Total Miles: 4200
Rider: Jim Fitzgerald; 35 years old, Teacher, Non-Member UNITED STATES
Summary: Lived & started alone from Dunsmuir, CA. Joined route in Redmond, OR. Teamed up with someone I met. Bike + weight 85# at start. Great Life Experience. Broke one spoke the last day. Wore out 3 tires.; Self-Planned
How did ACA Help? Bought the maps, booklets for each section of the Bikecentennial route in Missoula, MT, but I don't think Adventure Cycling was who sold them to us.
Health Issues: Mainly crouch sores. We made the mistake of taking someones advise to use cornstarch. Bad choice. I had my knee meniscus remove in 1968 but had no problems with it.
Motivation: Bad knee > Dr. advised against a two week backpack trip on the Wilderness trail. Read article about a couple, 12 year old girl, and 3 year old using buggers riding 3000 miles. I said I can do that and I started planning.
Most Challenging Aspect:Wind in southern Wyoming & Kansas. the hills in Missouri and saddle sores.
Favorite Experience: The people I met and place I saw. Great times with other riders. I did not want to stop at the end of the ride.
Least Favorite: Riding 10 miles in the dark. We did not drink alcohol until this one day we ended our ride (we thought) in the dark decided to eat in a restaurant (a treat) and had a couple of beers. Then we asked where the park was that our maps advertised we could camp. We were in the wrong town! When we asked where the closest place was someone said that there was a rest stop with a couple of picnic tables about 10 miles down the road. Dark, not used to drinking beer, tired, ground out another painful 10 miles and slept on the picnic tables.
Tips: This was a great way to meet other people, gain confidence and see the US. When I finished I felt I could survive without a car. I had not ridden distance until I started to train and after this ride I competed in Biathalons, triathlons and road races in California. I still ride the bicycle I used. A picture of it is linked to in my URL (here because it did on show up) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1984377407673&set=a.1984104360847.2104275.1190389300&type=3&theater
Date Entered: Feb, 2012
Photo by Dennis Coello