Good Chemistry

Riding across the country with a group of strangers can be one of the most rewarding and challenging adventures that a cyclist can have. People of different ages, abilities, nationalities, and professions all come together to travel through heat, cold, rain, hail, and wind. As Bill Lenehan (back, second from right) says, “To make a trip across the U.S. one has to have a strong personality. To bring 15 similar people together and function as one cohesive group is challenging.”

Under the leadership of Adventure Cycling board member Frank Moritz (back, left), this was one of those special groups where every day was a rolling party. They continued the party during their visit to the Adventure Cycling office in July 2007, where they handed out awards to each other, such as: best repair with zip ties; most U-turns; highest sock tan line; and most beer consumed in a tent.

As with many cross-country groups, there are a wide range of stories that follow the participants. Kristin Gjevik (front, right – best decorated bike) is from Norway. She didn’t like the way things were going in her life, so she came to find her “new path.” She quit her job and sold her flat to ride across America and “find out what she wants to become when she grows up.” She commented, “I’m homeless, have no job — and life looks good.”
Sheri Hanna (front, second from right – best crash) recalled one of the highlights of the trip, the group’s participation in the 4th of July parade in Lander, Wyoming. “Everyone was there, either in the parade or watching it,” Sheri said. “It was the true spirit of the 4th of July that only a small town could offer.”

Jimmy McCord’s (back, behind flag) story might take the cake though. He credits his life to a group that rode across the country many years ago. “My mom and dad met on a cross-country trip with Adventure Cycling in 1978,” Jimmy said. “If not for Adventure Cycling, I wouldn’t be here.”