A Reserve Of Determination

“A fine family adventure to say the least. My wife and I, three of our five children, and a family friend rode three tandems 4,518 miles from Oregon to Virginia on the Transamerica Trail. People all across America recognized us as a family, and were always cordial and open to us. The most common comment was not about our derring-do, but what a wonderful experience it was for the children. Indeed, my wife and I independently told several people that the high point of our trip was how beautifully the children did. The rigors of the trip seemed to answer some of those frightening questions of inadequacy that haunt the young — they all grew in size and confidence as the trip went along. We had the rewarding experience of seeing our children deal with the rigors of the trip with a healthy reserve of resourceful good nature and determination.” - Charles Dukes, 1986
“Dad and I called ourselves the Tiger Team. Sometimes when he needed help going up mountains, I would stand up and pedal. Nobody could pass us then.” - Carolyn Dukes, 8 years old, 1986

“To cycle from sea-to-shining sea under your own power, cultivates in an eight-year old an unwavering sense of confidence and sense of self. This confidence and sense of self, fostered through my family and that TransAm tour, steered my younger years through leadership camps, state basketball championships, and piano festivals. More recently these values have aided me to excel in seven years in the Air Force and at graduate school at Johns Hopkins University earning my MBA and Government degrees.

“Oh, and that eight-year-old’s belief that no one can pass you when you give it your all going up a mountain? That perspective doesn’t go away.”
- Carolyn Dukes, 2006