It’s a bucket list item for sure…our idea of bicycle touring quickly morphed into an epic journey to ride our bikes from Bellingham to the farthest point away in the continental US. And so it began – the mapping of our “Ride C2C” journey from corner to corner, coast to coast, Bellingham to Key West. Self-supported, self-guided, self-propelled. Since we can’t just take 4 months off, we had to plan this trip in “4-week legs” – we will ride as far as we get in 4 weeks and then, the following summer, start at that point to begin the next leg,every summer until we dip our tires into the Atlantic ocean.
I bike because I love it. Besides, my knee condition prevents me from walking much and I certainly don’t run or do any impact sports anymore. Way too much pain for that.
It’s a long story that ends, so far (spoiler alert) with 10 knee surgeries and severe osteoarthritis in both knees at age 55. It all started at age 13 with an open knee surgery to remove all of the lateral meniscus in my left knee. I was a collegiate competitive runner and at age 24 I learned the crushing news that I already had severe osteoarthritis and my doctor said if I wanted to walk when I was 30, I needed to stop all impact sports immediately. Life Changing Event.
I swapped my skis and my running shoes for a bike and I’ve never looked back. I’ve ridden my bike around the world (10 month tour in 1990), I’ve raced road and mt. bikes for local teams, commute to work, get groceries on my bike, coach others on their bikes (watch for the Healthy Knees Coach program coming soon). Cycling has helped me beat the odds for my knees and kept my head on straight all these years. I love the joy and freedom of riding a bike and sharing that joy and the resulting physical benefits with others so much that I wrote a book “Healthy Knees Cycling” that became an international best seller.
My husband and I love a challenge. We have wanted to do a cross-country bike ride for many years, but work and family life has kept us from it. Three big factors fell into place to allow us to take a 4 week journey across the country. 1) Doug is a now professor at Whatcom Community College and has summers off. 2) our kids are adults and off on their own 3) I can leave our business Bellingham Training & Tennis Club, for a long stretch since we have a fantastic team.
Are my knees going to handle it? That’s a big unknown but I am just going to say YES. It’s so good to say YES to things in your life!
I’ve had more than a few people say “but when are you just going to relax on a beach?”
Riding a bike is my favorite way to vacation. You go fast enough to get somewhere new each day, yet slow enough to hear the birds and the hidden waterfalls and meet cool folks along the way. It’s easy to get “in the zone” – totally zenning out while pedaling away, mind connected to your surroundings, yet free to wander. Oh, and extra benefit, you get to eat alot. We’ll burn an extra 2,000-3,000 calories every day. Yes, we are camping and cooking on this trip so you can look forward to hearing about our culinary delights in one-pot meals.
I’ll write a blog so you can keep track of our mis-adventures … come on along and take a peek at our ride across the country.
If you like what we are doing, are glad you won’t be on a bike for four weeks, want to live vicariously through our travels, or simply think we are crazy, I hope you’ll donate to one of our three organizations in whose work we strongly believe.
Why? It’s local and we absolutely LOVE where we live. We want to support the good people who do good work in our home county to help keep it the most beautiful place on earth. Their programs help connect people, ideas, resources, and opportunities for greater impact.
Why? Robin has had a total of 10 knee surgeries and severe osteo-arthritis in both knees. She still has her “own” knees and cycling is what keeps them healthy. We’d love to help find a cure for Arthritis. This ride will be the ultimate challenge for a bad set of knees.
Why? One bicycle can change an entire community. The WBR provides a cottage industry and new transportation that changes lives in many countries in Africa. With the bikes, student school attendance is up 28%; community healthcare volunteers make 45% more patient visits; dairy farmers increase deliveries by 25%. One bike is just $147. With that bike you will change a life.