The motivation to move – Introduction

Introduction to the dream

It is hard to pinpoint when a dream begins: a wisp of a thought of ‘should’ or a long-sought epiphany that howls with a biblical sort of ‘must’. I believe I have been dreaming of this bike trip, in one way or another, for a very long time. I think the creeping tentacles of this dream began when I was a five-year-old tomboy growing up in Indiana. From the moment I learned to ride, I dreamed about riding further than my ‘boundaries’. I imagined what it would be like to just get on the bike and to keep going out of the neighbourhood and on and on. Sometimes as I rode up and down my street, I imagined I was riding my bike to California to meet Luke Skywalker. I had a pretty big crush on him and his life of adventure at the time. Read more

The motivation to move – The bike and gear

I bought a Cannondale T800 in 2005. I’m riding it close to stock. I have replaced the seat with a women’s Terry Liberator. For a long time, I wrestled with whether or not to get clipless pedals. I planned to spend a lot of time off the bike hiking, and didn’t want to take an extra pair of shoes, or worry about wearing out cleats in the middle of nowhere, so I decided toe clips on the stock platform pedals would be fine. I figured that at the speed I travel I’d never really notice the difference in pedalling efficiency. (Note: after the trip I was perfectly happy with this decision). Read more

The motivation to move – Preparation


Not much, really. For the last 6 months of my PhD I was in front of the computer 10 or more hours each day. I’d also done very little physical activity in the 3 years of the PhD, and couldn’t remember when I’d last ridden my bike any appreciable distance. I’d gained about 8 pounds in these 3 years.

Route and Gear:

So the dream was to ride from Anderson, Indiana to Fort Collins, Colorado, averaging 50 miles a day with rest days once or week or whenever there was something interesting to see along the way. Read more