In this picture Daedalus and I are riding up Independence Pass between Twin Lakes and Aspen. It was mid September. The aspens golden. The summer tourists gone. Nearer to the top I stopped, set the bike down, and admired the view. While standing on the narrow shoulder, a car heading down the pass slowed enough for a woman on the passenger side of a climate-controlled SUV to open her window and ask, “Are you all right?”
Smiling through the grey and white of my beard I met her eyes and said, “Never better.” And meant it, with every cell of my body, knowing that there would be another bicycle adventure in my future.
That was several years ago. The time for that next adventure is finally here. With three friends I will soon be leaving on the bicycle adventure of my lifetime, from Astoria, Or. to Akron, O. We’re not out to set a speed record. This is for pleasure. This is for unplugging. And, it’s a pilgrimage. I was born in Akron. Grew up and became a young Icarus there. And, like the youth in the myth, childhood ended there. It’s time for a return to the heartland, and not with the quick in and out of airline travel. Instead, the slow motion cadence of a bicycle pedaling.
I want my parents to enjoy it too. Neither one is able to travel anymore. Hopefully, they will recognize and vicariously enjoy the journey into the heartland of this magnificent land. My goal is to search for beauty and inspiration while pedaling through each day, the progressively changing countryside for a pallet. We plan to average 60 miles per day. The best of it I will share on this blog and on a Facebook page of the same name. Curious? Why don’t you follow along?