Total Miles: 4500
Rider: Tom McAllister; 17 years old, Sales Manager, Non-Member UNITED STATES Email
Summary: At 17, I was the assistant leader of our trip. There is not a day that passes that I don't think about that ride. What an experience!; Commercial Trip
How did ACA Help? What's more to say! It was a B'76 trip.
Health Issues: Most of our group came down with food poisoning in Kentucky. Thank goodness that it happened on a rest day. The KY Department of Health even came by to get information on where we had been. I believe they traced it back to contaminated water. We also had one member that experienced a skull fraction in Hazard, KY. He ran head first, into a stop sign, while returning from a house where he had taken a shower. It happened at night when car lights blinded him. He and the leader had to transported to Louisville, KY. This member, from Australia, recovered and joined his New Zeeland friend in Washington, DC for their trip home.
Motivation: The year before, I had taken a six week camping AYH trip in CN and NY. Our group members suggested that I ride cross country. B'76 came along and I could not pass it up. It was my high school graduation trip. I even missed my own graduation, but it was worth every minute. I then attended the Leadership Training Camp in Ohio and qualified as an assistant leader for a cross country trip. It paid for half of my trip. While at the Training Camp, I met a cycling friend that we still ride together each year on TOSRV. Some things should continue forever.
Most Challenging Aspect:Thank goodness that we had a group leader that treated us as adults. We had a diverse group that ranged in age from 17 to 63, from all parts of the USA, Australia, New Zeeland and Denmark. One woman and 10 men. I was thankful that we all got along well, with very few conflicts. Group dynamics can be interesting. Long hot days and tired bodies can be hard on the human sole.
Favorite Experience: The second best experience happened in Utica, KS. It was on a Sunday the 4th of July. This small town in Kansas had planed a full day celebration for the B76 group that was to arrive. Our group new that the other group had decided to cycle onto a larger town. Therefore, Utica would not have a group to celebrate the 4th. . We decided to stay in Utica and cycle 125 miles the following day. It was well worth the extra miles. We attended a church service, had lunch at one of the area farms, toured the farm in pick up trucks, chased jack rabbits and had a truly great 4th of July dinner celebration with, what had to be, half of the town. Nothing like hot dogs, hamburgers, homemade pies and fireworks to celebrate the 4th. After dinner, our group was positioned in front of the other guests and we were asked many questions about our selves and our trip. The 125 mile day was worth every minute that we spent in Utica. What a great town!
Least Favorite: Ending the trip. You can never duplicate that feeling!
Tips: Slow down, its not a race. Meet the people. Take plenty of pictures and keep a diary.
Date Entered: Aug, 2022
Photo by Dennis Coello