Former Pipeworks Staff's Transcontinental Ride
When former Sacramento Pipeworks staff member Zane Griffin (above, with beard) and friend Scott Ferreter decided to ride bicycles across country this summer, they realized they had just 41 days to cover
3500 miles, but thought “it sounded like a good idea at the time”. Having done only a few overnight trips on bikes before, to plan the trip they depended on internet research and local bike shops for advice. It was rather hard to find people who had real reliable information, and they managed to speak with only one person who had done it before.
Regardless, one foggy day at the Golden Gate Bridge, with bikes weighing 80 pounds fully loaded, they started. Although there were no luxuries - no I-pods and only one cell phone which they ended up not using – the bikes were still heavy and hard to handle. Almost immediately they encountered the hardest section of the whole trip: Highway 50 through Nevada, with 85 miles between water. “I realize now why they call it The Loneliest Road in America” Zane said.
They ate mostly at small diners, roadside bars or cooked for themselves; but adding to the challenge, both adhere to a vegetarian diet - incredibly difficult in the mid-west where a majority of meals are meat-based. Subsisting on granola bars, peanut butter, bagels and pancakes, they were always hungry - it was hard to intake the 4,000-5,000 calories per day Zane estimated they were burning. At night they stayed in City parks, or were invited to pitch their tent in people’s backyards. The generosity and warmth of strangers was the most amazing thing about the trip according to Zane - offers of a place to stay or something to eat were plentiful.
Despite the abundant hospitality, not knowing where they would stay or sleep every night still left them feeling vulnerable and exposed the whole trip. Due to fatigue and the Appalachian Mountains, the last 4 days were especially challenging: having booked thei
r return flight before leaving, the pair weren’t even sure they would make it to the airport on time. But make it they did – 41 days, 11 flats, 1 pair of shorts and 5 tires later they rolled into our nation’s capital - almost 90 miles a day with not 1 day off! In looking back, Zane said overcoming self-doubt and uncertainty were the biggest rewards of the trip. To other would-be transcontinental riders he quipped: “If you want to do it that fast, be prepared to be uncomfortable”.
Labels: cycling, members, Sacramento Pipeworks