Living vicariously


“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 and Laura

Another extended journey that I’ve been following is that of Russ Roca, a photographer, and Laura Crawford, a writer and jewelry maker. They’ve been engaged in a meandering bicycle journey from the West Coast to the East Coast for more than a year and chronicling their adventures on their website, The Path Less Pedaled. They passed through Fort Worth last spring and gave a presentation on April 28 at a local bike shop. (See Aug. 14 blog post, “A year on the road,” for a look at a video of their first year on the road.)
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.

Zac Ford on the road

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.

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4 Comments

Filed under Americana, Blogging on the road, Cycling across America, Journeys, Travels

4 responses to “Living vicariously

  1. My journey is not as long as those you mentioned in your post, but I do have a goal of riding all the bike touring trails in Wisconsin (and after that? who knows?) Read about it here:
    http://trails-behind.blogspot.com/

  2. Hey, just found your site and wanted to let you know about my ride. I am currently in Utah, having ridden over 7500 miles. I started my journey May 31 in Louisiana and hope to finish back in Louisiana in November. I’m touching every state in the lower 48 and I was in Cananda a bit.

    • Neal,
      Thanks for the note. Are you doing an online journal — blog or on the site crazyguyonabike? How do I follow your progress? Take care and be safe.
      Jim

      • Hey Jim (and Neal) –

        This is Neal’s sister — I was scrounging around the interwebs for any mention of his ride and came across your site thanks to his post. Since he’s in the desert and has little access to said interwebs at the moment, I’ll answer in his stead: you can follow his progress and hear more about the ride on his blog — http://www.cyclemds.blogspot.com.

        Take care,
        Tiffany

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