The bicycle is a way to freedom or at least that is how I saw it when I got my wheels. I wasn’t oppressed by any means but to have your own set of wheels enabled you to go from one end of the street to the other in seconds, from your home to the neighborhood pool in a few minutes, and an adventure clear across the neighborhood to a rope swing in a small days journey.
Yep I loved my wheels and tinkering with them too – BMX, Mountain Biking, Road Biking, and now Touring. It wasn’t until 5 years ago that while hanging out at a friends house I first heard a girl tell the story about how she and her dad rode across the USA. I was in disbelief, kind of like how when someone heard the Wright Brothers are flying – “people do that?”. I don’t think I knew it then but at that moment the seed was planted, the subtle idea was growing in my head “if they can do it I can do it”, though the idea went dormant for awhile.
Fast forward 3 years and I was at a local bike swap held at Mellow Johnny’s and there was a box of free stuff they were giving away. Everyone was grabbing for the t-shirts and some other items, but what I managed to get my hands on was the only copy of a book in the box. Not knowing what I had grabbed at the time I finished my swapping and headed home.
The book, Bicycle Journeys with Jerry; it’s about a local guy from Round Rock, TX, who is your everyday Joe that in his retirement decided to make cycling his main hobby. He accounts his cycling journeys from riding across the USA to following the Tour de France. The thing that really pulled me in was reading the prologue and first chapter and thinking wow this guy sounds a lot like me and plus he has completed goals that I want to do – cycle across the USA. Jerry also planted another seed that I was able to accomplish last year with my wife which was to hike across the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim in a day.
The seed had grown into a idea that just wouldn’t let go and I decided I have to do this now, but how do I get enough time off work…