December 6, 2017
Earlier this year, long-time Adventure Cycling member Kacy Burnsed decided to take the leap and become a life member. When asked what prompted this commitment, Kacy provided the following tales that perfectly encapsulate the magic of bicycle travel.
As to why I did the life membership — after 22 years of paying annual dues, I figured I was never going to stop, so I took the logical step.
After graduating from law school at UVA in 1996, I rode the TransAmerica Trail with a classmate and my brother-in-law. At that point, I joined Adventure Cycling for the map discount. I had already ridden solo from Atlanta to Washington, D.C along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive in 1993 (to mark the transition to law school) and solo from Charlottesville, Virginia to Cherry Hills, New Jersey for a wedding (during law school). Those two great experiences prompted me to take on the TransAm route and recruit my classmate and my brother-in-law to ride with me.
Like many who have tackled it, I found the TransAm ride transformative and the Adventure Cycling maps were indispensable. I have supported Adventure Cycling and have continued to ride and tour ever since. In addition to a few short solo tours, I have done many self-supported tours with my wife, Susan Modesitt, and two daughters, Adaire and Ava, starting when they were seven and four years old. Our longest was D.C. to Pittsburgh on the C&O and GAP trails a couple of years ago (with whitewater rafting in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania along the way!). The kids are now 17 and 14, and we will be riding from Montreal to Quebec next month. We gave our kids a choice for our late summer vacation, and they actually said, “Let’s do a bike trip — that’s our thing.”
I couldn’t agree more or be more proud — bike trips are a special thing for us. They are a time of togetherness on (mostly) green, scenic byways where we practice patience and perseverance. The kids have learned to keep going when things are tough and, in the process, have learned they can do more than they thought was possible ... a 70-mile day on gravel for an eleven-year-old? Yep! And when the kids want double ice cream with dessert, the answer is always “yes” on bike trips!
My wife and I will continue riding and touring as long as we can, and I hope our kids will too. There is a special peace to be found on the trail or road traveled by bike. There is no need to hurry — you’ll get there when you get there. Along the way, you will overcome any obstacles (six flat tires!) because you have to, and you will relish the stories thereafter. But mostly along the way, you will breathe the air, feel the terrain, sneak up on wildlife, have long talks with your loved ones, enjoy long silences, converse energetically with strangers, eat well, sleep well, and know you are alive and loving it!
I’m happy and proud to be an Adventure Cycling Life Member!
If you share the same passion for bicycle travel as Kacy and his family, life membership could also be the path for you. It’s the ultimate commitment you can make to Adventure Cycling’s mission of inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle with your support for the constantly growing Adventure Cycling Route Network, bicycle advocacy, the expansion of the U.S. Bicycle Route System, and more.
By joining 2,737 other life members, you will not only receive an embroidered life member fleece jacket and a copy of our coffee table book America’s Bicycle Route: The story of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, you will also lock in a lifetime of our other popular benefits, including:
Make 2018 the year you start your life-long commitment to bicycle travel and Adventure Cycling!
Photos courtesy of Kacy Burnsed and Susan Modesitt