The year was 1989
Really, we have to go back before 1989 to start.
In 1987, I met Paul Foy. He joined me on my Florida Bound Bicycle Ride that year. We left Niagara Falls Canada on November 7th, 1987. That's the latest in the year I've ever started out on this trip.
At some point, and I don't really remember when, Paul told me he would like to ride his bike across the country. He had already attempted this twice before. Once he made it to Illinois, and another time one of his daughters, Kelly, and he flew to Los Angeles and were unable to complete the trip back. Paul still really wanted to ride across the county. I’m told Paul had mentioned this to his wife more than once. Paul’s wife didn’t want to stop Paul from doing what Paul wanted to do, but was concerned about his safety. It is said she told Paul if he could find some idiot to go with him, then she was okay with him riding his bicycle across the country. Paul said, “I know the perfect idiot,” all in fun, of course. Paul called me and suggested that he and I give it a try.
It was decided we would fly to Los Angeles and ride from West to East to take advantage of the Jet Stream and the winds that go from west to east.
We flew to Los Angeles on March 12th, 1989. The next day we went to Disneyland. It was a condition I had with Paul for me to do this ride. Being a Disney enthusiast, never been to Disneyland, and being this close, meant I had to go to Disneyland. So we did.
The next day we visited Knott's Berry Farm so I could relive my childhood days when I had been there with my parents back in 1966 or ‘67.
On March 15, 1989, Paul Foy and I left our motel in Anaheim, California. We rode for thirty-three days. We arrived in Niagara Falls, Canada, two thousand, seven hundred, and sixty four miles (four thousand and fifty seven kilometers) later in mid April. Paul spent the night with his wife and left with his daughter for the east coast. Paul can say he rode his bicycle from ocean to ocean. I only went from Los Angeles to Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Paul did this same trip again several years later with a couple of other guys.
When Paul and I were riding across Kansas, the winds for five days were steadily against us. Head on, forceful. I thought we were riding west to east to take advantage of the winds. Guess the winds had other ideas.
We did have great winds on our first day out though. We left Anaheim, California, and rode to Twenty-Nine Palms, California. I think we did the trip in half the time we probably should have. We didn't have to pedal for great distances. The wind just pushed us. And fast. It was great. Kansas made up for it.
Near Albuquerque, New Mexico, I had a flat tire by driving over a nail. A patch on the tube and a blow up of the tire, and we were back on our way. These same tires also went to Florida on the next trip. I’m often asked how many tires we use on these trips. One set will usually make it.
Near Jefferson, Missouri, Paul had his back axle break, but we were able to continue to a bicycle shop where they were able to replace it. Otherwise we had little bike problems.
One night we went for our supper in a little town. Paul asked for double mashed potatoes along with his supper. The waitress asked if he was sure. He said, "Yes."
When our supper arrived, the mashed potatoes filled a complete dinner plate. Neither of us could believe the amount. Of course the waitress said, "Well, you did say a double order!"
Another night after we had checked into our motel, we went to find supper. There was a Denny's right across the street, but we didn't feel like we wanted to go there. We walked down one side of the street about a mile, and back up the other side, about a mile. We went to Denny's. Guess we needed the exercise after riding a hundred miles that day.
Paul and I had a great trip. I was thirty eight at the time. Paul was fifty-five. We made it from Los Angeles to Niagara Falls in thirty-three days, and then remember, Paul continued on to the east coast. Good going.
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