October 20, 2016 - John Marsteller is this week's guest blogger for Adventure Cycling.
My name is John. I am 27 years old and from Maryland. I’ve been following the general mold of society for most of my life. I did fairly well in high school academics and sports, proceeded to get a four year degree and decent jobs following graduation. After five years behind a desk, I decided it was time to make a change. I quit my job, sold my house and many belongings, and hit the road on my bike. My primary goal was to finish a cross-country ride, and enjoy myself for two to three months.
I am not what many would refer to as a cyclist. The longest ride I’d done prior to this trip was a 50-mile trial run. I like bicycles and I like adventures. These two interests came together after I found numerous blogs and journals of similar trips online. I did not have a fancy touring bike, just a carbon mountain bike with 26in. wheels, a 1x8 drivetrain, a disabled front fork, and road tires.
Along the way, I met some fantastic folks, challenged myself, and had an absolute blast. Although I may not have had some amazing epiphany on the road, I do feel as though the adventure was well worth my time. For now, I am back in the “real world,” but dreams of another tour are unlikely to subside.
With three weeks of tough riding in our rear view mirror, we continued through Kentucky into Illinois. The scenery started to change and farmland became quite prevalent. and the dog chases finally became less common, making the riding a bit less stressful.
We also passed through Kentucky during the Kentucky Derby, which produced some very rambunctious folks. On derby day, we were lounging by a convenience store keeping an eye on a local bar. A very kind lady offered to house us for the evening and it turned out to be a fantastic night.
In week 4 we kicked up the mileage a bit and covered some ground. It definitely helped that we were out of the mountains. Single lane roads, gorgeous scenery, city park camping, the Kentucky Derby, heavy rainstorms, a fugitive manhunt, and an ATV ride while carrying a Dachshund — just another week on a bicycle tour!
Check out some cool images and footage in the video!
Photos and video by John Marsteller
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