|Share Our Stories! - Click Here|
A Journey Of A Lifetime By An Old Young Man
By Frosty Wooldridge
On each unique bicycle journey across any country, you cannot help but meet fascinating people. Some lively, some sad, some smart, some funny, and others unique. Some prove to be 'characters' while others carry a distinct energy of humanity. Some fade in your rear- view mirror while others command your journal that night in your tent. Some befriend you for the rest of your life.
Such a man I met in 2013 on my Continental Divide Ride from Mexico to Canada. An Irishman, Dave Turner, rode coast to coast across America with his dear friend Gerry Mulroy of Dragheda, Ireland. (north of Dublin) America captivated both of them. After his ride, David wrote a vivid book that captured my imagination: Cycling Across America: Journey of a Lifetime by Dave Turner. I've read it three times because each time, it brings me back to our 'happy' chance encounter in Riverside, Colorado. From there, we rode into Wyoming, up Route 287, into Grand Tetons and finally into Madison Junction, Yellowstone. As you can imagine, two Irishmen, I laughed harder with their jokes and stories, more than anytime in my life. We departed with tears because of the bond we forged in that week of riding together.
This man Dave, well, he rode across America to accept finances for a cause of people living in retirement in his home town. Today, he helps them by taking them out in a tricycle for rides around the town. He's selfless and compassionate. He wrote his feelings about what's it like to be on a cross continent bicycle tour of America. I wanted to share them with you because I think he gives you the very essence of bicycling.
So, having been cycling for the past 27 years, here are my personal thoughts and observations on some aspects of cycling long distances.
Cycling brings you a pure exclusive and overwhelming joy. It's a great feeling of freedom and wellbeing as your legs propel you across long distances and to new destinations. The soft “hum” of your tires on the road, the pleasure of taking a sip of drink on a really hot day. The small beads of salty sweat that make their way through your bandana and roll down to the tip of your nose and into your crossbar. The moment you reach the summit of a really hard climb and you click into a slightly higher gear at the second you reach the top.
The uplifting feeling you get when a tail wind picks you up and you are propelled effortlessly forward at great speed. Knowing that the burning muscular pain of a long hard climb will be instantly forgotten on the descent and the next day. The expectation of cycling around an uncharted bend not knowing what is around the corner.
Hearing heavy rain on the outside of your tent, knowing you're safe and dry. Fixing a puncture and immediately finding somewhere to wash your hands. The smell of a new inner tube. Knowing that you can cycle over 80 miles day after day after day. Meeting new people, be it other cyclists, other travelers or just folks you just meet along the way. Having a shower and a cold beer after a long day in the saddle. Finding out what is making that annoying “clicking” noise on your bike and eliminating it.
I'm in my seventieth year now and as I type this, I am preparing for a cycle across Asia. I can't wait, that's what cycling does to you; it becomes part of your life, your heart and soul, and once mounted and riding your bicycle you become at one with yourself, the world and with a little bit of imagination the universe.
David Turner, Grand Tetons, with Gerry Mulroy and Frosty Wooldridge, coast to coast, 2013
Share these videos all over America:
In a five minute astoundingly simple yet brilliant video, "Immigration, Poverty, and Gum Balls", Roy Beck, director of www.numbersusa.ORG, graphically illustrates the impact of overpopulation. Take five minutes to see for yourself:www.NumbersUSA.org
-- Frosty Wooldridge
Population-Immigration-Environmental specialist: speaker at colleges, civic clubs, high schools and conferences
Facebook: Frosty Wooldridge
Facebook Adventure Page: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World
Six continent world bicycle traveler
Adventure book: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World
Frosty Wooldridge, six continent world bicycle traveler, Astoria, Oregon to Bar Harbor, Maine, 4,100 miles, 13 states, Canada, summer 2017, 100,000 feet of climbing: