“If you’re a good journalist, what you do is live a lot of things vicariously, and report them for other people who want to live vicariously.”
— Harry Reasoner, American broadcast journalist, 1923-1991
A favorite pastime when I’m not engaged in my own bicycle travels is to follow vicariously the journeys of other cyclists.
Frequently, there’s much to be learned. Sometimes it’s information about new routes that might be ridden one day or reports on field tests of innovative hardware or gadgets to facilitate life on the road.
And usually those online journals, about places that I’ve stopped in or ridden through myself, pique memories of my own bicycle trips.
A good website for vicarious travels is crazyguyonabike.com, which hosts journals of long-distance cyclists on journeys all over the world. I’ve been particularly interested in the journals of cyclists riding Adventure Cycling Association’s Southern Tier route, from San Diego to St. Augustine, Fla., which I did last fall.
That route, across eight states along the southern tier of the United States — California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida — is usually undertaken in the spring or fall because of the hellish heat in the deserts of the Southwest during the summer.
This is about the time when the fall crossings begin. In fact, a Texan named Paul Nethercott plans to set out on Sunday from San Diego on the eastbound journey of about 3,130 miles. I plan to follow his trip on crazyguyonabike.com and compare experiences.
Russ has been field-testing various bits of gear during the trip, and the reviews posted on their website have been useful for anyone contemplating a long-distance bike trip.
Another website well worth a look is The Pondering Cyclist. It’s the blog of a friend and fellow cyclist, Zac Ford, who left Fort Worth in early June on a journey to the West Coast and back that he calls the Trans Western Cycling Expedition.
He took along two cameras with helmet and bike mounts and has been chronicling the trip on his blog and Facebook page. With the help of a friend, he has also put together a video on the first 2,000 miles of his trip. Check out the preview.