Tripper of the Week Jack Day has cycled across the US from San Francisco to Times Square. He is on the last leg of his 7,000 mile journey going South to North. Oh, and did I mention he is 70 years old? Get some inspiration to reinvent your travel opportunities long past the time when people think they should be cooling down. You’re never too young or old for an active travel adventure!
1) When did you first become a cyclist? Have you always been a big biker?
I became a cyclist at 65 when I retired. There was finally the time to do things that I wanted to do. I have never been an athlete nor have I cycled in the past.
2) Even after completing a trans USA cycling tour from the Golden Gate to Times Square, what inspired you to make the 7,000 mile journey to the South and East Coast, celebrating your 70th year? How did you come up with your itinerary?
After completing a trans America ride from San Francisco to New York City, I realized that I had had the time of my life. Since I had completed crossing my country from West to East, the obvious ride that needed to be done would be the South-North. That meant a ride from Key West to the upper tip of Maine.
3) What is the most difficult part about making such a huge journey? What is the best part?
The hassles involved in shipping my bike and equipment caused me to rethink flying to the Start. Since I was on a bicycle ride, why not cycle to the Start? It added 2,000 miles to the ride, but that just made a better trip. And the same goes for the return to Iowa from Maine. Just make the entire route a loop. 7,000 miles at 70 years old seemed doable, why not?
The most difficult thing to deal with is missing your family. I have three grown children but the technology age has made the gap less hard to deal with. I email or talk to my family on a daily basis.
4) Name a favorite thrilling experience you’ve had on the road.
The best part of my travels is the people I meet. I run into fascinating hosts and people on the street, all eager to swap stories of on-the-road events, both good and bad. I have had over 65 hosts so far this trip, providing the much needed shower and a place to rest my bones after a day on the road. As a group, they are all warm and hospitable. As individuals, I feel I have made many new lasting friendships. The hospitality community operates under the radar of most, and I kind of like that idea. It wouldn’t take much for someone to ruin it for everyone as negativity travels faster than good news.
It’s a memorable surprise to have your host bring you into a REAL teepee, just as it is amazing to stay in a hut on a tropical area farm that reminds one of a rainforest and grows 42 species of eatable flowers and exotic fruits for highbrow restaurants.
5) Where are you now?
At mile 4,600 of my trip, I am presently traveling north through Maine and it will take a few more weeks to reach the Canadian border.
6) What is your plan after you reach 7,000 miles?
My hazy plan for next year is a western USA loop, passing by the Grand Canyon on the way to the lowest point of California, then making a trail up all the way up the Pacific coast to Vancouver, followed by turning right and taking the Lewis and Clark Trail back home to Iowa.
After that, it is even more hazy….
Connect to Jack on his Tripping profile for cycling tips and hosting opportunities. He’s always looking to meet new people!
Follow his 7,000 mile journey on Facebook!