Roy Drew did what most people do when they are planning a cross-country bicycle trip — he spent hours selecting a route, deciding what to pack, and searching for a cycling companion. However, looking back on his 2003 trip, he said that those things proved to be more of a logistical problem than the rest of the trip provided. “In hindsight,” Roy said, “I would stress less about what I brought with me, and spend more time relaxing beforehand.”
Starting in Nags Head, North Carolina, Roy and his traveling companions followed the Atlantic Coast Bicycle Route up to the TransAmerica Trail in Richmond, Virginia. Richard commented that when they joined the TransAm, “We began to feel the vibe that cyclists have been experiencing since 1976. People going about their daily business waved greetings, we signed guest books in countless convenience stores, and hunted for public restrooms in the apparently pee-shy East Coast.
Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri led them into Kansas, where his group, encountering head- and tailwinds exclaimed, “Kansas provides a baseline to determine how good or bad each day can be.” Then it was on through Colorado, Wyoming, and into Montana, as Roy describes as “similar to Wyoming, without so much wind.” While in Missoula, Roy was thinking about how there were only two more weeks of riding; this is when he knew that he had the mindset of a touring cyclist.
For Roy, the sense of accomplishment from the trip overrode the inconveniences of rain, hills, and the dogs of Kentucky. “The camaraderie of friends, the joy of new acquaintances, and cycling each day — these became the memories. Each day I try to integrate a little of the totality of my cross-country journey as a part of my life…I can’t wait to do it again.”