Note: When I first started this website I intended to call it Food, Drink, Other Stuff but was convinced by an SEO expert that it would be algorithmic suicide. But if I'd kept that name, this article would fall under the category Other Stuff.
Forty years ago today I rode my bicycle into Boston and across the city to Revere Beach, 55 days after leaving Astoria, Oregon, ending one of the most satisfying accomplishments of my life.
I rode with Lane Hakel, whom I had not met until we arrived in Portland. We had both responded to a classified ad in “Bicycling” magazine placed by someone who was looking for riding companions to do the Bikecentennial, a trans-America trail from Oregon to Virginia mapped out by cycling aficionados to commemorate the country’s bicentennial a few years earlier. I never did meet the fellow who placed the ad – he broke his kneecap a week before we were to set out. There was a third respondent who did meet up with us in Portland and began the ride with us. But he was an immature 17-year-old who would take off in the morning without us and sometimes wouldn’t show up at our predetermined stopping point that night. I, being the ranking adult at 28, told him he either had to ride with us or find another group. We last saw him a few weeks later in Yellowstone and no one in the group he was riding with had killed him yet, so I guess he ended up OK.
So it was just Lane and me, two strangers crossing the country on pedal power.