Fears and apprehensions


I’d be a fool if I didn’t harbor some fears and apprehensions as I contemplate a journey across the United States by bicycle.
I’m not a young man. If all goes well, I’ll celebrate my 67th birthday on Nov. 15, as we near the end of the trip on Nov. 21. I reckon we’d probably be in the Florida Panhandle at that time, with St. Augustine and the Atlantic Ocean about a week away.
Will I have the stamina to ride an average of 57 miles per day for more than two months? What if I fall sick? Flu, food poisoning, a debilitating cold? Fortunately, I’ve enjoyed good health and am seldom sick. But I don’t want to be the “old guy” who can’t keep up.
I also worry about a serious bike problem during one of those long stretches in the desert, many miles from a bike shop. The occasional flat is to be expected, even with puncture-resistant touring tires. But I’m not sure yet that I could fix a broken spoke.
I bought from Adventure Cycling Association an emergency spoke-repair kit, consisting of a Kevlar cord that can serve as a spoke until the wheel can be repaired and properly trued. Fortunately, my bike has top-of-the-line, 36-spoke touring wheels and in years of riding I’ve never broken a spoke. There’s always a first time.
Loneliness and the tedium of doing the same thing day after day could also be a factor. Although the group will consist of about 14 people, we will all ride at our own pace and many of us will probably be riding solo much of the time. Also, in a group of 14, one person with a bad attitude could spoil the journey for the rest.
My overriding hope is that, after talking for years about crossing the country by bike and getting psyched up and trained to do it, that I don’t wash out for health or other reasons in the early stages.

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1 Comment

Filed under Cycling across America

One response to “Fears and apprehensions

  1. Ben P.

    Dad, I have total confidence that you will do the trip successfully. You are probably in better physical and mental shape than many “tour riders”. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Ben

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