A few months ago I decided I wanted to ride across the country on a bicycle. This seemed pretty outrageous at the time but, after some research, I began to see that it really wasn’t so uncommon. People do it all the time.
For a lot of money.
In big groups.
Now, money is something I don’t have and riding in groups is something I don’t want to do. I want to do this on the cheap and at my own pace. This blog is going to document my attempt in doing just that.
It’s probably worth mentioning a little about myself. I’m 22, living in Chicago and am working at a bar, a museum and (hopefully) a bicycle shop. I graduated from Illinois State University last year with a degree that… well, with a degree that provides me with so many employment opportunities that I have time to do this trip.
I have been an athlete since I was 13, starting off as a runner with forays into multisport, ultimate frisbee and soccer. My passion has always been endurance, however, and cycling offers a very particular experience within the field. Running and swimming are unadulterated sports—they pit your abilities against the elements and other competitors. Cycling adds a variable, a machine that becomes an extension of your body. You are an athlete and a mechanic and your performance is dependent upon your abilities as both. I guess it is the multifaceted challenge that allures me to cycling and, subsequently, to this endeavor.
Now, as it turns out, riding a bicycle across the country takes a lot of planning and training and that shit ain’t easy. The writing I do here is partly to bounce ideas around and to map this whole process out but it is mostly for accountability. So, you know, support is appreciated. Heckling and cynicism are, well… shut up, guys.
In the coming weeks I will be posting quite a bit about my planning. Things like possible routes, gear, my workouts and an expansion on my reasoning for doing this. That isn’t to say that I am an expert on anything I am talking about. Quite the opposite… I am just making this up as I go. In other words, don’t take what I say at face value and don’t use this blog as a guide for a similar journey. That’d be stupid.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with the namesake of this blog: