My brother and I bought road bikes that were our main transportation in high school. But we also put on a bunch of trip miles one summer. We biked to a church camp and were too tired to bike all the way home. I remember that Dad was busy and wasn’t very pleased about having to pick us up for the return trip.
But our biggest trek was from Aberdeen SD to Itasca State Park in Minnesota – about 300 miles one way. Four of us headed off with our clothes and belongings, basically rolled up in a sleeping bag and strapped on the back of the bike.
The first day was interesting. We were on Highway 10 headed into Britton, SD and one of the bikers went into the ditch and blew a tire. We hitched a ride and scoured this small town for another tire. We finally found one and got the bike back on the road. We still made almost 100 miles that day to Forman, ND and we stayed in a covered picnic shelter. That night there were tornado warnings in the area and it poured rain. The other thing is I had to scrub my brother’s hinder with a special soap and a foam brush – he’d developed some kind of rash before the trip. Sure he’s glad I shared this with you all.
The rest of the trip was fairly smooth. There are a couple things I remember. The top of my thighs were tan, but the rest of my legs were pretty much white. The shoulder of roads in MN were very narrow and tight. A few wind brushes with trucks were exhilarating. We came in contact with people who were very interested and gracious to us. There were “markers” that pushed us on – like a water tower or rest area or sometimes just seeing wildlife.
But what I remember most is that you can live simply. You can slow life down. You don’t need a lot of clothes. You can make do with less. We were passed by motorhomes that had every convenience, but we both made it to the same place and I am guessing we saw more along the way.