to that intrepid and grungy traveler

I know exactly the moment that I first wanted to ride a bike across the US. I was a teen growing up in Rolla Mo and me and my mom came across this guy parked under a shade tree. He was road grimey and his bike was impossibly loaded with packs and sleeping bags and a tent – seemed like a mountain of stuff. It was probably about 1976, when a lot of folks were doing the “bike-centennial”. It looked hard and but he was grinning from ear to ear even as he told us about how steep the Ozark hills were. “Harder than the Appalachians – short but steep and you get no rest – you get to the top of one and zip down the other side and you’re back on another one.”

But what I got from his expression was that he was just tickled – in my mind from the adventure of it all. I couldn’t believe that someone would try such a thing – this guy must be famous! Anyway, I knew then and there I wanted that adventure too. It’s taken awhile to get back to that idea, but I have my sights set on it now and I CANT WAIT.