The Ride of a Lifetime, Part 2

On August 12, 2016, HRBike member, Jim Herron conquered the 4,567 mi. Trans-Am bike trek. In a previous article, we learned Jim’s inspiration, training & best experiences. To conclude the emotionaljimconversation…here’s more from Jim:

What is the worst time you had? Admitting I was really sick and needing to stop in Falls of the Rough, KY, on 4/20, was the worst feeling. Thank goodness I recovered by June and was ready to get back out there. As far as on the road, I only had one verbal altercation with a coal truck in Chester, IL; otherwise, the roads and the drivers were as good as one could hope.

What’s your advice to others who might like to go on such a journey? First, just go! Don’t get hung up on how old or how out of shape you are. A 76 year old lady completed cycling the TransAm just before I finished; and I rode from Sebree, KY to Missoula, MT, with a blind, diabetic, tandem-riding, 65 yr old lady with only one donated kidney. If we can do it, you can too. Secondly, there are resources for those who are not seasoned cycle-tourists. For instance, the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA)  has formal routes & fantastic maps of trails such as the TransAmerica trail; and Warm Showers is a great way to meet people, learn about the area quickly, and get fantastic accommodations, most of them free. Finally, you’ll have to let go. If you’re a control freak like me, you’ll spend a couple of weeks realizing you are not in charge of this trip – way too many factors to tip the apple cart. Once you let go and relax, then you’ll have the time of your life!

What’s next? My hopes are that my wife, Christa, can enjoy touring as much as I do. (Perhaps on a smaller scale, less than 2 week long rail-trail tours.) Also, plans are being made for a reunion ride on some trails in Europe for me and the small crew (from Britain and New Zealand) with whom I ended up riding most of the way to Missoula, MT. I would also like to ride the new Canada trails in sections; it’s 22,000 km with no cars. In the future, I’ll be enjoying a lot of single day rides and credit card trips, too. But, most importantly this trip reminded me how much I love to ride. Oct. 24, Jim will speak about his journey at the Fall HRBike meeting.