Two girls, two touring bikes, riding cross-country
In the current economy, most people would do everything in their power to stay gainfully employed. Most people are not Melissa Wick, 33, and Brooke Flesner, 30, of Columbus, Ohio. Only one week after quitting their jobs in law and marketing, the duo will be departing on June 21 for a cross-country bike tour.
The Transamerica Bicycle Route will provide the setting for their travels, which will be completely self-contained, meaning they will carry all they need for their travels on their bikes. Wick and Flesner are looking to cover 60 to 100 miles each day before setting up camp each night. With no time constraints, they will also make a loop into Canada before heading to Oregon. After dipping their tires in the Pacific Ocean, the two will head south, down the coast of California.
Heading east to west and snaking through small town America, the two hope to meet many people while touring.
“We want interesting experiences, and we want to fall easily into conversations with the people we see along the way,” said Wick. “This route seems best suited to that goal.”
How does someone decide to quit their job, put everything in storage and peddle their way across the county?
“We want to see the country,” said Flesner. “And we want to see it at a pace of 15 miles per hour.”
“Plus, the idea of carrying everything you need to live on your bike, and going at your own pace is really, really appealing,” Wick added. “We know from bike commuting to work daily that you see more, feel more and are more a part of your environment on a bike, so it seems like a great way to see the country.”
As it stands, the tour could last six months to one year, covering over 11,000 miles. The two are also planning to volunteer on organic farms while on the tour, though an organization called WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). Flesner added that it is really important for the two of them to live eco-friendly.
In addition, Wick and Flesner are helping raise money for the coastline and wildlife affected by the recent oil spill, by collecting donations for the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana. Donations will be collected on their blog, where they will also write about their adventures and hope to become a resource for those that would like to bike tour.
“We look forward to dealing with whatever gets thrown our way and becoming more self reliant,” said Wick. “The idea of bike touring with the bare minimum, not really knowing where you will be tomorrow or the day after, is what we look forward to.”
You can read more about their adventures at: www.theroadbeneathus.blogspot.com
From the Saturday, June 12, 2010 Show and Tell: Entertainment News section of the Columbus Dispatch
Athletes prepare for bike trip
Two bikes. Two women. One year.
And four pairs of underwear each?
Columbus residents Melissa Wick, 33, and Brooke Flesner, 30, say that's enough to keep them comfortable on the cross-country journey they plan to begin June 21.
The duo will set out from Berea, Ky., for an 11,492-mile trip that will take them through 14 states and parts of Canada.
"I'm not worried about the physical part," said Wick, who said they'll ride 70 miles a day. "I'm afraid of bears."
She and Flesner have been biking in competitions for a few years, and Flesner qualified as a triathlete for the 2010 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
They've packed bear mace for Yellowstone National Park.
The riders will blog about the trip at www.theroadbeneathus.blogspot.com