2023 CycleService Blog
Final Day: Ventura, CA:
8/24/2023, 11:33am – Lucas Beyer
3500 of 3500 Miles
Well, here we are. How did this happen?
One day at a time, we inched our way across the United States. In doing so, we made a statement about how important it is to experience our natural world. We soaked in every mountain pass and fresh fruit stand. We felt the heartbeat of each small town and ran through each big city, yet the more we see, the more we realize how massive and diverse this world is.
We are just regular people who dedicated the past few months to a simple life. This time in the saddle has emphasized the importance of time spent in the natural world — even if just a ride down your street or a walk in the woods. We are physically in Ventura, CA, now, but it began years ago when I would frequently muse at this location on a map. We did not teleport here or take regular means of transportation; instead, we took the road less traveled, and we urge you to do the same. We think you will find it incredibly gratifying.
The most exciting half is still ahead of us with 100 kids riding their first bike in the next two weeks. Join us this weekend in Ventura, CA for festivities with @patagoniavta @love.vta and @bikevta and the following week for our ride in Buffalo, NY!
DAY 79, Angeles National Forest:
8/18/2023, 12:11pm – Lucas Beyer
3352 of 3500 Miles
We spent the day weaving through pines in the Angles national forest. We planned to summit and sleep at the top, looking over Los Angeles. It was easy climbing up this mountain because (1) our legs are pistons now, and (2) we wanted to feel everything. In our last stretch of wilderness, we felt overwhelmed with gratitude.
Open space that expands forever lends great reflection. Nick says, “I’m going to set up and sit here. Just looking.” It feels like the last stronghold until integrating with the world again, but as long as we are up here, we can’t reach them, and they can’t reach us. We can escape reality for one night longer here.
DAY 78, Victorville, CA:
8/16/2023, 1:37am – Lucas Beyer
3247 of 3500 Miles
The rural areas are no longer. Today we rode through the last remote area of the trip, which sounds weird to say. From here to the Pacific Ocean, we’re in town after town and city after city. The buildings only get taller as the crowds get larger.
We reconnected with historic Route 66, which we hadn’t been on since early Kansas. We went 23 miles with no services before finding this bottle museum. From here on, the longest stretch with no services will be 10 miles at most. Spirits are high — we’re so close!
DAY 75, Jean, NV:
8/13/2023, 1:04am – Lucas Beyer
3077 of 3500 Miles
This is a picture of Nick in his happy place. We had just pulled over to this fresh-cut fruit stand when it was 101 degrees. We left Vegas and aim to cross the Mojave Desert in one shot tomorrow. The forecasted temps are cool, and the longest stretch without water is 50 miles, so we’re feeling good.
We had a great experience seeing Vegas and even meeting up with a Boston College alum() who lives there now! The atmosphere in the city is undoubtedly different than what we’ve been used to, but we’re glad we got to see that iconic part of the U.S.
Photo #2 is the famous garden inside the Bellagio Hotel.
DAY 72, Valley of Fire State Park, NV:
8/10/2023, 4:45pm – Lucas Beyer
3037 of 3500 Miles
It is hard to take in all the beauty we’re surrounded with as we ride. Between Utah and Nevada, these are some of the most remote landscapes we’ve stepped foot on, but with the high temperatures, it is hard to focus on the beauty in front of us. The heat makes our minds cloudy. We know when looking back in three weeks, the idea of biking through these 70-mile stretches of untouched nature will feel like a dream.
The pavement must be 150 degrees, and almost no animals are in sight. The two horses we saw in the field were in a trance, displaying the landscape’s sheer power. The metal buttons on my shirt are hot to the touch, and if we stop moving, we might be stuck here for eternity. So we keep going, one foot over the other.
DAY 71, Mesquite, NV:
8/9/2023, 10:20pm – Lucas Beyer
2977 of 3500 Miles
The landscape changed overnight when leaving Utah. St. George was spotted with palm trees and the surrounding area with cacti. It’s beginning to feel like California. We passed a sign that read “National Parks – that way,” and the arrow pointed in the opposite direction. While passing that sign, it hit us how much time and distance has passed. It felt like we would never make it through all the national parks, and now they’re photographs on our phones.
Las Vegas is the last big checkpoint between here and Ventura, and we can taste the salt from the Pacific Ocean in the air.
Day 68, Zion National Park, UT:
8/6/2023, 1:39pm – Lucas Beyer
2882 of 3500 Miles
We spent the past day hiking The Narrows of Zion National Park! It was one of the most unique hikes we’ve ever done, and we got to do it with some family that met up with us.
The Narrows is a hike through a riverbed at the bottom of a 300ft+ canyon. Although the hike was busy, we did our best to stay off the beaten path. We’d walk up the strongest section of the current in areas where other people could take the land path. If you’re going to do something hard, why not make it super hard, right?
Day 66, Orderville, UT:
8/3/2023, 12:12pm – Lucas Beyer
2837 of 3500 Miles
We left Bryce feeling a little down yesterday after having such a great experience. Rolling out of the park, we both wondered when we would return. We got a massive tear in Lucas’ sleeping pad, and the next REI store is in Las Vegas. Between now and then it might mean some sleeping on the ground, but last night at East Zion helped us out with a room.
We began working on a video that will be shown at Patagonia Ventura on Aug 26th. We started by talking about all that we’ve experienced around a campfire. There’s so much that we forget. Virginia and Tennessee both feel like a lifetime ago. Creating a film about our adventures forces us to think hard about what we’ve felt and seen. It will be special to share with you all.
Day 65, Bryce Canyon, UT:
8/2/2023, 3:35pm – Lucas Beyer
2802 of 3500 Miles
It was challenging to understand how a place like this was created. We both wondered what it was like when the first group of Indians stumbled upon this area.
The tall statue-like structures are called “hoodoos.” Each day the rain and wind erode more of this natural wonder, but at the same time, more of it is being created. On the edge of the rim, you can see more hoodoos beginning to form. This space is constantly evolving.
Even though we had never been here, the park felt oddly familiar. We realized that seeing all the families walking around reminded us of our families 2000+ miles away. We saw the young kids walking on the hand railings and rolling in the dirt. That was totally us.
Day 62, Esclante, UT:
7/30/2023, 11:59pm – Lucas Beyer
2767 of 3500 Miles
We rode through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. This area of Utah was the last to be mapped in all of the continental United States. Boulder, UT, where we camped last night, was the last town in the US to have their mail delivered by horse.
We have been thinking about the most important lessons we’ve learned and stories we’ve collected while touring. As we begin to think about the final leg, it is crucial that we carry on what we have learned authentically. To begin, traveling on two wheels has shown us the fleeting nature of life. We want to do so much in our lives but have so little time. Because of this, we feel a sense of urgency. A fire burns within us. We feel like we want to do it all at once and tackle the world while we still can, but with only 24hrs in a day, we’re reminded that if we want to do something we should do it now and not wait for the perfect opportunity.
P.S. We love it when we see a 14% grade downhill sign.
Day 60, Chris:
7/28/2023, 9:47pm – Lucas Beyer
2732 of 3500 Miles
Chris was 20 when he hit the road in his camper-converted truck looking for adventure. When he was coming up on graduation, he said, “A high school classmate asked me, ‘What are you gonna do with your life?’ I’m hitting the road I said” After that, they set off together. Chris wound up living in a tee-pee for a winter in Oregon. He then built out his ‘Into the Wild’ school bus where he lived for 12 years. He was doing van life before it was popular.
We caught his attention because he is a bike tourist himself. We rolled up to his house at 10pm and by 11:30pm he was telling stories of his experience biking through southern France while we ate pan-fried hot dogs at his kitchen table. Light beamed from his eyes when he spoke about his adventures. After living in Torrey, UT, for 20 years, he tells us the road calls again. He’s considering selling his house and possessions to live a nomadic lifestyle. “I’ll travel around in my van and follow the changing seasons.” He says travel was his informal education in life.
Day 54, Arches National Park, CO:
7/23/2023, 11:37pm – Lucas Beyer
2476 of 3500 Miles
We spent the past day exploring Arches National Park. Gratitude overwhelmed us as we met people traveling worldwide to be here. It was like we were on Mars at some point.
We felt so fortunate yesterday. Many of the arches have fallen over the years, making us wonder if we were looking at arches that would become ruins in our lifetime. We watched the sunset over Delicate Arch while the stone monuments turned red to purple and black, mirroring the sunset.
Day 49, Gunnison, CO:
7/17/2023, 10:35am – Lucas Beyer
2346 of 3500 Miles
We are trying to savor every bit of Colorado as it flies by. We are in western Colorado now and will cross into Moab before we know it. In the two days we spent in Salida, CO, for a rest day, we felt like we had become part of the town. By the end, we would walk around town and recognize people we had either met at the grocery store or surfing. It’s called the Salida Swirl for a reason. Once you get in, it’s very tough to leave.
We are in the center of the rocky mountains making the temperature cooler. As we inch toward Utah, we’re starting to think about the heat.
Days 43 - 45, Salida, CO:
7/14/2023, 11:18am – Lucas Beyer
2221 of 3500 Miles
Between Colorado Springs and Salida, we have had some of the most memorable days so far. Leaving the Springs, we took Gold Camp road (picture 1). When I think about the landscapes that captivated John Muir, David Thoreau, and others alike, this is what I imagine they saw. Pine tree-dotted mountainsides that fold on top of one another. The gravel feels amazing under our tires. We slept in Pike National Forest under the open air (picture 2).
Our route the next day was Cripple Creek to Salida. It was 4:30pm and we had 40 miles to go when a group of men said, “Over here, boys!” They were sitting outside this wooden garage (picture 3). We rolled our bikes over, and Bill shook our hands, “You’re staying in those cabins over there, and what can I get you to drink?” We look at each other, totally confused. We could not turn down the adventure, so we ended up staying in a beautiful cabin they keep for bikers.
Now we are in Salida, CO, where we took uncured dirt roads all the way here (picture 4). We have a rest day in town, where we hope to try river surfing on the Arkansas River. Colorado has been nothing but a dream so far.
7/11/2023, 12:34am – Lucas Beyer
2121 of 3500 Miles
We summited Pikes Peak with Nick, his father, and Lucas yesterday. It has been a memorable few days in The Springs between the community ride and family visiting. It’s bittersweet hitting the road again. After getting a taste of what the mountains will be like, we can’t wait to hit it, but knowing that California will be the next time we will see family is a heavy thought. As we sit down to reflect, we can’t help but think how fast the summer is flying by. Summers always fly by fast — but packing five years of life into three months forces us to soak in every second. We’re sipping from a firehose.
Second Community Ride - Colorado Springs
7/8/2023, 7:52pm – Lucas Beyer
2121 of 3500 Miles
Yesterday we got to Skyway Elementary School at 9:10am for our Resurgence Ride where we donated 53 bikes. We had been working together with Kids on Bikes and SRAM to plan the event since October 2022, and suddenly, there we were. No longer virtual friends. We greeted each other with hugs like we had been long-time friends, and in many ways, we had. We shared a common goal; we had worked and dreamed together for months to make it happen.
10 o’clock rolled around, and the day began to fly by. A line of kids seemed to spawn at the front door of the middle school. One after another, the checked-in bikers began wheeling their newly owned bikes. In our minds, summer camp check-in was underway, and we were counselors. We took a few minutes to explain to the kids that we had biked here from Virginia. We got questions like, “How do you survive?” or “How do you go up really steep hills.” The children’s curiosity about what we were doing was reassuring; it was a reminder that we can touch this younger crowd and hopefully leave an impression.
We spent the afternoon playing bike games and bonding on the pump track. After a few laps on the pump track, one girl announced, “This is the most fun I’ve had in my entire life!!” From the beginning, it has always been about sharing the joy the outdoors and biking offers. On that track, it didn’t matter how old you were or what neighborhood you came from — what we all had in common were our bikes and the desire to ride.
Day 37, Lamar, CO: Roger
7/5/2023, 10:30am – Lucas Beyer
1944 of 3500 Miles
In the Philippines, Roger found out he could buy a doughnut for .25¢. Naturally, he began buying trash bags worth and giving them away to kids in the city, making a name for himself as “Doughnut Man.”
Roger spotted us while driving Route 50 into Colorado. When he and his mom spotted us for the second time in Lamar, CO, he said he had to stop us. Over dinner at Las Brisas, he told us stories from his life. From selling burritos in town at 14 years old to living in a gang-run neighborhood in Los Angeles, he says “he’s never been fearful of doing something he feels compassion for.”
Roger is thankful to have beaten cancer in 2018 and now plans to retire in the Philippines, where he will continue his legacy as Doughnut Man. Roger carries a “compassion that stands in awe of what people have to carry, rather than a judgment of how they carry it.”
Day 36, Montezuma, KS: Jerrell & Family
7/4/2023, 11:07am – Lucas Beyer
1839 of 3500 Miles
Have you ever seen the type of bike that places the biker in a laid-back reclined position with the pedals in front? It’s called a recumbent bike, and Jerell is one of the few recumbent manufacturers in the US.
We had a broken spoke, and Jerrell’s bike factory, Phoenix Bike Wrx, was the only bike-related shop going west in 300 miles. The shop is entirely run by Jerrrell, with his wife and kids. This Sunday afternoon, while Jerrell fixed the wheel and we spoke with his family, we realized this was not a bike shop. They do not repair broken bikes, especially not on a Sunday afternoon. Using heavy machinery, they built high-end recumbent bikes from the weld up. Despite meeting the family this day, we were treated like dearly important friends of theirs.
In Montezuma, KS, population 951, Jerrel has built a world-class recumbent bike factory. A sturdy weld and straight frame can be the difference between hitting top speeds and a life-altering injury, so Jerrell spent weeks living in his shop to perfect the welding technique. From precision welding to CNC router operation, he wears many hats thanks to self-guided instruction. One of these skills may take people years to master, but he tells us, “it was just sink or swim. I learned quickly, or the business failed.”
Jerrell embodies a contagious spirit; we feel called to a higher standard because of it. Here are some ideas which stuck with us:
Jerrell doesn’t do much marketing. He says, “if you build a good product, it will sell itself.”
“A skill takes 10,000 hours to master, but you only need to master one. Once you’ve learned one skill, the next comes easier and takes 1/10 of the time.”
Overall, what stuck with us the most was his generosity — his willingness to spend Sunday fixing our bikes and telling us how his dream became a reality.
Day 32, St. John, KS
6/28/2023, 9:50am – Lucas Beyer
1707 of 3500 Miles
Today we realized that Kansas has been really, really good to us. In a state known for tornados and wind, we’ve experienced almost none. Today we flew through the straight roads, going 100 miles in about 8 hours. We made five turns the whole day and saw enough corn to feed ten tribes. Some might consider these straight roads mind-numbing, but we’ve found ourselves having great conversations and forgetting the time.
We’ve passed through a lot of struggling towns at this point. In a small town’s main square, it’s not uncommon to see the law office, dentist, and antique store collecting dust. St. John stuck a cord with us, though. While biking around town this evening, we envisioned the spirit of this happening town in the 80s. Today, on Friday night, we saw only a few restaurant patrons and lesser in the town square. It made us feel like we wanted to return here one day and make a difference. We have no idea how, but the feeling simmers within us. One bike at a time, we hope to inspire the next generation of people who will go on to do things we can only dream of.
Day 30, Eureka, KS: Daniel
6/28/2023, 9:50am – Lucas Beyer
1546 of 3500 Miles
Daniel owns Lomar Drive-In with his wife in Eureka, Kansas, a restaurant in town since the 1960s. Only two years ago, he was homeless, cashing bottles in Eugene, Oregon.
While trying to make it living out of a tent, he found himself dealing with drugs. During the pandemic, he discovered a relief stipend from the state for which he and his wife qualified. This sum of money could potentially turn his life around, and “we knew we had to make the most of it.” He left the state with his wife to start a new chapter scott-free. While driving across the US, he was pulled over in Eureka, Kansas, with possession of drugs. Following some jail time, he decided to make his new life right where he landed. “Because of the work of God” he tells us, “we were able to buy the restaurant” enabling them to be homeowners. Daniel and his wife’s story are an inspiration for the town through the restaurant where he turns out classic drive-in-style burgers and posts weekly bible verses for customers to see. Daniel has been clean for two years now and attributes all the changes in his life to God and faith.
I could not wrap my mind around how drastically Daniel’s life had changed in two years. He tells us since the change, “I’ve noticed so much more about the world now that I’m paying attention to it.” He has completely left his old life behind and started anew. We met Daniel when we stopped in to grab a burger.
Day 27: Pittsburg, KS
6/25/2023, 11:56pm – Lucas Beyer
1411 of 3500 Miles
We treked 85 miles from Hartville, MO to Pittsburgh, KS today. The high hit 92 degrees without a cloud in the sky. Three weeks ago 92 degrees would have been unbarable, but today, even though it was hot it didn’t seem as bad.
Some days are beginning to blur together especially between all the corn fields. There is a type of fatigue we felt after the first few big climbs, but we are starting to feel a new type of fitigue. The tiredness of a weary traveler. Between the bug bites and thick humidity at night, it can be tough to get sleep. There is a type of coming to terms with the fact that this is who we are for the foreseeable future. We wouldn’t have it any other way. It is an awesome thing that we feel every human emotion in a day. It’s a reminder for me that all good things come with a price and one day I’ll appreciate clean bed sheets and a car that much more.
6/21/2023, 11:37am – Lucas Beyer
1101 of 3500 Miles
Aiming to bike the United States in roughly 3 weeks, Pierre is in 9th place in The Trans Am Bike Race. The previous 25 miles he biked before we met him at the roadside gas station “I ran out of water and was seeing stars” he told us. He has been eating out of gas stations for the past two weeks and is carrying the bare minimum to get by. Half of his storage is used for bike tools, leaving him with two small pouches to fit a tarp which he wraps himself in to sleep in at night, and one spare change of clothes.
After dropping out of the continental European race last year, he is determined to finish despite dealing with hemorrhoids. When asked what he misses most, he answered “My family, salads, and my couch.” Pierre has approximately 5 days of biking 180 miles on little sleep until he is reunited with his family and salads. When we have a reason for doing, the means will always follow.
6/17/2023, 9:49am – Lucas Beyer
857 of 3500 Miles
When Leo stuck up a conversation with us at the gas station, we both realized there was something special about him. Light radiated from every pore and his spirit was contagious. We agreed that we could listen to Leo talk about the phone book all evening because he was in a constant state of amazement at everything. He told us about the snow-white beaches in Mobile, Alabama followed by “phhew gollyy.” From the oysters when he’s at the beach to the hummingbirds on his property, everything blew him away.
Over the next few hours, still reeling from the interaction, we talked about what about him stuck with us. We realized he never lost his spark. Leo is 80 years old and still able to be moved by a few hummingbirds and tasty dishes. What it boils down to, is he never stopped letting himself see the world like a child. The scariest thing is not growing old, or losing our way. What is most terrifying, is losing the ability to be moved by one another. When we grow old, we hope we are as excited about life as Leo.
6/16/2023, 3:33pm – Nick Clark
802 of 3500 Miles
Yesterday we explored the iconic city of Nashville. We got to see the Parthenon, a local art gallery and eat authentic hot chicken at Hattie B’s. The chicken was fantastic, everything you could want from a Nashville restaurant. We knew what to expect when we saw a line out the door wrapping halfway around the building.
We rang in the night walking up and down Broadway and got to experience both the local and tourist bars the city is famous for. All in all it was a good day.
Crossville, TN: Chris
6/14/2023, 9:53am – Lucas Beyer
732 of 3500 Miles
“The two of you combined is a whole lot of me” Chris is the type of guy that would give you the shirt off his back. He saw himself in Lucas wanting to give bikes to kids who might not have the opportunity otherwise. Likewise, saw himself in Nick when Lucas was stepped for a 2nd team rider “and your boy (Nick) hooked up. That’s me right there too.”
Chris doesn’t meet to many people between taking care of his mom and home repairs, it’s difficult. It was late when we rolled past Chris’ house needing a place to camp and he wanted to be part of our story.
Around a fire that night, he asked why can’t things be more simple like this. “You’ve got tomatoes” he said and “I’ve got corn. Why can’t we meet in the middle and make a salad?”
6/13/2023, 9:35am – Nick Clark
732 of 3500 Miles
Today we experienced a beautiful day of riding. A few clouds and a slight breeze makes all the difference when we’re on the road all day. Waking up refreshed from our hotel stay in Kingston we met the pleasant weather with zest as we began our ride for the day. Along our route we passed a trailhead sign for Ozone falls and feeling intrigued we stowed the bikes in the woods and went for a hike. It was a short but rocky jaunt that was well worth our time. We were rewarded within minutes with a view of one of the most majestic waterfalls we’ve ever seen. The sun had just started to peak out and we were quite toasty so we jumped in the pool below. It was a great spot to relax for awhile, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves taking pictures, making a few new friends and trying to stand on a giant floating log lumberjack style.
The second half of our day was filled with gorgeous pastoral views as the sun sank low in the sky. Just as twilight began to overcome us we were greeted on the side of the road by a friendly smile and wave. Pulling to the shoulder, we introduced ourselves to Chris and got so wrapped up in our discussion of bikes that we almost caused him to burn the steaks he was barbecuing. We had the distinct pleasure of listening to Chris’ many stories of his own biking days and we instantly became good friends. He was kind enough to let us camp in his yard and cook on his stove which we did happily and spent hours into the night getting to know each other around a roaring fire under the bright Tennessee stars.
Point A to Point B
6/12/2023, 12:36am – Lucas Beyer
667 of 3500 Miles
Today we left Knoxville with full hearts. We’re ahead of schedule, so we thought we would simply bike west until we got tired. We made it to Kingston, TN, before it began thundering, so we called it around 7pm. Taking shelter in the first place we could find, we found ourselves under a large church awning. Next thing we knew, we were talking with five volunteers from the church who were all interested in our story.
The members of the church community informed us that the county was under a tornado watch for a storm in the area. While the conversation continued, the rain started dumping out of the sky. For dinner, we had planned on beans and potatoes, but once Chris heard this, he insisted on taking us out to barbecue. While sharing dinner with Chris, we exchanged stories, and he related his similar experience of annually biking from New Jersey to DC for a charity. Over the next 30 minutes, the storm warning became imminent, so Drew, another church member, booked us a hotel room to be safe.
Between the food and the kindness, we were deeply moved by what could prompt strangers to act with such generosity. We witnessed a beautiful thing in that restaurant. I never thought a barbecue brisket and sweet tea could be so thought-provoking. This group must have seen a glimpse of light within our story, and they reflected back the whole sun.
Yes, 200 kids are receiving bikes this summer, but what is even more special are the 2,000 lives that are touched in the process. Chris said its a special thing when an idea gets legs, but “no one ever goes from point A to point B without the help from others.”
First Community Ride - Knoxville, TN
6/10/2023, 4:37pm – Lucas Beyer
607 of 3500 Miles
Today it became real. I witnessed the first kid get on a bike that was provided through CycleService. The 650 miles of biking to get here, the fundraising, the planning, the learning, and it all came down to this. A young boy getting on his new bike while his mom steadied the handlebars. I couldn’t believe it. The tires rolled, and the brakes worked. For some reason, I thought we would never get to this moment to see a real kid riding a real bike. It was all a figure of my imagination. Soon more and more kids were lining up to receive their bikes. They would get on as their expression changed from fear to concentration while doing the balancing act.
It’s truly a beautiful thing that you have all allowed us to pass on this gift which has meant so much to us. In the parking lot after the event, most people had packed up and gone home, but there was still one kid riding his bike around the parking lot. Looping back and forth, back and forth. I saw myself in him. I thought, “If just one kid out of the 50 today falls in love with the outdoors and lets it change their life as much as it did mine, the whole summer would be a success.”
Our next event will be in Colorado Springs, CO, with Kids on Bikes. We have 1,500 miles and 28 days between now and then, but after today, I certainly have a lot to chew on. Ride on.
6/8/2023, 11:38pm – Lucas Beyer
567 of 3500 Miles
We spent the past night with Seamus Galvin, a good friend and large part of what CycleService is today. After a good rest in a bed, we passed through our first town, Jonesborough, TN. We had no idea what the significance of the town was, but as soon as we saw Main Street, I said “Nick we have to check this out.” It turns out Jonesborough is the oldest town in Tennessee.
Around lunch we found this beautiful church to grab a snack. While we were eating, a couple pulled in telling us about the significance of the Blue Springs Cemetery church. It turns out the woman we met, Beverly, has been managing the restoration project for the church since 2015. She gave us a tour of the inside.
We sped through empty country roads on the way to Mohawk, TN. We saw Pettit’s Market on the side of road with a sign reading “lasagna special.” That was a quick u-turn.
The community was so welcoming and let us camp behind the church in town. We’re looking forward to pancakes in the morning at Pettit’s.
Day #6: Blacksburg, VA
6/4/2023, 11:30pm – Lucas Beyer
383 of 3500 Miles
We caught the 10:30am service at a local church in Roanoke. The church turned out to be a unique sect of Lebanese Catholicism with a congregation of ~40. After, there was a Lebanese food festival which we stuck around for 30 minutes or so.
The rear shifter on Lucas’ bike was clicking so we took it into Cardinal Bicycle where they took care of us. We’ve learned pretty quickly that the bike community is awesome. They got our bikes in great shape, gave us coffee, and even offered to let us use their showers! Thanks to Kyle, Ryan, and Hunter for the awesome hospitality.
For the next 5 hours we cranked out miles on country roads while crossing paths with the Appalachian Trail. We’d go miles without seeing a single person. Cow pastures forever. The mountains in southwest Virginia are no joke, we saw some breathtaking landscapes. Tonight we made camp in Blacksburg, VA in a public park. We’re both looking forward to see what tomorrow holds.
38 of 3500 Miles
We are a few days into our journey and so far, have had an incredible experience. Our first night we camped wilderness style outside of the smallest town we’ve ever seen. Charles “City” consists of exactly one restaurant, one post office and one town court. We questioned the necessity of the latter in a town so small, and were further befuddled after meeting the towns’ inhabitants. The people we met were the absolute kindliest of folks. Upon entering the restaurant we were welcomed with a prayer for our safety and a free meal. We hungrily indulged in some burgers and chickens wings that could kick the butt of our home town (sorry Buffalo).
To anyone who happens to find themselves passing through Charles City be sure to check out Cul’s Courthouse! (Funny enough that’s the restaurant not the court).
Send-Off in Virginia
5/29/2023, 7:25am – Lucas Beyer
0 of 3500 Miles
Today is the day!
Nick and I are in Yorktown, Virginia. We finished assembling the bikes yesterday and took them fully loaded with our gear for a spin. We use clip-in pedals, meaning our feet are locked in while riding. Although these pedals are commonplace for tourists, they take some getting used to. At our first intersection, I stopped but couldn’t unlock my feet in time. I slowly toppled over while frozen in time. Laying on the ground, I struggled to remove my feet, still locked into the bike while traffic whizzed by. I learned quickly that I have to free my feet before stopping. A few blocks later, I released my right foot only to fall over left.
It’s going to be a learning curve.
We are 12 days from our first community ride in Knoxville with Two Bikes! The 50 children’s bikes have been received at the shop. Thankfully, their pedals aren’t clip-in.