Love Story is an old movie by Eric Segal with a music score that starts out with the words ‘Where do I begin . . .’ Well That is my question: Where do I begin?
About a year ago, while attending a 12 month church related program I met a pastor from the Missoula MT area by the name of Tom Hall. In getting to know each other a little better Tom began talking about long distance biking which is something my wife and I had done some years ago.
Now, I biked several one week RAGBRAI (Registered Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) events (~475 miles). I even bicycled from the top of Michigan down to St. Joseph in three days (~300 miles) several times, and I bicycled across Michigan (~150 miles) in one day. My wife and I even went self-contained bicycle camping on a few occasions.
Tom, on the other hand, had done self-contained rides of several thousand miles or more. Not only had he done those rides, but he had done them on a recumbent of all things. Turns out he had two recumbents: a RANS long wheel base and a Terra-Tryke three wheeler. The more we talked the more he talked about always wanting to do a west to east trip across the United States.
My wife and I spent Easter (2012) weekend in Missoula with Tom and his wife, Dixie. During the weekend he began to talk with me about doing the cross country trip with him, on a recumbent of all things. I sort of laughed and told him that it sounded fun.
During the next 4-5 months he continued to hit me up about how much fun we would have. In mid-August (2012) he called me and asked if I was up to doing the ride or not. You ever hear the expression, ‘engage brain before opening mouth?’ Well, I failed to engage my brain before my mouth said ‘Yes!’
What had I done? I didn’t own a recumbent nor had I ever been on a recumbent. And, to top it off, I was in Milwaukee WI for two months helping my brother-in-law recover from double knee replacement surgery.