Pretend you’re not doing it


The best advice I’ve ever read about embarking on a cross-country bicycle journey was written by Calvin Woodward of The Associated Press: “Pretend you’re not doing it.”

“Convince yourself you are embarking on a series of day trips,” wrote Woodward, who rode from Washington, D.C., to Newport Beach, Calif., in 2005. “It will do no good to anticipate the Rockies while still smelling the salt air of the Atlantic, or to think about the East if leaving from the West.

“One rest stop to another, one day at a time, one state before the next. That’s the essential mind game. It will all add up to a journey exposing you to staggering landscapes, the kindness of strangers and abilities you didn’t know you had.”

So, that’s the plan: One rest stop at a time, one day at a time, a series of day rides that in 65 days should get me from San Diego to St. Augustine. I have to convince myself that I’m really doing nothing different that riding every day on my bike routes at home — except the scenery is better. I hope this mind game works.

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