Biking Across America to Help Promote a Cause – A Peek at the Journey of Two Brothers

art-1115-bike2

From disbelief to genuine interest, you get all different kinds of reactions when you tell people you are cycling across the United States. People assume the 4,100 mile trek from Florence, Oregon, to Yorktown, Virginia, would be a trip of a lifetime, and after my little brother and I set out early this past summer on our adventure together I would have to agree with them.

While we may have begun pedaling in June, the inspiration for the trip began much earlier when our grandparents completed the same journey in 1998, and then went on to bike across the states twice more. That motivated me to put cycling across America at the top of my bucket list. Following their example, my brother and I also choose to make our ride a fundraiser for Bridging the Gap, a charity started by my grandma to promote clean water and install wells in third-world countries.   

art-1115-bike3My grandparents’ knowledge of bike touring also proved valuable as there were many challenges along the road, from the scorching heat of the Midwest to the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies to the never-ending rain and humidity throughout the Appalachians. The route we chose proved to be daunting yet beautiful. From the slow-moving seats of bicycles my brother and I were able to see the country in a unique way, state by state and city by city, on our 42-day journey.    

A typical day on the road for us involved waking up around 3:30 a.m. in order to beat the heat and to ride east until the sun rose. Seeing the sunrise in front of us every morning in different locations was an amazing experience neither my brother nor I expected would be part of the tour. After breakfast, which usually consisted of gas station food or a meal from a small cafe, we would set off again, stopping now and then to recheck the route, grab a snack, or sight-see around one of the many national parks we rode through.

We would usually pull into a town or our campsite in the late afternoon and start preparing for the next day. This involved washing clothes, fixing bikes and stocking up on food. Grocery shopping was undoubtedly the most important part of the preparation – we were constantly eating a ridiculous amount of food and still losing weight.

Churning our pedals through small towns, countless national parks, and up plenty of magnificent mountains, the scenic back roads of America gave us a perspective of the country neither of us had seen before.

What really surprised us was the hospitality people showed us everywhere we went. Regardless of where we were, locals were constantly offering help, from a free meal and lodging, to tips and directions. In Missouri, for example, we were welcomed into a home for what the locals called an “authentic” 4th of July, filled with barbecues, good people and hundreds of dollars’ worth of fireworks. There we definitely saw the love people had for the country we were biking across.

Setting off on our trip, my brother and I knew it would be a crazy adventure that would not only test our physical and mental endurance, but would provide an amazing educational experience. I can definitely say that after biking across 10 states, 4,100 miles, and one continent, I am grateful for the experience and all of those who helped us achieve it.

art-1115-bike1

Grant Adams
About Grant Adams

18-year-old Grant Adams is in his first semester at Butte College. He plans to major in economics when he transfers schools next year. He and his younger brother Walker aren't sure of their next adventure, but would love to climb Everest in the coming years.

Comment Policy: All viewpoints are welcome, but comments should remain relevant. Personal attacks, profanity, and aggressive behavior are not allowed. No spam, advertising, or promoting of products/services. Please, only use your real name and limit the amount of links submitted in your comment.


Leave a Reply