Blog Page - Travis Bernard
  • Mon, 17 Sep 2018 13:16:07 -0400

    Southern Tier Fall 2018 Bike Ride

    I was asked by some friends and family to document and share my experiences on my upcoming bicycle trip across the southern tier of the United States of America.  So, I’ve created this space to hold my thoughts and photos and share with those who want to visit.  

    I should first apologize and say that I’m not the best social media user / mass sharer of information of a personal nature.  I grew up before social media and sharing every experience with any and everyone became the norm.  So, posting here and sharing is a bit of a….  stretch for me personally.  :) . oh well.

    As a bit of background, I’ll first tell you about my upcoming bicycle trip and some context for why I’m writing here.

    Southern Tier 2018
    Sept. 16 - Nov 22, 2018

    I’m joining 10 other people to ride my bicycle across the US for 2 months.  I’m going to be dragging along a trailer fully loaded with everything (hopefully) I’ll need to camp each night as we move day-by-day across the southern states of the USA.  

    We will depart from San Diego, California by dipping our bicycle wheels in the Pacific Ocean.  Ultimately, 66 days later, we’ll dip our wheels in the Atlantic Ocean in St. Augustine Florida.

    Along the way, I hope to experience more of the USA than I can even imagine right now.  I remember from other long distance biking tours the amazing feeling that comes with seeing small towns and meeting people who live in them as we pass by on our bikes, camp or stop in small stores, restaurants or coffee shops.  One truly sees the world (the landscape, the people, the climate) in a different way when riding slowly through on a bike.  Side roads and small community streets versus zooming by on the freeway in a car (or passing overhead in a plane) make all the difference.  

    A part of me wants to believe I have an idea of what’s in store.  I think, “I’ve ridden long distance before - this will be something similar.”  However, so much of my memory of past trips is made up of the unexpected events - things which would never have occurred except for being in the right place at the right moment in time.  Moments like a local resident seeing all of us riding by and deciding to bring out a pitcher of water to refill our water bottles.  Or a stranger stopping to help change a biker’s flat tire on the side of the road, or even give a ride to the nearby bike shop.  Because of these small moments, each past trip was unlike the others..  And those trips were only 550 miles and 7 days,  

    So, for this trip, I’ve tried to tell myself to simply sit back (ha! as I pedal the whole way) and enjoy the surprises that are sure to come my way.  I want to remember all those little things that happen along the upcoming 3200 miles between San Diego and Florida. So, I’ll do my best to document at least some of the highlights here.

    I can’t wait to pass through states I haven’t yet ever visited - New Mexico, Alabama, Mississippi - and see new parts of states I have visited - California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana and Florida.  I’m sure both the new and the previously visited cities will have fresh and different stories to tell.  Feel free to follow along if you wish.  :)

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