Family on Bikes Newsletter

Not long ago, I interviewed Nancy Sathre-Vogel about a family bike trip that her homeschooling family took in 2006. That interview will appear in the next issue of Home Education Magazine.

They are planning another trip and sharing their efforts in a newsletter. Nancy has kindly given me permission to share the newsletters here. Here is the first of the fascinating journal of the Family on Bikes Newsletter.

Eight weeks to go. 56 days. And way too much to do. I feel like we are making good solid headway, and we will be ready when June 8 rolls around – but it’ll be a mad dash to the finish line.

The house is nearly completely packed up and stashed away. John will be fixing whatever needs fixing in the next few weeks, then he’ll repaint the entire house and put in new carpet. I’ve been taking care of the kajillion little details we need to attend to – canceling magazine subscriptions, changing our address, and making sure we have our finances set up for easy access.

The kids’ bike is here and just about ready – we just need to swap out their tires, put on a different rack, and get a lower seat post put on so Daryl can fit. My bike is here in town, but we are waiting for some parts for it so it’s still boxed up. And John ordered a custom tandem from Rodriguez – that should be here the first week in May. We can’t wait to get all our bikes so we can take them out and get used to them.

I’ve also purchased our plane tickets but surprisingly, that ended up being one of the biggest challenges to date! I blogged about that whole experience – you can read it at if you are interested. The amazing thing is that we will end up flying from Boise to Salt Lake City to Phoenix to Anchorage to Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay. The entire journey will take twenty hours. Heck – we could almost fly all the way to Ethiopia in that amount of time!

Our take-with-us pile is growing every day and has already turned into a mountain. Our spare room has been taken over by gear and equipment that might, possibly, go on the trip with us – and it seems totally out of control. I know we will get it pared down to only the necessities and that it will all fit just fine, but right now that pile seems like some kind of beast out to get us. In many ways it would be so much easier to simply take from Boise – that way whatever doesn’t fit can simply be stashed in the barn. This way we will have to have our list fine-honed before we even start packing the bikes.

So – that’s where we are. We’re excited. We’re overwhelmed. We’re antsy and nervous and eager to get on the road. The final countdown is upon us. There are times when I feel like it’ll never get here, and other times when I feel like time is flying way too fast.

I have a favor to ask of you. We are hoping a lot of kids will learn from our experiences, but that means they need to know about our journey. Would you help us spread the word? We’ve got a page ( ) with some ideas on how you can help get the word out. If you know a teacher, would you pass the info on to him/her? Our journey would be perfect for homeschooling families as well, so if you know any of them, please pass on the info. And if you have a blog or website, would you link to us through there? We’ve created a one-page flyer that you can print out to hang on bulletin boards if you have a place you can put it. Or if you have any contacts with media people, please let them know of our journey. Thanks so much for your help!

And one last thing – if you can manage a donation to Reach the World, the kids in New York City would really appreciate it. ( ) All of the money donated in our name will go directly to the program we are volunteering with. There are two distinct RTW programs in New York City, so please write “Family on Bikes” in the description field so the money goes to our program.

Thank you so much for all the support you’ve given us these last few months! I can’t tell you how much it means to me to get your comments on my blog with your encouraging words. Please leave comments – I love hearing from you!

Cheers!! Nancy

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