Total Miles: 4300
Rider: Jane Gnass; Licensed Massage Therapist, Member.
Summary: This trip was like a big juicy slice of American Pie; thick crust pizza served in a cast iron pan. Not a week goes by that I don't reflect upon some part of this trip -- unforgettable experiences, friendships, and the grandness of it all. This journey changed my life!; Commercial Trip
How did ACA Help? I used Bikecentennial maps, and a group organized and led by their trained leader, Bernie Black. I stayed in their Bike Inns.
Health Issues: Numbness in right palm and digits 3-5. I couldn't hold a hair brush. Originally had no handlebar padding. I wound old tire tubes onto handlebars. It cleared up within a month of trips end. Next tour to Alaska I used rubber pads on flared touring bars, and had no problems.
Motivation: My first bike trip to Gridley with best friend, Debbie. The trip was like a door opening to adventure, freedom, and possibilities.
Most Challenging Aspect:Deciding to continue on past my original destination of Pueblo, Colorado, knowing that my mother and sister were enroute from California to pick me up.
Favorite Experience: There are so many favorite vignettes from this trip. Here's one: In Virginia's Appalachian Mtns. in late August, mornings started becoming chilly. One cool morning I stopped at a rural yard sale and told the lady I was looking for a flannel shirt. She asked me to wait. Soon she returned with a red flannel shirt. On her heals was a young boy looking disgruntled, bare chested, and cold. When I tried on the shirt, it was still warm. I paid for the shirt and left.
Least Favorite: Headwinds in Kansas!
Tips: Were I to do it over, I'd stop more often for other activities, like a hike and hot springs soak. And I'd have purchased a quality tent that could withstand a lot of rain, for the occasional but intense thunder storms.
Date Entered: Jun, 2007
Photo by Dennis Coello