I caught the really long distance tour bug in 1996 and 2003. Each of those summers I did an all summer tour across the US. In 1996, it was from Florence, OR to Sandy Hook, NJ. Just under 4,000 miles in 67 days without a single flat! In 2003, we took a more relaxed journey and went from Anacortes, WA to Rochester, NY in 77 days with a car rental to skip 600 miles between Des Moines, IA and Toledo, OH. The links below will take you to travelogues and photos from the trips. I expect that sometime in the future the bug will bite again and the freedom of the fully-loaded bike will take me on a summer-long trip again.

1996 Tour - Florence, OR to Sandy Hook, NJ
2003 Tour - Anacortes, WA to Rochester, NY

Last updated: 21 July 2005