Across America by Bicycle: Alice and Bobbi’s Summer on Wheels, was published by Terrace Books in 2010. Two friends decided after they retired to ride together across America, from the West to the East coast. The women were experienced cyclist who had bicycled rather longish trips before, but this was, by far, their longest effort. They had a web site but it is now down, and the domain is up for sale. But, the book is still available. Why should you read it?
First of all this is an inspiring story of two women who took on an awesome challenge and completed it. It is an inspiring and hopeful book. The book talks about how their already close friendship became more solid, and the many helpful people they met along the way. As a matter of fact, the people they met along the way who helped them or just had some kind of impact no matter how fleeting, are a major theme in this book. Also, this is my third book in this genre (books about people who bike across the United States), and that is a surprisingly common theme in all of them so far. In the upcoming weeks you will hear more about the other two books.
If you are contemplating a long ride, solo or with somebody else, this is a book for you to read. The antidotes, and stories they tell provide wise insight. They were smart, well prepared, but also flexible. They camped some, stayed sometimes with people they met along the way, but also used hotels or other lodging. The book has a lot of explicit, and implicit, advice to give anyone thinking of undertaking such a ride including a whole appendix about what each of them carried on their trek. There is even an appendix that provides a detailed packing list, down to what went where, which provides an example of two good templates for anyone to start with. One packed more weight than the other, but they were both rather frugal about the ounces they carried.