In April 2013, my boyfriend, Michael, and I plan to embark on a journey across America, over 3000 miles from Yorktown, Virginia to Astoria, Oregon, on the back of bicycles. This will be a fully self-supported tour, so we will be carrying all of our gear on our bikes. We will rely on camping at parks, wild camping, and the kindness of “trail angels” along the way, and we hope to embrace the opportunity to intimately experience the diversity and beauty of the country we both call home.
WHY TOUR CROSS-COUNTRY?
Before I met Mike, I dreamed of bicycle touring and using it as a means to get to know the communities around me in a more intimate way than just speeding by in a car. I do not drive, so I have always used a bicycle to commute to work and school, to go to the grocery store, and to run errands around my city. Biking has also provided a great means for me to investigate and reflect on the nooks and crannies of my immediate physical and social environment. Still, I longed to cycle further than the confines of my city, and to connect, through experience and observation, the smaller fragments of places into a more nuanced and coherent whole.
When Mike and I met and discovered we shared a mutual interest in bicycling, a door was opened to the wonderful world of touring. There are few experiences in life better than sharing adventures with the people you care about, and learning about yourself and others through the struggles and joys along the way.
We finished our first major tour in April 2012, when we biked the Outer Banks from Corolla, North Carolina to Beaufort, North Carolina over three and a half days. The video above summarizes our amazing journey. A journal detailing our experience may also be found here.
We are ready now for the challenge and joy of crossing America by bike, and we look forward to documenting our experiences and discoveries to share with others.
Our ten-week long journey across America will be more than just the ride of a lifetime. Along the way, we will be documenting, through writing/interviews, drawing, photography, and video, the communities that we encounter. We will create a “travel ethnography” that seeks to record a cross-section of American life in 2013 along the well-travelled TransAmerica cycling route. The final result will be a publication (a book and video) that provides a record of what the TransAmerica route is like presently and a snapshot of the communities along the route that have historically accommodated and welcomed cyclers on their journey.
This will be a professionally designed and professionally printed project. The majority of the funds raised will go towards designing and printing the final book. Sarah has a background in art and design, and her artwork can be viewed here. The book will incorporate interviews with those we meet along the way, photography, writing, and artwork reflecting America's varying landscapes and communities.
Your support will help fund:
1-All publication costs for the book and video
2-Cost of food and camping fees
Thank you so much for your interest and support!
We hope for this to be a wonderful opportunity for others to ride along and share our experiences with America's communities, and perhaps become inspired to plan their own cycling adventure.
- (60 days)