Total Miles: 4500
Rider: Karl (Max) Sherman; Attorney, Non-Member UNITED STATES
Summary: I was the BikeCentennial Tour Leader for this TransAm - great group - full self-contained tour and all - strong group spirit and team effort; Commercial Trip
How did ACA Help? Tour Leader for BikeCentennial Trans-Am Tour this year, would be the first of two TA tours I led - the next one was the next summer in 1981
Health Issues: Even an appendicitis could not stop this rider ! ----- We had a rider, Keith, who had made it all the way to mid-Oregon (just days from the coast), and came down with an appendicitis - luckily, the TA Trail there was very close to a good local hosipital - we rode him right to the emergency room. He had his operation that afternoon, and the Group pitched our tent on the lawn outside the Hospital and camped there that night. Keith was determined to complete the full cross-country, and when he stayed back to recover, he lived with a local family for about a month, then got back on his bike by himself and rode the final few days to the Pacific coast - so that he completed the trip cross-country !! The rest of our group made it too - weeks earlier !
Motivation: Joy of my first BikeCentennial TransAm in 1978 - desire to lead - ability to contribute back to my group during the tour
Most Challenging Aspect:Our most challenging effort as a group was riding at night through most of Kansas and Eastern Colorado. That year, it was incredibly hot (and esp. in Kansas) and our group was wearing down and even showing signs of heat exhaustion trying to ride 60-80 miles during the heat of the day. It was discouraging. No one wanted to take a bus or other transport, and everyone wanted to ride the whole way. So, in Kansas we stayed at a local church and decided in a group meeting the switch timeframes and ride at night, then sleep all day. The minister there really came through for us and called ahead to our next 4-5 stops and contacted local churches - they knew we were coming and would let us sleep in the darkened (and cool) rooms in the church basements all day. We then started the next "days" ride at about 10-11 pm and rode all night to our selected destination - the next churches were ready for us, and often had simple meals ready, or offered to do our laundry, and we had an early breakfast and went to sleep until the next night's ride. We did this 4-5 nights in a row and made it across KS and eastern CO this way. For safety, we all had many extra lights on our bikes and rode together as a single group - if someone had a bike repair or flat, everyone stopped and waited. At that late hour not many cars were on the road, and because it was so flat and roads so straight, you could see and hear them coming miles before they arrived. Then, we all pulled over off the side of the road as a group and let the car pass before going on. It was surreal in many respects and exhilarating and bonded the group like no other experience. To be out riding across Kansas at 3:00 in the morning, to see and feel the sunrise from the very first break of night to sunrise itself was an amazing feeling, and the accomplishment of making the ride against all obstacles I think forged a strength and determination in this group that carried us all the rest of the tour.
Favorite Experience: Riding into the ocean at Astoria at the end of the trip - pouring in a vial of water from the Atlantic that I had filled at the start and carried all across the country with me - and every day in between filled with adventure always. At Yellowstone, camping at the remote location at Lone Star Geyser, and watching the geyser go off with morning coffee at camp
Least Favorite: Ticks in Illinois, coal trucks in Kentucky, wood chip trucks in Oregon
Tips: A trip to share as you go is the best when it is good
Date Entered: Jan, 2011
Photo by Dennis Coello