This June, I plan on biking the Lewis and Clark Trail. The journey will begin in Minnesota, where my daughter lives, and end in Oregon, where my son lives. I chose this route because the parts of the country I enjoy cycling through are void of dense population, as is illustrated by this map.
Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, a bit of Idaho, Eastern Washington, and Northern Oregon–not a lot of population density going on there.
The map also illustrates the political and religious polarization taking place in this country. Generally speaking, “blue” people live in urban areas, and “red” people live in rural areas. I plan on talking to a lot of people in red portions of the country because I don’t understand their political and/or religious prerogatives. And I want to, because I believe this country will continue to be ideologically polarized until we understand each other’s points of view. We may not agree, but we should at least understand.
People tend to want to talk to you if you are bike touring. They want to find out what you’re doing and where you’re from. It’s my hope that the bicycle will serve as a vehicle for dialogue and understanding.