Why would anyone in their right mind ride a bicycle across the country?
I've always had a desire and knack for different forms of transportation. I've spent many days in canoes and with backpacks slung over my shoulders but have rarely taken many long trips on a bicycle, despite the countless hundreds of miles I have bicycled in my life.
It seems like such a lofty goal to others. To some it seems impossible. "You're riding your bike across the country?" they say. It sounds almost as unusual and endless as copying the Encyclopedia Brittanica by hand.
Life is a journey, not a destination
While visiting some friends in Pittsburgh during the summer of 2001, one commented to another, "We should drive across the country next summer to pick Larry up in Oregon. He's riding his bike across the country, you know." Another friend looked puzzled thinking "Why would we drive to Oregon to get Larry when he's got a perfectly good motorcycle to ride back to Pennsylvania on?" It turns out I was planning to ride a bicycle.
Lots of people think I'm nuts. Others gave me a pat on the back and wished me luck.
I suppose that I should give a few reasons why I did it.
A teacher at the high school I graduated from, Mr. Jim Yeich, is part of my inspiration. Jim is a long time adventurer. He thru hiked the Appalachian Trail and has cycled across the country, following a more northerly route than I will. He's also cycled in Ireland and taken a dory (wooden hulled boat) down the Colorado River. These are just a few of his adventures.
He was a good resource for me and I consulted with him many times before I dipped the rear wheel in the Atlantic.
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Lawrence J. Flint
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