Scott Anderson - Member Profile - CycleBlaze

Member Profile

Scott Anderson

Journals

Title Ratings
The Seven Year Itch 14198
Winterlude 2023 4561
Falling Through Spain 7117
An American Summer, 2023 3355
An Italian Spring, 2023 9131
Winterlude 2022 4572
Three Seasons Around France: Autumn 8700
Three Seasons Around France: Summer 8622
Three Seasons Around France: Spring 8122
Winterlude 2021 4088
The Road to Rome, Part Two: Europe 6915
The Road to Rome, Part One: America 4351
Winterlude 2020 5874
Balkan Dreams 5733
Northwest passages: riding out the storm 7072
Looking Back With 2020 Vision, Part I 3653
Vuelta a Iberia 7418
Northwest Passages: Victoria to Portland 2424
In the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies 7408
A Month in Taiwan 1554
An Autumn by the Sea 6059
Swan Song for the Jetta 2390
North to the Balkans 3632
Around a pretty big island 334
Breaking out of the box 175
Bilbao to Sete 139
The Superior ride 208
Crossing Utah 59
A Short Southwestern Sojourn 33
Our tour of Sicily 19
Christmas in Joshua Tree 11
French Alps 2015 413
Brief Breaks 154
Taiwan 2014 85
Girona to Bilbao 2014 32
Iberia 2013 71
Up The Parkways 5
Cycling Greece, Part 2 55
Cycling Greece 64
The Bordeaux Loop 124
Narita to Fukuoka 49
Telecommuting from Melbourne, 2006 31
Southern Italy, 2006 24
Northern Britain 2005 78
Andalucia, Take One 132
Lavender Fields, Forever 524
Firenze to Dubrovnik 2001 14
Clermont-Ferrand to Biarritz 2000 68
Krakow to Salzburg 1999 52
Ljubljana to Venice 1998 9
Nice to Lisbon 1997 9
From Prague to Paris 69
The Yellowstone Ride 41
Vienna to Venice, with a detour through Budapest 93
From Paris to Paris 173
New Zealand 1991 102
Grand Junction to Durango 1991 57
Waterton and Glacier 111
The Andersons at one 61
Cedar City to Flagstaff 1987 17

About

Well, after cluttering up this site for the last five years, it’s about time I put something more than a placeholder entry in here and formally introduce Team Anderson to the CycleBlaze world.

It’s not quite true that my life as a touring cyclist began when Rachael and I met in 1987 (we’ll celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary next month!); but it’s pretty close.  I didn’t really bike much before I was an adult, though I did ride a memorable two day overnight from Seattle to a resort in Northeast Washington to join my family for summer vacation, at the age of 15.  I spent the night wild camping, sleeping on a blown over billboard above the Columbia River at Vantage.

After that though I didn’t really tour or even bike at ll until I got out of the army in 1971.  Things picked up a bit then though: a ride from Bellingham to Salem in 1972, then the most ambitious ride of my younger life came in 1974 when I biked solo from Indiana to Montana, carrying nothing but a small rucksack riding on my brand new Motobecane.  Getting by on a budget of $8/day, I covered about 1,500 miles in two weeks and kept costs down with two nights crashing in college dormitories and two others in city jails.

After that my bike outings were mostly brief getaways of a week or two - a ride from Salem to The Bay Area, another from Salem too LA, a loop of the North Cascades the month after Mount Saint Helens erupted - I had to cut the tour short because there was still so much ash blowing on the roads east of the mountains.

Then, everything changed.  In 1987 I took a solo tour I’d long dreamed of, a ride from Cedar Breaks to Flagstaff by way of Cedar Breaks, Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon.  

Overlooking Cedar Breaks, after the ten mile long climb up from Cedar City - at that time, the longest climb of my life.

I returned to the office, and a few days later the new programmer that hired on in my absence sat down at the table for our lunchtime bridge game: Rachael.  I bought her her first adult bicycle that spring (an entry level Bridgestone touring bike), we went for a fifty mile ride that weekend, and on the following one we took a three day overnight loop in central Oregon, tenting it in Prineville and Cove Palisades.  We got married about a month later, and Team Anderson was born.

To say it’s been an incredible journey is a great understatement. As of this writing (June, 2023) we’ve taken at least 60 significant (10 days or longer) bike tours together, dipping our wheels in 24 countries and 26 states.  Nearly every year for 20 years we hounded our time off and took a longer tour of 4-6 weeks, mostly in Europe  but also Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, and America.  For the last five years of our working years we both went halftime and started doubling up, fitting a second trip into most years.

Even that wasn’t enough though.  For the last five years we’ve shaken up the model significantly.  After we both fully retired we sold our home, jettisoned all of our possessions except the car and whatever we couldn’t cram into a 5x10 storage unit, and went vagabond.  We’re sort of in a rut now, with most years broken into three month blocks - three in Europe, three in America, repeat.  Not a bad life, and one we intend to continue as long as it keeps working for us.

Some highlights of the journey: 

June, 1989: Lake Champlain, Vermont. For our first anniversary we took a six week tour beginning and ending in Montreal, picking up parts of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New Hampshire, New Brunswick and Quebec on the way.
On Lake Champlain, working on the blog the old fashioned way.
June 22, 1989, at the summit of Going to the Sun Road. We crossed on the first weekend the pass was open, and snow banks at the summit were roughly forty feet high (I’ve got the photograph as proof). We started biking at Saint Mary’s campground before daylight, so stuffed from an Indian fry bread and huckleberry cobbler blowout the night before that we could barely waddle.
September 9th, 2001: in Radicofani, Tuscany, showing off my tshirt souvenir from my solo ride through the Tetons and Yellowstone six years earlier. Two nights later we’d be in Orvieto, puzzling over why a tour group of cyclists seemed so agitated across the restaurant from us. It wouldn’t be until we saw the horrendous headlines the next morning that we understood why.
On the calanques south of Porto, Corsica, June 2003. On a month-long trip that ended in Provence during a historic heat wave.
South of Cordoba on our first tour of Andalusia, September 2004. We’re too hot but still happy here, because we haven’t ruined the tour by losing our passports yet.
On the Isle of Skye, May 2005. On a loop that began and ended in Edinborough and dropped into Northern England along the way. It looks beautiful here, but we saw rain almost daily for the preceding two weeks.
October, 2007: In Kusatsu, Japan, on a five week ride from Narita (the Tokyo airport) to Fukuoaka.
May, 2009: Climbing from the Gulf of Corinth into Northern Arcadia on our first tour of Greece.
May, 2012: in Pirgi on the island of Chios, on our second tour of Greece. Rachael’s not checking her phone for messages here - she’s looking to see if the photos of the amazing painted walls came out.
May, 2013: In the fog again on Skyline Drive, on our ride from Blowing Rock to NYC.
October, 2013: Approaching Cazala de la Frontera in Andalucia, on our ride from Faro to Granada.
November, 2013: on the Rock of Gibraltar. Bike Fridays go anywhere!
May, 2014: on the Hourquette d’Ancizan in the French Pyrenees, on our ride from Girona to Bilbao.
November, 2014: in Lukang, Taiwan. I’ve just been drafted to briefly pose as a palanquin bearer for the Matsu festival that was about to begin.
May, 2015: descending the Col de Galibier, in our tour of the French Alps - probably the pass I’d most like to revisit some day.
November, 2016. The week after we watched the election returns in stunned silence in Silver City, we found solace on our first climb of Mount Lemmon.
May, 2017: Brian’s Head, Utah at the start of our ride across Utah from Saint George to Grand Junction, Colorado.
September 2017: in the Spanish Pyrenees, on our ride from Bilbao to Sete.
September, 2018: on the Island of Pag, Croatia. This was near the start of our four month tour from Dubrovnik to Barcelona, our first long tour after selling our home.
April, 2020: Staring at the Strawberry Mountains, in one of our months hiding out in small, isolated places during the Covid Year.
September, 2020: Hiking on the Island of Rab, Croatia - the only European country at the time that permitted entry by Americans.
January, 2022: on Bitterwater Road east of Paso Robles, on our way north from our winter stay in Tucson.
July, 2022: in the North York Moors, at about the midpoint of our nine month tour from Barcelona to Nice, by way of England. Likely the longest single tour we’ll ever do.