July 22, 2014
It seems that epic journeys inspire the traveler to write, from Herodotus to Lewis and Clark, Marco Polo straight through to Mark Twain and Willie Weir. Forty years ago you could barely find a description of cross-country bicycle adventure; now the internet is littered with them. Indeed, there is an entire site, crazyguyonabike.com, that is "a place for bicycle tourists and their journals"— all touring, all the time.
I have been following the travels of one of the participants in Adventure Cycling’s TransAm self-contained tour lately. “Aaron Cross Country” is blogging his journey as he struggles and rejoices his way across the country. The group of 15 left Williamsburg, Virginia, on May 3, and will arrive in Florence, Oregon, on August 3, having spun up hill and down for 93 days and 4305 miles. Like postal letter carriers, "neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night,” stays these riders from the swift completion of their appointed daily mileage. Aaron has been chronicling his trials and joys, his exhaustion and elation. He is now nearly at the end of his journey.
Aaron is a fine writer, and it's been entertaining to read his descriptions and look at his photos. But today I was touched, inspired and uplifted by his post. He put into words just what I have felt on long journeys, and I think his writing embodies and promotes the spirit of Adventure Cycling. I was especially struck by his statement that he was "experiencing hospitality on a level I never could have dreamed and didn't realize still existed" (emphasis mine). It's this hospitality, that so many Americans are either unaware of or cynical about, that inspires me to continue traveling by bicycle. It is the reason I welcome cyclists into my own home. His blog is definitely worth the read.
Post by Mandy Hale | Top photo by Chuck Haney | Bottom Photo by John Beck
ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team — Lydia, Darrah, Mike, Mandy, and Arlen — tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to the Adventure Cycling tours department. Check out our 2014 Guided Tours today!