Across America by Bicycle
Alice and Bobbi's Summer on Wheels
Publication Year: 2010
Biking from Oregon to Maine is no small feat, especially for two newly retired women who carry everything they need for three months, powered only by the strength of their legs and a desire for adventure. Alice Honeywell and Bobbi Montgomery invite readers to follow their ride by bicycle across the United States, as they face scorching sun, driving rain, buffeting winds, equipment failures, killer hills, wild fires, and even a plague of grasshoppers.
As Alice and Bobbi pedal along their 3,600-mile journey, they test and deepen their friendship, defy their aches and pains, experience the vast and varied beauties of their country, and discover the challenges and satisfaction of a scaled-down lifestyle. And, they encounter unfailing generosity from people they meet—from the prayers of a North Dakota woman for their safekeeping, to the offer of a house in Michigan, to invitations for dinner and a place to sleep at stops all along the way. And there are incidents to laugh over, too, such as the bewildered woman who asked them, “Well, but where do you pack your dresses?”
Ride along with Alice and Bobbi as they embrace retirement with gusto and live their dream.
Winner, ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award in the Travel Essays category
Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
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When we began pedaling across America we didn’t anticipate recording our experiences anywhere but in our personal journals and on our website, but the farther we traveled the more stories we gathered, stories that sprang from the people we encountered as well as from sights we saw and the way of life we experienced. ...
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When people fantasize about life after they retire, they tend to think of things they won’t do anymore—get up early, fight rush hour traffic, deal with irksome coworkers or bosses. Perhaps they have something special they want to do—move to Arizona, cruise the Caribbean, build furniture. ...
1. Through the Columbia River Gorge: Oregon and Washington
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I couldn’t think of a better way to begin. It was not the only time we would be blessed or prayed for on our odyssey from Oregon to Maine, but that first benediction set a positive tone. All would not be sunshine and tailwinds, but the balance would tip in our direction more often than we could imagine. ...
2. Over the Western Mountains: Idaho and Western Montana
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Record heat, rushing rivers, forest wilderness, serious mountains, more heat, killer hills, wildfires: Mother Nature handed all this to us in Idaho and Montana. But striking scenery, new ways to enjoy life, and sociable people were also plentiful. On we rolled, eager for more outdoor entertainment. ...
3. Across the Northern Plains: Eastern Montana and North Dakota
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Despite the intense heat and scarcity of people, Montana and North Dakota would place high on our list of favorite states. Much of the population has left for more prosperous regions, but many of those who remain befriended us in extraordinary ways. ...
4. Through the Upper Midwest: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Indiana
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The scorching, arid West seemed long ago and far away. Because our route called for us to angle across Minnesota, we anticipated seeing some of the 10,000 lakes advertised on the state’s license plates. We thought we might even swim in one or two of them, but our self-proclaimed ability to deal with the unexpected ...
5. Along Lakes Erie and Ontario: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Western New York
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In the Midwest, the end of summer meant allergies, which apparently were the source of Alice’s laryngitis. Matters would worsen before they improved, but she kept her legs moving up and down despite her challenged respiratory system. Sleep was good medicine but I missed my conversation partner. ...
6. Over the Adirondacks and across New England: Eastern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine
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It was mid-September, the days were growing shorter, and even without seeing a calendar, we felt the end of our trip approaching. Along with everyone else, we found ourselves stopping behind school buses. We came upon football practices with coaches shouting, whistles blowing, ...
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Stopping for tea and popovers on the broad expanse of lawn at Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park is a long-established visitor tradition, so we joined those who braved the cool mountain air in early autumn. Rows of chairs and tables lined the slope so that people could chat and sip tea as they watched the light change ...
Appendix A: Frequently Asked Questions
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Appendix B: Equipment
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Appendix C: Roadside Finds
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Page Count: 287
Publication Year: 2010