For years I have been a cyclist. I started in 1977 with my Raleigh Prix when I was a sophomore at Kenwood High School. I joined the school bike club and then raced a bit in college at Penn, but was never very good. I have been a bike commuter and a fitness enthusiast. My intensity has varied over the years. When I look at my yearly bike mileages there are up year and down years.
Over the last year I have been dreaming of riding across the country for my 50th birthday. Then the reality of the cost in terms of time & money started to sink in. Anne and I had a lot of talks about the feasibility. Then we hit on the idea of doing it in sections. We have friends who have hiked the Appalachian Trail in small parts (weekends or week long trips) and decided to ride the country that way. Chris and I will bike about a third of the way this summer. Then in other years I will bike the rest.
For this trip, we are going on a supported tour with Cycle America. They will carry our bags and camping gear during the day so we can ride easier. Since we are going over the Cascades and Rockies, this makes a lot of sense. Chris has also said he is interested in biking the "fun stuff out west" but not the middle of America (too flat!). We will camp each night - maybe at a school or maybe a campground.
For Chris and I, it will undoubtedly be a good bonding experience as it has been a challenging year for us. Chris started riding years ago when I towed him in a Burley trailer. I still remember teaching him to ride a bike when we lived in Bedford, PA. He was slow on it and learned at a later age than sister Nancy. When I turned 40 and did a 40 mile ride to celebrate, he happily accompanied me on the last five miles.
Now he is faster and stronger than me!