We awoke to roosters crowing Monday morning. They walked down the hill from the house and strutted around our campsite.
Bruce and I climbed out of the tent at 5:45. It took us two hours to get ready, and most of that was just repacking our panniers so that the stuff we'd probably use first was at the top.
After pop tarts and coffee (the water heated on a one-burner Coleman stove), we were back on the road at 8. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/05/14/1984-bike-tour-day-2-first-roadside-attraction-shirley-plantation/
Sunday, May 13, 1984
Yorktown to Charles City, Va. 40 miles
Note: I’m republishing my journal from a transcontinental bicycle tour my friend Bruce and I took back in 1984. This tells what bike travel was like 36 years ago. No smart phones, no Garmins, no kevlar tires, no wifi. It took 10 weeks, …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2020/05/13/day-1-dude-wheres-my-campground/
I can't close off this cross-country bicycle trip without a postscript, because the tour really didn't end for me when we arrived in Oceanside. Still suffering from wanderlust, the trip ended for me up the Pacific coast with a chance meeting with another cyclist who had ridden ahead of us on our bike tour.
…. It made me realize that while we cross-country bicycle tourists are pedaling throughout the world, we're also cycling in our own world…
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/20/bike-tour-1984-postscript-transamerica-tour-comes-full-circle/
OCEANSIDE, CALIFORNIA — Bruce and I achieved the goal — to ride from coast to coast — that we'd made up our minds to accomplish two years ago. It seems like the end arrived too soon.
Fittingly, this was one of the easiest days of the trip. From 2,727 feet, we were coasting down to sea level. Soon after leaving our pace quickened and we had to slow for switchbacks and suddenly we began passing orange groves. It was all so California. We passed a mission, but we didn't stop to investigate. As Lazy Louie would say, all the hills went down and we had the wind to our backs.
Traffic increased as we hit residential areas, and James nearly had a head-on as he sped around us in the van. We were all riding together, and each tried to be the first to spot the ocean. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/19/1984-bike-tour-day-68-end-of-the-road/
The last full day on the road ended in warm camaraderie making toasts around a picnic table. But it began much chillier than that for me.
I was slow waking up as I felt totally exhausted from the day before, when I had left everyone else at a cramped motel room in Ocotillo and headed up here on my own. I was finally breaking camp when I heard the crunch of tires on the road leading to the campsite. It was James in the blue van. Everyone was worried about me. They got an early start and would be passing by soon. He offered to carry my gear. No, I brought it this far, I’ll take it the rest of the way….
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/18/1984-bike-tour-day-67-final-toasts-in-the-glow-of-a-coleman-lantern/
ANZA-BORREGO STATE PARK, CALIFORNIA — Too much heat? Not enough water? Too much pedaling through the desert? Too close to the end of the trip? I can't explain it, but I isolated myself from the group today and rode up to a solitary campground in the desert.
Expecting another hot day, we set the alarm for 4:30 but didn't really get going for hours. We all stopped for pictures at the Arizona-California border then cycled on Interstate 8 near the Mexican border through an area aptly named the Imperial Sand Dunes…
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/17/1984-bike-tour-day-66-strange-lights-in-the-desert/
YUMA, ARIZONA — There are days on this cross-country trip that I anticipated from the first time I spread out the maps on the table in my apartment in Annapolis.
One was the climb up to the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia; another was going up and over Monarch Pass in Colorado. Today was another — 80 miles across the desert of southwestern Arizona where nothing was marked on the map except a thin line for Hwy. 95. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/16/1984-bicycle-tour-day-65-we-find-an-oasis-in-the-desert/
Looks like most of the residents of Hope, Arizona,
have given up all hope…
I awoke about sunup this morning and … no Bruce.
It had been so hot and dry, we didn't see the need to pitch the tent last night. We threw the tarp down and just slept on that, until, at some point in the night, I realized all kinds of insects were walking around on me. I took my mat and put it on a picnic table and went back to sleep. Jim had already booked the other table.
Bruce woke up later, about 2 a.m., for the same reason I had, discovered the picnic tables already taken, and took off for a ride. He ended up at an all-night cafe where a group of 20 Native American runners showed up. …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/15/1984-bike-tour-day-64-i-can-feel-the-heat-on-my-eyelids/
AGUILA, ARIZONA — We're camping at the City Park here tonight. We've left all the cool, shady mountains behind us, and we're out where it's dry, sunny and hot. The park doesn't have much; just a picnic shelter and a small building for restrooms.
At the back of his building is a water spigot that drips. In the puddle underneath there sits a toad. I noticed him …
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/14/1984-bike-tour-day-63-the-toad-in-the-desert-puddle-in-aguila/
PRESCOTT, Ariz. — We spent much of today in the small gears, the stump-pullers, the grannies.
We started our climb almost immediately after leaving Dead Horse campground. Jim had already left — we told him we always got a late start — and we gingerly picked our way across that slippery low-water bridge.
The old ghost town of Jerome was only about 4 miles away, but 2,000 feet above us. From the brush along Route 89, we could see the town sitting on the edge of a mountain, with a big white letter “J” adorning a slope above it
Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2018/07/13/1984-bike-tour-day-62-ghostly-visions-pedaling-uphill/