James Madison

What this country needs is more universities like James Madison in Virginia. Last year, for the third summer in a row, a group of JMU graduates chose to ride across the TransAmerica Trail from east to west in what has apparently become a rite of passage for the school. (Hey, it beats binge drinking.)

The "Madison 7," as the group called themselves, were Randy Dash, Ryan Frost, David DeSpisito, Paul Johnston (standing, left to right), Brennan Sweeney, Brian Manning (seated, left to right) and Jamie Corbett (not pictured) - all were in their early 20s, all had majored in the sciences, and all had lived together at James Madison.

Randy Dash perhaps spoke for the group - and in inimitable fashion, we might add - when he wrote, "After 60 days on the road, I am no longer considering myself to be a virgin at bike touring. I plan to be very promiscuous with the pastime in the near future. It is a very enjoyable way to travel, for when one is on the road, there is nothing to do but smile and ride.”