Total Miles: 3800
Rider: Richard Core; 62 years old, Retired journalist, Member United States Email
Summary: Inspired by Bikecentennial when I was 16, I held on to a dream of someday cycling across the country. At the age of 62, in my 18th year of having Multiple Sclerosis, I did it! Solo! From Southern California to Massachusetts. Visited family and friends along the way. 3,800 miles in 86 days!; Self-Planned
How did ACA Help? The Adventure Cycling Association's maps, guides and Bicycle Navigator app were so helpful. I also had a couple of times in my planning when I emailed your staff, seeking advice. They provided me with very thoughtful advice and recommendations that kept me safe.
Health Issues: Due to Multiple Sclerosis, my right leg is wonky, with drop foot and some hyperextension in the knee. I can't keep my right foot on the pedal unless I'm locked in with the clipless variety. Due to other limitations and necessities with my MS, I also had to budget for staying in hotels and motels.
Motivation: In 1976, at the age of 16, I was fascinated by news reports of Bikecentennial. I told my parents then that someday I wanted to ride my bike across America. At the age of 62, despite being in my 18th year of Multiple Sclerosis, I did it!
Most Challenging Aspect:In Arizona, winds of 50-60 mph sidelined me for seven days, and then a friend had to drive me around a Flagstaff wildfire that closed Bicycle Route 66. Two days in New Mexico I got caught in winds I couldn't fight and flagged down Good Samaritan pickup-truck drivers to get me and my bike to a motel.
Favorite Experience: The 70-mile day from Joliet, Illinois, to Chesterton, Indiana -- 60 miles of which was on a series of beautifully maintained bike paths. I met and rode with several friendly, helpful people. It was glorious.
Least Favorite: Getting caught in those unrelenting -- at times seemingly angry -- high winds in New Mexico was brutal. They blew me sideways into the highway traffic lane a few times, and one of their blasts brought me almost to a complete stop as I pedaled on a downhill.
Tips: Given the nature of my trip -- to achieve my goal of riding across the country and meet family and friends -- I had to maintain a schedule. Sometimes I didn't get to enjoy places as fully as I would have liked. If you can ride with no schedule, do it. Just ride and let the road decide.
Online Journal: Click Here
Date Entered: Jan, 2023
Photo by Dennis Coello