ELEVEN YEARS AGO, I participated in the California AIDS/LifeCycle ride, cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles. As I rolled over the finish line at the end of the event, I vowed to myself to figure out a way to make cycling my living. Years went by. I picked up running and severely pulled my groin during the Los Angeles marathon. Another year went by and my doctor said I had to stop running for a few months.
The next day, I began my 8 days of preparation for a bike ride across America, with my girlfriend, Rachel, and our pooch, Romero, as my pit crew.
In reality, my 8 days of planning was really all about waiting for the Adventure Cycling Association to send me maps to follow throughout the ride. When they arrived, I packed my panniers, got the pit crew together, and set off. The route would take me from Florence, Oregon through Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky, before finally ending in Yorktown, Virginia.