Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Dreams of biking across America

Did you know Texas had mountains?
Alabama is the most beautiful state.

"What surprised you most when you biked across America?" I had asked the two ladies.

I had met them on the TRIRI (Touring Ride in Rural Indiana). They had biked across America last year - in fact, that's where they had met and become friends for life.

"What would you have done differently?" I asked.

"I would have carried a small notepad and jotted down the sayings on all of the church signs across the South," she said.

They took the southern route. There are three basic routes across our great country. A southern route - like the one taken by the Boys - is shorter - just look at the shape of our country.

There's the middle route which goes right through the heart of America - with rest days in Salt Lake City and Indianapolis close to my home.

And then there's the Northern route which to me sounds the most scenic and most challenging - the Cascade mountains and the Grand Tetons! Niagara Falls! Mount Rushmore!

You see, I decided as soon as I met these ladies that I wanted to bike across America someday.

That was five years ago.

I set the money aside.
We had college expenses, the furnace needed to be replaced, the cat needed surgery - but whatever the crisis, I wouldn't pull the money from my America savings.

I had actually planned to wait until 2011 when I would be 55.
But last summer my knees started to go.
So I decided better do it now while I can.

And Al, bless her heart, wanted to stay in Argentina after her study abroad to explore the country. But when she found out I was biking America in 2010, she said - count me in!

But she couldn't do the middle route. She doesn't finish her classes in Argentina until June 14 - a week after the middle route leaves.

So we will be on the northern route. Wish us luck!

So today I pulled out my savings and sent it to America by Bicycle.

And six days a week I ride my bicycle - no matter what the weather.

Seventy-four days from now Al and I will meet in Portland Oregon and begin the trip of a lifetime!
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