Total Miles: 4000
Rider: Gayl Teichert; 24 years old, Secretary, Non-Member UNITED STATES
Summary: I was a leader with a great group consisting of teenagers, college kids, and a teacher. We stayed in bike inns; 3 of us rode together to finish a full transam as independents. Incredible dream summer. Highlights include heat and mosquitos, breaking into a swimming pool, learning how to coax a morning fire out of coals, the noise of a cow chewing, focusing on the next grain silo ten miles away, promising riders going east that there will be trees, getting granny gears in Pueblo, flying off mountain peaks on those steep Rocky Mountain downhills, riding into Sinclair, WY after a long day and a flat tire and seeing smiling faces waiting for me, leaving a resume in Missoula with BikeCentennial, tall pines rubbing their tree tops in inky black night, riding almost blind on a moonless night in Yellowstone Park, sweeping down a mountain with the smell of cedar soaking through me, eating a crepe after crossing the Cascades, chasing seagulls at Haystack Rock, the history of Astoria, family loaning me money to keep me riding to that end goal.; Commercial Trip
How did ACA Help? AC trained me as leader, hired me as leader, and mapped the route.
Health Issues: Creaky knees the second week out.
Motivation: I wanted to travel; I wanted to expend energy; I wanted to see the US.
Most Challenging Aspect:I was most challenged being a leader - very insecure, and Missouri brought me to my knees, metaphorically speaking.
Favorite Experience: Too many involving people. Once, alone, I screamed down the west side of Lolo Pass in late afternoon after morning rain, and the visible breath of the pines and cedars kept me on the road against all odds.
Least Favorite: A lecherouse old man that turned the belling of a mountain hound pack from a beautiful back road experience into a threatening and fearful moment filled with disgust.
Tips: Just do it. I walked up almost every hill from Virigina to Pueblo. I can spend all day touring 10 miles or 50 miles. It isn't a race unless you want it to be.
Date Entered: May, 2006
Photo by Dennis Coello