Though the mountains out west are much taller, Mike said, the roads through them tend to be less steep. He expects the steeper, more frequent hills and valleys of the eastern mountains to present more of a challenge.
"The other big challenge will be dealing with headwinds," he said, "especially taxing on a heavy tandem bike fully loaded with equipment."
To alleviate that challenge, the couple will pack light, bringing just two changes of clothing, a lightweight tent, sleeping bags, rain gear, toiletries, tools and, of course, a couple of spare tires.
They also plan to bring a camera, digital recorder and cell phone to record their trip. The Battistis have set up their own blog where they plan to share updates of their adventures.
As they pack for their trip, the Battistis are also looking to use their adventure to support some worthy causes. Stephanie will be biking for Mountain Lake PBS while Mike rides for North Country Public Radio.
"We both greatly enjoy how much their programming enriches our lives on a daily basis," said Mike, noting how the two are competing to see who can generate the most by-the-mile pledges.
For more information about the Battistis' trip, visit their blog at tandembattistis.blogspot.com.