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  • Alex M

    Absolutely wonderful account! 2017 marks the 10th year anniversary of my solo transcanadian bike trip. While reading this, I can’t help but comment that the number of sentences, paragraphs and nostalgia-filled anecdotes that strike a resounding chord are too many to count. Yeah, I got the warm and fuzzies from this. Now, in a similar place as the author (career, family, the daily commute and the odd “gotta hold that wheel”), I long for those 10 hour days in the saddle – inching my way up passes atop my 80 pound rig, the conversations with strangers, the constant scenery changes and the daily search for a bandit campsite. Sigh.

    • Steak

      Thanks Alex! — Peter

  • Bennyfranklin

    Really enjoyed this story. Bikes and nostalgia – a great blend.

  • Logan Sholar

    The last picture reminds me of the views on the Peak to Peak Hwy west of Boulder, CO. Thanks for the great rehash of your trip!

  • Patrick

    Another Peter Flax article where I hang on every word. Fantastic!

    • Steak

      Thanks Patrick! – Peter

    • Neal Rogers

      Same. I didn’t want it to end.

  • Minas Aroney

    I feel you.

  • Medium Rick

    “Home”, Haha. We called it “Famous Amos”, after the big cookies from that era. Great Story, Peter.

    • Steve Boehmke

      Dude, are you in Famous Amos? haha… that is too cool… rock on.

  • Micah Rice

    Really enjoyed this. Making me think back to just one year earlier in 1991 when a friend and I got one-way bus tickets to San Diego (from Athens, GA) and found our way back over the next 2 months. We were on foot and made it to Mt. Whitney, San Fran and Portland, but many of the same memories.

    • Steak

      Yeah, the adventures can be very similar on a bike or on foot. — Peter

  • jackseph

    Amazing read. Thank you

  • Philip Beliveau

    At 60 this year and the next race category, I find it sad that you can’t remember the last time you just got on your bike and wandered. The fall, post race season is my favorite time of junk miles. Hope you get to wander soon!

  • Stephen Cummings

    This is a great article. EVERYBODY should take a huge adventure vacation before adulthood. Having ridden the northern tier almost 20 years ago, with 5 good friends, this really strikes a chord.

    • Avuncular

      Sage words. Even if you can’t do it before the responsibilities of adulthood just do it now before other considerations (such as ill health) make it impossible.

  • asm826

    I have pictures and memories that echo some of this. Never did a transcontinental, but did some touring along the east coast. This is wonderfully written, with just enough nostalgia and some honest memories of the hard days and the pain.

  • Eric Richter

    here’s to wandering. seems we often find what we need in that activity…

  • Spartacus

    Thanks Peter and CT amazing article!

  • velocite

    On the Road. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I read the books but don’t do the trips. Probably should…

  • Simon Van Rysewyk

    “For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten: the open road still softly calls like a nearly forgotten song of childhood” – Carl Sagan

  • Winky

    Awesome story Peter. My own fairly limited bike touring adventures are some of the greatest memories of my life. You’ve brought all the feelings back.

  • John Murphy

    It brings tears to my eyes how future generation will enjoy this without fear riding amongst self-driving cars.

  • robert

    Lovely story, Peter.
    I remember you (both) from Scarsdale. Hope you’re well.
    All best,
    Rob

  • Ryan C Taylor

    Great Read!

  • Superpilot

    Really makes me want to do something similar, fantastic read! I wonder if Dave feels the same?

  • Paul O’Connell

    That is superb, just superb.

  • Hawk

    I’d much rather read stuff like this than about some bloke who’s cut his dick off.

  • Did the Trans-Am to Western Express, and during the trip I attended two of my best pals’ weddings. Had my girlfriend, now wife, waiting for me in Santa Cruz. Your essay speaks to me, and it does all cross-country riders. Well put. Thanks for writing this.

    • Steak

      Thanks Nick — Peter

  • rg807

    This was a great article.

  • Mark Blackwell

    Simply wonderful. Like you, I think these experiences have a much deeper meaning than the simple travel tale. I spent 14 months riding from London to Melbourne, nearly 20 years ago, and my stock advice for my young, ambitious colleagues is not to spend all of their 20s in the office.

  • Brad

    Great stories erupt from big adventure. I am lucky enough to have a friend named Dave too – who I rode cross-country with as well – this time as we both hit 50. While I’d had a few tours in my 20s, I’d never done 3,000 miles before, and was coerced into doing this trip. It was Dave’s retirement goal and I was dragged into it kicking and screaming. The trip, in the end, will be one of my richest life memories. We had many, (luckily happy) stories as well. From starting out from San Diego and riding in headwinds with temps above 105f until we got past Phoenix, to finishing in Hilton Head and being interviewed by the local newspaper, and lots of crazy in between.

    The best part with our trip, as it sounds like with your trip, were the people. It’s amazing how a loaded-down bicycle seems to disarm folks. They just want to know WTF you’re up to and when they find out, why TF are you doing it. Thankfully, 8 years later, Dave and I are still pretty tight (though we live 2,000 miles apart). The bikes are one of our strong commonalities, and I hope always will be. Thanks for sharing your fabulous story! I hope you and your Dave reconnect – maybe another good long ride together might be a good idea (fully dressed, of course!).

  • CCB

    wow! awesome story, peter!

  • stephen_nyc

    I saw the link for this story in Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling’s twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. I’ve been a member since they started, as I did a 1976 tour, their 6-week adventure they called The Golden Spoke (basically half their Trans-Am route). I had so much fun that I said I’d do the whole thing 4 years later after I graduated from college. And I did. Portland to Williamsburg. Your stories and thoughts ring very true to mine. Although, no shotguns, we did have some guys giving us a hard time in Western Kansas (iirc, they didn’t like us camping in whatever park our group was set up in). Also there was the little matter of Mt. St. Helen erupting for the 2nd time that year (1980). Not the best way to start a 4,500 mile trip.

  • Bil Paul

    Wow, so well-written and remembered. 20 aspirin a day?

  • Brian

    Great story, and powerful reflections. My own first trip was 4 months in Europe in 1984, starting in Greece, going to Holland and returning to Greece in August for a friend’s wedding. My wife and I did this before we bought a house as we suspected there would be no return from that… It was hard at times, but like your journey Peter it was thrilling. I think the foreignness of Europe made every day highly anticipated. I still ride a fair bit, still do some longish tours and plan to do more when I retire.. but also went through a period where a HRM was normal, and most rides were ‘training’. That has its place but it sure is fun to let your hair down.

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