“I don’t want to sound like your mother,” I said to Stuart, probably sounding incredibly like his mother, “but you will be careful, won’t you? It’s wild country out there.”
Stuart knows very well that it’s wild, that’s why it was called the Wild West, but it has calmed down a bit over the past couple of centuries. Still, you can’t be too careful when you’re on the US roads, especially when you’re on a bike, especially when you’re cycling 5000km… on your own.
Granted, his coast-to-coast pedal push from San Francisco to Boston won’t have as many dangers as the when it was first done 130 years ago, by Thomas Stevens, an Englishman, of course, Americans didn’t do that sort of thing then. It’s Thomas’ tyretracks that Stuart will follow, more or less, as he cycles across the country, keeping pace with his mentor, stopping off in the same places on the same day.
And because my friend is clever, very clever, with a brain the size of a planet, and he should know because he has a PhD in Highly Complex Astronomy Stuff, he’s set up a Twitter feed from a robot, which will pretend it’s Thomas Stevens, tweeting from back in time. Stuart will Tweet in real time, so let’s hope there’s no disturbances in the Force or we’ll all become anomalies or something like that and meet our grandparents as children.
He sets off at the end of the month, just him and his bike, with minimal luggage, including a tent and a change of underpants and a fantastic spirit of adventure. He’s also hoping to raise a bob or two for the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres.
He’ll be back in time for his niece’s wedding in August and have a bit of a breather before contemplating the next stage of the trip.
Good luck Stuart – and be careful. Please!